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9 Common Door Problems and How to Fix Them

Post by on September 17th, 2020

Whether your doors have just been installed or they have been in place for years, there are many different types of problems that can occur. Problems ranging from a lack of lubrication to old and worn-out hinges can cause issues that are both irritating and inconvenient.

If you have started experiencing an issue with one or multiple doors, check out our guide on some of the most common door problems and solutions.

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1. Door Hinge Problems

Hinges play a significant role in a door’s ability to open and close. Even though they do most of the work, hinge problems are fairly easy to repair.

One common hinge problem, which can naturally occur over time and from daily usage, is a loose hinge. Most of the time, all you have to do is retighten the screws using a manual or electric screwdriver.

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Another common problem is a squeaky hinge. To solve this problem, just take some WD-40 or olive oil and lubricate the entire hinge — including the hinge pins and tops of the pin slots — and then wipe away any excess lubricant. If that does not fix it, or the hinge is too old and rusty, you likely need to replace the entire hinge.

2. Door That Won’t Stay Latched

A door that will not stay latched is an inconvenience because it is not doing what it is meant to do. Instead of using something heavy to keep the door shut or trying repeatedly to jam it back in place, you can easily fix the issue by checking how the door fits in the frame.

Depending on how it fits, you might need to either install longer screws or readjust the strike plate up or down to realign everything. The door must be able to contact the strike plate to open and close as it should.

3. A Drafty Door

A drafty door is not just uncomfortable. It can also drastically affect your energy bills since you’ll be using your heating and cooling system more often to help regulate the temperature indoors.

To fix a drafty door, you first have to figure out how the drafts are entering. Most commonly, this occurs because of worn-out weatherstripping or because your door is not closing flush against the frame.

Most of the time, replacing or adding new weatherstripping will prevent air from entering or escaping. If it does not, you will have to consider replacing the entire door.

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4. The Door Is Sticking

A sticky door can be caused by something as simple as a dirty hinge or something as complicated as a foundation issue. When you are trying to troubleshoot a sticky door, start with simple solutions.

First, try cleaning out the hinges. If that does not work, it’s time to dig a little deeper and see where the door might be sticking. Check out the door jamb and see if you need to add some space there to prevent sticking. You can do this by screwing a long screw in through the latch side and into the door’s frame.

If that does not work, you might have multiple sticking points on your door that need to be sanded down.

5. Misaligned Bottom Wall Plates

If a door’s bottom wall plates are misaligned, you will have a very hard time getting the door flush against the doorstop. To fix this, try moving the parts of the door jambs — either the hinge side or the latch side — into the same plane.

Another method of troubleshooting this issue is to tap the top of the jamb using a block and hammer to move the top part of the door once you have screwed the latch side brackets into the wall.

6. The Door Is Uneven at the Top

Sometimes, if the door is not installed on a level surface, one side of the door could end up higher than the other at the top. Another cause could be that the door hinge side is out of plumb.

First, to fix an uneven door, try checking to see if the door is out of plumb by using a level. If the issue is caused by an uneven floor, you will most likely need to trim down either the latch side or the hinge side of the door. You can figure out how much of the door side you need to cut down by measuring the gap on the low part of the floor.

7. The Trim Does Not Fit

If your door trim is not fitting correctly, you will have to take a look at various parts ranging from the hinges to the casing to see where the problem is. If necessary, you can also use a miter saw to cut it. Depending on how it has been installed, you might need to slightly bevel it back as well to fit it into place.

8. Warped Door

Over time, if a door has been exposed to a lot of moisture or it does not fit into the doorstop very well, it can begin to warp. First, check to see if the unit is out of plumb with the wall. You want to ensure that it follows the same plane as the hinge side on the door.

If the door has become damaged and warped due to moisture, it is best to replace it.

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9. The Door Closes on Its Own

A door that closes on its own can be frustrating to deal with. Most of the time, this happens because the door is out of plumb and is closing because of its own weight.

To keep it from doing that, you will need to add some resistance in the door’s hinges by hammering down on the top hinge pin and creating a bend in it. You can also add a spring hinge and adjust it to prevent the door from shutting.

Manhattan Door Corporation: Your Source for Premier Commercial Interior Doors

We at Manhattan Door have over 80 years of industry experience and understand what it takes to exceed our customers’ performance, design and security expectations for commercial doors. To learn more or start designing custom commercial wood doors using our superior craftsmanship techniques, contact our team today.

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4 responses to “9 Common Door Problems and How to Fix Them”

  • Alice Carroll
    28 Apr, 2022 2 years ago

    Thanks for the reminder that hinge problems can be quite common when it comes to commercial doors. I’d like to know more about commercial door repairs because I want to be able stay on top of the maintenance needs of my property. It would be problematic to have front door that isn’t working properly.

  • John Carston
    Location: Los Angeles
    31 May, 2022 2 years ago

    It helped when you said that if your door is too old, it could have lubricant problems because of the weather. Our current door is old and broken, and thanks to this informative article, we can consult a well-known door installation service as they can provide more details about their services.

  • John Carston
    Location: Los Angeles
    10 Aug, 2022 2 years ago

    I like the tip that you gave that opening and closing problems of doors are hinges problems

  • wayne
    Location: Beamsville Ontario Canada
    12 Mar, 2023 1 year ago

    My door does not touch the top of the door stop

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