How to Fix Some Common Door Problems

Posted on: July 18th, 2019

New or old, doors around the house do over time, develop niggling little problems.

There are a variety of minor problems associated with doors, and here, we shall address the most common faults in a step by step manner.

No special skills are needed, just a few basic tools and a little thought, care, and attention.

But do take care; or you may need to add plasters to the shopping list.       

Doors Sticking

This is one of the most common problems encountered with doors and is usually caused by a progressive build-up of paint or because of wet or humid weather causing the door to swell.

First thing to do is check over the door and find out where the problem area is;

Is the door aligned correctly?

Can you see any warping on the door?

Are the hinges installed nice and tight?

Can you see any missing screws?

Is the catch loose and sticking out?

Once you have established the section of door that needs attention and ruled out the ironmongery as the culprit, it may be that you can cure the problem by simply rubbing the edge of the door down with sandpaper. Easy!

If the issue lies with the top or bottom edge of the door, you may need to take the door off its hinges, remove any locks and bolts, stand the door on its edge, and plane the edge with a wood-plane.         

External wooden doors can be particularly prone to sticking along the bottom edge due to the absorption of rain and damp.

In extreme cases the only answer is to remove the door, dry out the door edge, as best as possible; you will find this easier with a hot air gun.

Once dry, mark a straight line along the bottom of the door and plane carefully to give a nice neat and straight finish.   

Doors that Squeak!     

Doors that squeak usually have an alignment issue which is resulting is an uneven distribution of weight over the hinges. Over time the parts of the hinge rub together, causing a squeak. The best way to resolve this issue is to double check the positioning of the hinges and ensure they are securely fixed in position.

For a quicker, alternative fix, you can lubricate the hinges with one of the several aerosol sprays available on the market. Simply spray and wipe off! Squeak eliminated.

In the case of rising butt hinges; lift the door off, grease the vertical pins, wipe off the excess; and that should be it.   

Doors that won’t close     

Over time doors can sag or houses settle, and the result can be that a latch will no longer catch and keep the door closed. This can also happen when a door swells, both cases resulting in misalignment of the latch with the striking plate.

If the misalignment is only slight, try one of the following:

  • Check the top hinge – all screws tight and accounted for?
  • Loosen the catch screws and knock the catch down a mm or two
  • a medium metal file will often cure the problem-opening up the latch recess just enough to allow engagement of the sprung latch

Where the misalignment is a bit more severe, then you may have to remove the latch strike plate, fill the old screw holes in and re-drill and fit in the new position.   

Doors that Slam

A door can slam shut for several reasons; air pressure in the room changing, heavy handedness, door ironmongery becoming loose or misalignment of the door.     

If the first two don’t seem to be the issue, then we suggest;

  • check the hinges are flat, in good condition and screwed in tight
  • a simple door stop
  • sticking felt dampener pads in the door frame
  • door closers

Doors that Spring Open         

No, they do not have a mind of their own! It only seems like they do sometimes.

Doors that are difficult to close or tend to spring open are termed as Hinge-bound doors.

When the hinge recesses are too deep, the door sits too close into the frame and springs open.

 This is not a development over time but incorrect installation.

This is not a big problem.

Simply loosen off the hinge screws and insert a piece of card (same size as the hinge plate) behind the hinge and re-tighten the screws.

This should pack-out the hinge eliminating the sprung tension.


We can help!

At Absolute Hardware we have a selection of wood screws available that could be just what you need to tighten up those loose hinges with.

If you are installing a new door or have decided to replace the door hinges completely in your problem door then why not browse our selection of door hinges .

We have a wide variety of butt hinges suitable for use in the home available in a selection of finishes and sizes to suit many applications and decorative tastes including:

  • Antique Brass
  • Black
  • Chrome
  • Electro Brass
  • Stainless Steel
  • Fire Door Hinges
  • Zinc Plated

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