Easy Fixes for Troublesome Doors
Posted Jan 09th 2014 | By:
Homes are filled with doors, be it bedroom doors, bathroom doors, or exterior doors, and they all need some level of attention from time to time. The can squeak or become un-level and move on their own, plus they can stick. While these are minor issues, they can still be a source of grief. No one wants to be awakened every time someone goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night because the bathroom door creaks and groans when opened and closed. Fixing annoying door sounds will do wonders when it comes to allowing a less disruptive sleep.
Loose screws can be the reason behind doors that move on their own. Having a screw works its way loose can throw your door balance off. Make it a point to check your screws once in a while to prevent issues like this from occurring. If you already have a problem with a door seemingly moving of its own free will, addressing the screws may stop this problem. Another telltale sign of an unbalanced door are gaps through which light shines; if you have light shining through at the top of the hinge side but not the bottom, chances are your door needs adjustment. Before attempting to tighten your screws, however, you need to make sure your door is level so you are tightening it up into the correct position. To do this, place a door wedge underneath the side of the door where your knob is to ensure your door is balanced. You can confirm achieving balance by lining a leveler up with the door; just place it atop of the door or hold it against the bottom edge. Once the door is held securely in a level position, tighten the screws and reassess your door's performance.
It may not rain inside your home but that does not mean wooden doors are not affected by the environment. Humidity can exist both outside and inside the home, and can cause wooden doors to swell and not open or close properly. If you find that an interior wooden door is suddenly not working like it should, check the screws and hinges for looseness or deterioration. If your hardware is in good working order yet your door is still not closing properly, pay attention to the trouble spots. By taking note of when you are having issues, you may find that humidity is the culprit and your problem may come and go with time and weather fluctuations.
If your door is a noise maker, the problem could lie in oxidized hinges. This problem can be solved with a little bit of cleaning. Using a wire brush or some steel wool, rub the screws and pinholes to remove oxidation or any other gunk that could be interfering with hinge function. Once these areas are clean, add some lubricant and wait a few minutes for it to seep into the hinge, then try moving your door back and forth. If the noise persists, repeat the process. Should results still not be heard, you may need to remove the hinge pins themselves. To do this, brace the door with a wedge and remove pins one hinge at a time, then scrub with wire brushes and steel wool.
If you have tried other solutions but problems persist with the door contacting the frame, you might need to plane the door. This can be done easily with a carpenter's plane, which works by scraping off a small layer of wood along the door's edge. Take note of where your door sticks or rubs and mark an area of door to shave off. You can plane the top and knob edge of the door without even taking it off the hinges, but the bottom and hinge edges require removal of the door to plane. If you must plane the hinge side of your door, do so carefully as removal of too much door can require a re-setting of your hinges, which can change the positioning of the entire door, leaving you in worse shape than when you started.
Maintaining the health of your doors can go a long way towards maintaining your own sanity. Squeaky doors or those that stick and move may be a relatively small annoyance, but that annoyance can grow and get bigger over time until it is grating on your nerves. With a few easy steps, you can improve the function of your door and put it back in the place where it quietly belongs.
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