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Adhesive for attaching plastic sheeting to inside of door panel

My 2007 Civic has been leaking water when it rains heavily. I tracked it down to the adhesive that attaches the plastic sheeting to the inside of the door panel. There were places where it had deteriorated or wasn’t installed properly, allowing the water to leak out of the bottom of that plastic and onto my carpet.

Does anyone know what type of product to use to reattach this plastic? It seems to be something that remains soft and sticky to allow the plastic to be removed and reattached. Thanks.

You can use duct tape to reattach the vapor barrier inside the door.


Not an expert, but I don’t think the vapor barrier is supposed to keep water inside the door. I think there are supposed to be drain holes in the bottom of the door to let the water out. If the drain holes get clogged, then water builds up inside the door and then might come around the vapor barrier – perhaps even causing the barrier to detach.

If I’m wrong, I hope the experts here will educate me.

You are correct Art1966. The vapor barrier keeps the odd drip from the window from splashing on the window mechanism and wetting the speakers and other electronics in the door panel, but if you are getting enough water to wet the carpet, there must be a blocked drain hole.

The black goo that holds the vapor barrier is made by 3M. I bought some 20 years ago but I don’t recall where I got it. Any non-hardening weather seal should work.

I’ve Done This Exact Job.
A Friendly, Neighboorhood Auto Glass Business Should Help You. The One In My Area Will Sell DIYers Butyl Sealer (1/4" I Believe) By The Foot, Very Reasonably.

Thoroughly clean the plastic and the contact area on the door, using denatured alcohol (Wal-Mart, Hardware Store, Etcetera). Then peel the butyl “ribbon or rope” from its backing and apply it around the perimeter. Finish by pressing the plastic into place. The butyl remains soft and sticky and usually allows for removal and reattachment of the water barrier, just as you wish.

Auto glass companies replace lots of door glass and keep rolls of this material on hand.


Been There, Done That. Art1966 And Manolito, I’ve Had A Leak As Described And Had No Plugged Drains, But Did Find A Void In The Butyl Sealer At The Bottom Of The “Water Deflector”.

It probably makes a difference as to the make and model of the vehicle, but I can assure you it’s possible to have a leak caused by a loose water deflector and not have plugged drains in the door bottom.

Another thing that can make a difference is the angle at which the vehicle is parked. Some leaks of this type are triggered by parking on an incline and it can even matter whether the car is backed in or not.

My fairly severe leak was completely remedied by doing nothing more than finding evidence of the void in the butyl sealer and fixing it as described in a previous comment. The hard part is finding the water leak source and mopping up. The repair is rather easy.


Thank you very much CSA. I was starting to think I was going crazy. I spent a lot of time determining the cause of the problem and I’m am on my 3rd sealant. The first 2 didn’t work very well and it hasn’t rained since I tried the 3rd. When that fails, I’ll look for the butyl sealer. I’ll also make sure the drains are fully clear. I know they’re not plugged but they might be partially blocked. Thanks.


I found some buytl sealer at NAPA. This sealer in particular is for rear windows, but the material is the same.

I’ve used both tape and RTV silicone sealer. The latter works well and in the event one ever had to go in there again it peels loose without destroying the plastic and is easily removed from the door.

The water leak into the car does not likely have anything to do with that plastic liner though. I would suspect a faulty door or window seal.
Stick a dollar bill about halfway in at various points around the door opening and then clsoe the door fully. Try to pull the dollar out. If it comes out easily then that could be where the leak is at and it may be time for a door or glass adjustment.

Rope caulk is what I got from NAPA for miscellaneous body seals and can be used for attaching the plastic to the door. Its non hardening caulk in long strips.