- May 4, 2018
- Posted by: Luis Colon
- Category: Window & Doors
Your Door Won’t Close. Is a DIY Door Fix the Right Solution?
So. You have a door, but it won’t close.
We all know that’s not how doors are supposed to be. They have to close, or else, they’re not doing their job. If you’re in this position, should you apply your DIY door fixing skills to the misbehaving door? Or should you just replace the door altogether?
The answer is:
It depends on what’s actually preventing the door from closing in the first place. There are several possible causes, as we shall see. Before considering door replacement, Houston residents might first consider some of the factors that influence their door’s performance here in sunny Houston Texas.
Let’s take a look at the causes of doors not closing properly:
If your door no longer fits into the doorway smoothly, and if it’s made of wood, it is likely soaking up moisture from the air (thanks to Houston’s notorious humidity levels), creating what’s known as a swollen door.
If your door is made of fiberglass or steel, however, the swelling isn’t the root of your problem, as those materials simply don’t swell. That being said, installing a fiberglass door is always the way to go if you want a door that will last in wet weather.
Sagging doors originate with the door’s hinges. Over time, repeated opening and closing of the door can either make the screws in the hinge leaves become loose (making them unable to hold the door in place), or, this action can make the actual hinges pull away from their attachment points in the doorframe.
Either of these indicators suggests that the door isn’t being properly held in position. When you go to close the door, if the misaligned door scrapes the floor or simply won’t close properly, be sure to check for door hinge issues.
The remedy for a sagging door can be a simple one:
If the screws have simply worked their way loose, you should merely need to tighten them, to find your problem solved.
If the hinge leaves were originally cut too deep into the frame (they should be level with the surrounding wood) then your fix will be a bit more complex: you’ll need to remove the hinges from the door jamb and insert a thin, wooden wedge, just big enough to ensure that, when you replace the hinge, it sits level with the surrounding jamb.
If the problem isn’t the hinges, then your issue may be the door latch. If, when closing your door, the latch doesn’t sit neatly into the latch strike plate, the door will not close properly.
Misaligned door latches can be addressed fairly easily, using a simple lipstick test.
If there is a misalignment, step one is to tighten of all the hinge screws. They may have worked loose over time, and tightening them might be all it takes, to get your door back in good working order, and you won’t need to worry about door replacement.
If tightening your hinge screws doesn’t do the trick, remove one of the existing hinge screws, and replace it with a 3″ screw. The long screw will grab the wall framing and draw in the entire doorjamb slightly. To raise the latch, replace the screw at the top hinge. To lower the latch, replace the screw at the bottom hinge.
If neither of these solutions works, then you may have to engage in a bit of cosmetic surgery on your door.
This involves enlarging the hole in the strike plate or repositioning the strike plate itself.
Repositioning the strike plate will involve some chiselling and drilling, if you’re up for a challenge. If this pushes the limits of your DIY door skills, fear not; this is where you’ve got pros to help.
Beyond DIY: Time for a Replacement
If you’ve gone through the tests above, and the door still won’t close properly, then it’s likely the door is not fixable, unfortunately.
All the DIY door skills in the world won’t help, when a door’s warped defects have pushed it beyond repair. At this point, it’s time for a door replacement; Houston, fortunately, is in great hands, when it comes to getting the right door quickly and painlessly installed.
Mr. Windows supplies and installs doors that handle the rigors of our Houston climate, while simultaneously offering an elegant and clean look.
We choose windows and doors from manufacturers who have proved themselves over the years to provide the very best in terms of performance and looks.
Keep in mind: the more suited the door for your weather, the less likely you’ll have to make all the repairs we’ve just listed!
And if you’ve already decided on and purchased a door, but just need some help with professional door installation, we’ve got you covered.
While DIY door projects may sound like a fun challenge to some, depending on the level of complexity, most Houston residents will eventually need some professional assistance.
We’re happy to serve our community through our friendly, professional, and knowledgeable team, and we look forward to helping ensure your door replacement looks phenomenal and does its job correctly, for years to come.