Screen door closure pulls bracket from door jamb

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jjmartin1340

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Last year on the front screen door I put one of the closures that holds the door open about 6 inches from wide open, then to close the door you push it all the way open and let go. Much handier when bringing stuff in or out, no fiddling with the little gizmo. Unfortunately, visitors don't understand it and try to close the door by pulling on it. This has caused the closure jamb bracket to come loose from the jamb. See picture. A while ago I put 3.5" deck screws in, but they have pulled out. Any ideas how I can strengthen the door jamb without tearing the house apart? In the meantime I'm going to put the original closure back on.Screen Door closer mount.JPG
 

Gary

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If 3.5" deck screws pull out, I'd guess the jam is rotten or there's nothing behind the jam. Maybe polk at the jam with an awl or something similar to see if the jam is solid or not.
Short of replacing the wood with something more solid, you could get a metal plate that you could bolt the bracket to, then screw the plate to the jam, with how ever many screws it takes. But there again, if there's nothing for the screw to grab onto.....?
A solution would be easier to come up with if the condition of the jam and rough opening wood behind the jam were known.
 

jjmartin1340

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The house was built in 1953, one floor cottage over crawl space, 2x4 for walls. No idea of the doorway construction. I've looked for fasteners for hollow walls, but most only go to 5/8" thick wall. Spring toggle bolts will go up to a 2" wall, maybe thicker, but they require a 1/2" hole. Might work, unless a 1/2" hole weakens the jamb too much. Guess I could drill 1 hole at a 30 degree angle so it comes out near the center of the jamb, but if it weakens the jamb too much... I guess another option might be to remove the door trim from the inside of the house making it possible to slip a steel plate in. Not sure I could do that without damaging it, and it would likely need painting afterwards. When I put the long screws in it seemed like there was a gap then another board, so construction might be two 2x4s separated by 1/2". I'm not keen on removing trim, cutting away the drywall, in the hopes there's a convenient gap I can slip a metal plate into. At this point, 2 spring toggle bolts looks like the simplest way, hoping it won't weaken the jamb so much it breaks. Any better idea?
 

Snoonyb

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The screws closest to the edge of the jamb probably didn't have enough of the stud available for good penetration.

There are also #8, 9 and 10 wood screws up to 8" long.
 

jjmartin1340

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I've just come up with one more idea: a steel plate 3.5" x 10" mounted on the surface of the jamb, with the bracket bolted to the plate and the plate screwed to the jam with about 5 screws both above and below the bracket. If 10 screws aren't enough, I'll go along with the new building code and remove the screen door altogether.
I've been thinking about this for months and it's not until I write about it that I start to get ideas. I blame it on age (I'm 77).
 

bud16415

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How about a sign on the door.


DO NOT FORCE DOOR SHUT!

Open fully and it will close on its own.


You could also replace the steel pin with a plastic pin that would shear off before damaging the door frame. Keep a few spares handy and one by one when people see they broke your door they will learn the trick.
 

jjmartin1340

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GARY:
Sorry, my memory is getting so bad I didn't realize you suggested the idea of a steel plate to fasten the bracket to. Didn't mean to claim credit for it, it's likely I never would have thought of it myself. Getting old sucks. Think I will use the idea, if I can find a suitable piece of metal at the hardware store.
 

jjmartin1340

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I got a steel "mending plate" at the hardware store which I'll install sometime soon. I still like the plastic "shear pins" idea. I searched a few sites for "plastic pins" and "plastic nails" but no luck. Any idea where I might get some?
 

jjmartin1340

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I'm in Canada. Couldn't find suitable plastic screws at Home Depot, all the ones at Amazon.ca said "currently unavailable". I found 200 plastic sewing needles for kids on Amazon.ca, they look to be the right diameter, so I ordered some. I'll tackle this project later this week.
 

jjmartin1340

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Screen Door closer mount - new s.JPG I finished the job. The "mending plate" I bought is 10" x 1". All the screws I used to fasten it are #10 x 2". Seems pretty strong.
The plastic sewing needles I bought are way too thin, broke when I opened the door. Maybe I can find something suitable next time I'm in the hardware store.
I have little signs 1" x 3" on the door saying how it works, but nobody seems to notice them. Don't like the idea of a 6" x 8" sign; I think it would work but look rather ugly.
Now I'll see how it goes. Hope my next post isn't asking for advice on replacing a door jamb.
 
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Sparky617

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I had the issue on my front door with two closers, one at the top of the door and one on the bottom. It seemed like they wanted to close at different rates putting strain on the bracket. I eventually removed one of the closers.
 

bud16415

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I had the issue on my front door with two closers, one at the top of the door and one on the bottom. It seemed like they wanted to close at different rates putting strain on the bracket. I eventually removed one of the closers.
I had the double setup with the same problems and I ended up taking them both off the storm door and put a chain and spring thing and it works great.
 
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