Robert Lamoureux | Proper materials can solve slider situation

Robert Lamoureux
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Question No. 1  

Hello,  

Last week, we had a contractor come out to give us a quote to replace our sliders and address the issue of corrosion of the aluminum tracks. The contractor was shocked at the degree of erosion. He indicated it is a construction issue caused by a lack of barrier between the concrete foundation and the aluminum tracks of the door jamb. He indicated that normally there is a painted coating or thin plastic barrier between the concrete and the aluminum. If this barrier is breached, the acid in the concrete will eat/erode the aluminum. He indicated it would start slowly and then accelerate (which explains why one door has more damage than the other door track, and why it has become increasingly worse in the past year). He said it will continue to erode until the entire door jamb is gone.  

As you indicated in your previous emails, replacement and patching of the stucco has been done by the HOA several times. This is the only work that has been done on the doors or tracks.  

As such, we respectfully ask again that this be reviewed and addressed by the HOA. This is not an aesthetic problem — the issue has arisen from the repairs done by the HOA, which has compromised the integrity of the concrete below the aluminum door jambs and tracks and is continuing to cause further damage to our doors. Soon it will become a safety concern.  

Here is a photo of the damage.  

Corrosion in the aluminum tracks of a homeowner’s sliding-glass door. Robert Lamoureux says installing a new slider using proper materials will remedy the problem. Courtesy photo

— Homeowner’s request to property manager, who then wrote in for advice 

Answer No. 1 

Hello,  

The contractor will need to do the new door installation with a door saddle or vapor barrier under the door. Once the door is installed with these proper materials, then the exterior stucco can be repaired. This is common at the foundation lines to have this occur. It is a common complaint in the industry. Proper materials used upon new door install should solve this problem long-term. 

— Robert 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected]. 

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