Can this door panel be fixed?

Bph2April 9, 2014

The 1st pic is of the outside of our front exterior door and it developed this crack about a year ago. The 2nd pic shows light coming in through the crack. If replacement is the best solution can you advise as the best type door to avoid this (but the door did last 27 years before this happened)?

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Bph2

From inside

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:16PM
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Bph2

Inside of door. Did not realize how bad the paw scratched are. And our dog passed away almost 8 years ago.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:21PM
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Bph2

A pic of the entire door.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:23PM
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daveho

Looks like a failed glue joint. The proper fix would be to disassemble the door take out the recessed panel, re-glue, & reassemble the door. Which unless the glue joints on the rails & stiles are also failing would be difficult. I'd probably get a glue syringe & try injecting some wood glue into the crack.to fill it. Might last, might not. There's also a good chance the door will swell once summer rolls around & the crack will close up on its own, at least temporarily. If the door is a standard size, a replacement slab might be your best bet. Since the door has no glass it shouldn't be very expensive.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 2:48PM
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Bph2

Thanks Dave. The high humidity season here in coastal SC will be getting into overdrive. I'll wait and see and if it does not close will try your glue syringe a try.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 5:39PM
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saltidawg

Bph2,

Is that panel being held in place with four pieces of cove molding? If so, removing panel and injecting glue and clamping would seem a plan.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 8:19PM
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bus_driver

Painted is easier to repair than if stained. Is the door in direct Sunlight any part of the day? Looks as if there is no storm door-- is that correct?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 8:31PM
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Bph2

It looks like it might be held by cove molding. However, that looks like a job for a very meticulous person.

The door does get morning sun.

We are getting ready to do a total kitchen reno and I may ask the GC to replace the door slab.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 6:53AM
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bus_driver

That door panel changes dimensions slightly with changes in temperature and changes more with changes in humidity. Heat changes the humidity. The panel was designed to float within the door to accommodate those dimensional changes. Probably paint has captured the edges of the panel and limited possible movement, resulting in the crack.
Darker colors and Sun cause greater changes in heat and humidity than with white doors. Darker colors, Sun and storm doors are the combination with makes the problem worst.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 8:59AM
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saltidawg

"It looks like it might be held by cove molding. However, that looks like a job for a very meticulous person."

I see that. Might also require total re-painting/staining of the door.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 3:22PM
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Bph2

Saltidawg, I'm thinking since we would have to restain and repaint having a new door slab installed might be the way to go.

OT:The exterior of the door was the same color stain as the interior. From the street, especially when the sun was on the other side of the house, the front porch and door was just a dark nothing. So, a few months ago DH and I painted the door and sidelight trim aqua blue. It's a little too much up close, but looks great from the street. If we get a new door I think we will paint it the same.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 5:57PM
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imawesomesam

I guess the door panel can be fixed but the door might loose it's beauty .. Make sure you have a mat sheet fixed over the door.. For safe side

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 8:12AM
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lazy_gardens

Our door did that. We used a flexible caulk in the crack and faux painted it to match the wood.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 8:14AM
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Bph2

Lazygardens, what type of caulk did you use?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 5:43PM
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geoffrey_b

Either the hardware store or Home Depot. Take a look at the exterior caulk - it will say 'stays flexible'. I'd caluk the outside of the door. Get clear, use masking tape around the split, apply a small amount of caulk, and use your finger to squeeze the caulk into the crack, and smooth it. Then remove the tape. About a 10 minute job.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:42PM
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millworkman

That is a floating panel, it really cannot be fixed. Anything you do would really be a bandaid not a fix.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 8:19PM
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pnbrown

It can be glued up in place if you are willing to live with screw holes. You screw a cleat of wood to each side of the split. Work glue into the gap - a very handy little trick for this kind of thing is to lightly spread glue on both sides of a piece of paper then work the paper carefully into the crack - should be able to get it all the way through. Use Titebond II or III. Then with a couple pairs of hand-screws on the cleats you clamp up the panel, let sit for a day and take the clamps and cleats off, clean up with a sharp chisel and sandpaper.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:05PM
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charismagenta64

You can use Epoxy wood filler in wood repairing especially in small crack or scratches. Shape the epoxy with your fingers and by patting it with a scrap of wood. The final step is shape hardened epoxy with woodworking tools. Use a Surform plane or coarse rasp to remove large amounts of material and roughly shape the repair. Then use rasps, files and sandpaper to refine the shape and add details. If you remove too much or need to touch up the repair, add a layer of epoxy and repeat the process.

Here is a link that might be useful: RCDC HomeBuilders

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:41AM
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