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Am I Hallucinating or What?

Posted on Dec 22 2008 by Carl Seville, GBA Advisor

I got a press release in the mail today for a new product called “Doorbrow”, including the following points:

“…a revolutionary new product…” , “…will minimize water intrusion and sun deterioration…”, “…prevents leaks between a building and its entry door, effectively eliminating water intrusion…”

OK, I was intrigued, so I checked out doorbrow.com, and man was I shocked. I will reserve judgment on the aesthetics of the product (give me time), but I can’t see how it will do much of anything to keep water or sun from reaching a door. On top of that, their primary marketing photo shows this device attached directly to the stucco. Now in my book, that causes two problems. First, you are punching holes in the stucco (or siding, etc.) creating wonderful little pathways for water to get into the house. Oh, but you can caulk the holes you say! Yeah, well, we all know how well caulk works in keeping water out – about as well as a screen door. Then, on top of that, they recommend caulking the top where it hits the wall, yet another fine example of hoping that water will flow uphill. I realize that this is a common delusion of builders – I can’t count the number of times I drive by jobsites and see people putting up weather barriers and window flashing totally wrong. They miss the point that felt, housewrap, and flashing all need to layer, shingle style from top to bottom. Doorbrow expects the caulk at the top to keep out water. It might do that, IF the caulk is PERFECTLY APPLIED TO CLEAN SURFACES, and even then it probably won’t last more than a couple of weeks. I am so tired of “building professionals” who have no clue as to how to build. Water ruins buildings. We need to keep it out. It only stays out if you build it to keep it out. If the door leaks, fix the damn door, don’t put a Doorbrow on it. You are just putting whipped cream on #$%&, and it probably is not as much an improvement as the whipped cream.

Oh, and by the way, it is pretty damned ugly too. My buddy Michael has this to say about it:

“Possibly one of the most irresponsible and worthless products I have seen in a while. Not only is the product “Butt-Ugly” it serves no purpose other than to possibly compromise the durability of the home. The flashing detail in the photo is backwards (nailed to the face of the stucco… Really? Who was the brilliant guy who thought of that installation detail… oohh I know, I bet it was the guy who dreamed this ridiculous thing up!). Besides, what kind of protection does a 6” overhand give you? I going to go out on a limb and suggest.. NOTHING!”


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