How To Know If Door Frame Is Water Damaged: 3 Helpful Signs

Has it been raining frequently in your area that you feel obligated to find out how to know if door frame is water damaged, or has there been an annoying leak from an upper floor that’s causing it? We can find out later why such damage happens, but firstly, let’s talk about the things that can help you identify a water-damaged door frame.

Water damage can happen to any substrate where water can stick and stay, where bacteria can do their job and cause havoc. While it happens almost always for organic materials, water can also be an enemy to items that work with electricity or can get attacked by the bacteria and mold attracted by its presence.

how to know if door frame is water damaged

One of the seemingly favorite substrates of water damage is wood, including practically all items made of it wholly or just as a part. Whether hidden in your room, somewhere in your kitchen, or the door frame at the very entrance of your place, wherever they are, wood is susceptible to water damage.


Items To Watch Out For In A Water Damaged Door Frame

Door frames are one of the very first things you do when entering a house or a room. As such, they’re not only made to look pretty through time but also sturdy and reliable through the tests of it.

While their strength is entirely guaranteed the moment the carpenter pulls them up in your entrance, door frames, especially wooden ones, are not invincible. Some sudden and unplanned forces can test its durability that may not have been accounted for during its design.

Here are some items to help you confirm if your door frame is undergoing water attack and damage:


1. There’s water constantly dripping on and from it

The first thing to look for in your door frame when you’re suspicious of water damage is the presence of water to cause it. When your door frame is constantly exposed to water when it’s not designed to withstand such exposure, it’s guaranteed to sustain considerable damage over time.

Notice first if your doorframe appears wet in some areas, then take a ladder(if need be), then feel if the area is really wet. If so, try cleaning it and take some clean rag and pat it over to dry the area, and leave it be at least overnight.

The next day, pick a time to check up on the exact spot you dried previously; if the wetness reoccurs, there’s a constant stream from which that water is coming. You need to deal with that source first before you can do anything that will concretely save your door frame.

Check if there’s any faulty pipe running atop the door of concern, or if it goes straight to the ceiling, check if that section of the roof needs patching, and deal with it. Another water source can be from leaking HVAC connections.

If the doorframe is dripping with water and you’ve noticed such things happen on two consecutive days (more so for an entire week), you can be sure there’s water damage there. 

Check our other article dealing with how to repair water damaged wood door frame after this one!


2. There’s swelling

Other than checking for the water itself, you can also look for the symptoms of water damage itself, one of which is swells. Especially on wooden frames, absorption of too much water causes a significant change in the density of your structure.

Swelling happens when the wood is saturated with water as a result of its natural organic make-up. Unfortunately, though, while woods are naturally capable of handling and relieving changes in water concentrations, they can’t do that when it’s already sewn to be part of your home.

While plants grow with water, the introduction of such excess when it’s been pulled from the earth will only invite decay. As you may have already thought, if water damage is left alone, it will lead to early decomposition and replacement of your frame.

If you notice there’s a change in the size and shape of your doorframe, then it’s probably water damage. When your door hardly fits in that frame, then the size of one of them has changed.


3. The paint or coating on it is peeling off

Another easily noticeable symptom of water damage is the change that occurs on its surface; that would be the paint and other coating types.

Water doesn’t typically affect these synthetics; however, when there’s a change in the substrate (the wood on your frame), the bond between them gets disturbed. With moisture, this is observable with initial bubbling underneath the coating, followed by discoloration, then subsequent peeling.

Another observable surface change that signifies water damage is the occurrence or presence of molds and mildew. Once you try to clean these fungal masses and there’s consistent regrowth after, it’s also a sign of water damage. 

Water damage does like showing itself off, so it’s easy to find evidence for it via sight and smell. If in the unfortunate event that the water damage has spread, you’ll find here how to repair water damaged wood door.



You now found out how to know if door frame is water damaged with signs that are easy to spot and remember. If your suspicion ends up positive, follow through with the instructions on our site and immediately fix it.

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