Door Frame Rot 101

Door frame rot. It’s slow and imperceptible, only showing once it’s far too late. Moisture at the corner of a door system can work a number on an exterior wood door frame if it isn’t designed to combat it. We’ve compiled a few helpful tips for preventing door frame rot, saving time and money in the future.

Why is door frame rot prevention important?

On the surface, you want to keep unwanted moisture out of a home. The issue of frame rot, however, runs much deeper.

If left unchecked, moisture can wick up the door jamb, and if a sill pan is not used, seep into the floorboards beneath, rotting the subfloor and creating structural issues. Now you’re looking at a multi-thousand dollar repair as multiple elements now require repair and replacement. All because the frame wasn’t built to combat moisture damage due to an improperly installed sill pan or untreated jamb.


How to tell whether there is an issue or not

  • Check the bottom of your exterior door frame. Are there signs of peeling paint at the bottom of the frame, or has the frame started to crack? Peeling paint is the most visible sign that a frame is starting to fall victim to moisture.

  • Second, push on it. Is it soft to the touch or unyielding, as you’d expect wood to be? If it’s soft, you may have a problem.

  • Finally, does the bottom of the frame appear warped or misshapen in any way? If so, it’s possible that moisture has penetrated the wood, causing these observed issues. 

Replacement, or repair?

Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be forced to repair, or even replace the door frame due to rot. Assessing which path to take depends largely on the amount of damage that has already taken place. If it has spread to the subflooring, replacement is clearly needed, but if the process of rotting has just begun, it may still be salvageable.

If it’s obvious you’re going to need to replace the door frame, floorboards, or subfloor, we strongly recommend you hire a professional you trust.  This kind of work is precise and is best if handled by someone with experience.

Read on before you call your service professional—we have a suggestion you might find interesting... 

Future rot prevention

When looking to replace a rotted door frame, it’s important to consider how to prevent the issue going forward. We recommend you take a look at our FrameSaver® Rot Repair Kit. We’re proud to feature Endura products here at BetterDoor, and we take the issue of frame rot prevention seriously. Luckily, we  have the perfect solution for protecting homes from that very issue.


Looking for more information on how to prevent frame rot and ensure the work you’re doing is of the highest quality?  Check out this free resource and see how FrameSaver® can prevent frame rot in the first place.