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How to Seal Your Doors to Prevent Flooding

Outdoor Flooding of White House

Outdoor Flooding of White House

When Mother Nature unleashes torrential downpours, the heavy rains can lead to indoor flooding. Water infiltration is an expensive hassle to fix. Doorways are a vulnerable area, especially if left unsealed. You can protect yourself from being caught in the wake of major flooding by properly sealing the doors.

First, it’s important to know that leaks can occur in four major parts of the door. These four problem areas include the upper corners, along the jambs or in between French doors, in the crucial corners and underneath the door.

1. Upper Corners

Unbeknownst to a homeowner, water can seep inside through the upper corners of the door frame. The door can sag or be bowed, allowing unwelcome moisture inside. Or the door may fail to make proper contact with the weather strip, permitting the rainwater indoors.

Sealing the door at the upper corners requires a foam product that is installed under the weather strip at the top corners of the door. The foam works to increase contact and compression between the weather strip and panel. The homeowner ends up with a tight, leak-proof seal.

2. Between Doors


In the event that light or water enter through the closed door panels, the weather stripping in between the doors may be too aged to perform. Torn or compressed weather stripping may no longer offer a watertight seal between the doors.

When the weather stripping between the door panels is aged and worn, it should be replaced as part of standard home maintenance. Weather seals come in varying thicknesses and styles. Standard weather stripping has the ability to seal large gaps in doors.

3. Crucial Corners

The crucial corners are located at the bottom of the door frame. It is considered the most important area of the exterior door. As the house settles, gaps can develop between the door jamb and panel. Corner pads can also go missing, leading to floodwaters seeping indoors.

Leaks at the crucial corners are effectively stopped by installing corner pads. The corner pads are easy to install and make a critical difference in how efficiently a door will seal. Once the corner pads are properly aligned, simply press the pads against the door jamb.

4. Door Bottom

The purpose of the door bottom is to seal the area between the panel and door sill. A worn door bottom is evident once cold drafts, insects and light enter. When any of these instances occur, replace the door bottom. Remember that door bottoms naturally wear over time.

Gaps beneath the door panel may occur even in brand-new door bottoms, especially when they feature an improperly adjusted door sill. Prevent water intrusions in this area by checking the sill adjustment and closing any gaps beneath the door panel.

Doors may be sealed using other effective techniques, such as completely replacing the weather stripping, installing a flood gate, adding a water-activated flood barrier and combing any or all of the above for maximum protection against unanticipated or expected flooding.

5. Flood GateFloodgate

A flood gate is a steel barrier placed either in front of the door or between the jambs. The flood gate can be adjusted with a wrench to ensure a watertight seal. Because the flood gate can be installed within minutes, it is a quick means to protecting the home.

Versatile, a flood gate may be installed along the front door, basement door, sliding door or garage door. Flood gates may also be joined together with stanchion sets to cover larger areas. While expensive, flood gates protect doors from flooding up to 26 inches high.

Homeowners only need to buy a flood gate once in order to reap the long-term flood protections it offers. The average cost of a flood gate is between $1000 and $4000. Purchasing this type of protection may be worth avoiding the costs and hassles involved in repairing water damage.

6. Water-Activated Flood Barrier

Minor flooding can be thwarted with water-activated flood barriers. As soon as the barriers come into contact with water, they begin to absorb it and expand up to 3.5 inches in height. The barriers keep water out while the door remains accessible (homeowners can step over the barriers).

While water-activated flood barriers have a shelf-life of five years, they fail to offer a perfect seal. Plus, the barriers can become slippery when exposed to sunlight. On the other hand, the barriers are lightweight when inactivated and environmentally safe.

7. Gap Closures

Another solution to keep floodwater out is to close the gaps around the door. Applying self-adhesive seal strips is one of the easiest tactics. Attaching plastic sheeting to the bottom of the door using water-resistant adhesive tape is also a practical means of sealing the door.

Flood Cleanup


When it comes to flooding, doors are the weakest points in a home. Sealing and strengthening them is a responsibility of homeowners. But if an unanticipated flood catches you off guard, turn to a reputable water damage restoration company, like ServiceMaster of Lancaster County.

Experienced technicians from ServiceMaster of Lancaster County promptly arrive at your home or business to extract all excess moisture using advanced equipment. Our powerful drying machinery dries out the premises fully, which is crucial to preventing mold and mildew growth.

ServiceMaster of Lancaster County crews are also proficient in the reconstruction of damaged building materials and furnishings. Our technicians restore all structural components destroyed by the flooding. Reinstallation and cleaning are also a part of our comprehensive flood restoration services.

We understand the urgency of water damage. Invasive and swift moving, water damage can spread quickly. To halt the spread of water damage, ServiceMaster technicians respond immediately to water damage emergencies. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When floodwaters strike, contact Lincoln, Nebraska’s most trusted name in water damage restoration, ServiceMaster of Lancaster County. No matter what the source of the flood, whether manmade or natural, our dedicated IICRC-certified crews will respond swiftly to stop the damage.

Contact Us

Don’t hesitate to contact ServiceMaster of Lancaster County at 402-434-2197 for emergency flood cleanup services if you live in the Lincoln, NE area.