Sticking doors are a common problem, and even though they often only take minutes to fix, most people will continue to struggle rather than sort it. Whether you never quite get around to it or you’re not sure what to do, it makes more sense to address the issue rather than let it get worse!
Our More 4 Doors team has put together some super simple steps on how to fix sticking doors, so stop stalling, pick up your screwdriver and let’s get to it!
Should You Repair or Replace?
First of all, assess the door hinges and decide whether they need a simple repair or replacing altogether. This judgement can be made in seconds; you should look out for any rust or corrosion, particularly on external doors. If rust, corrosion or excessive wear and tear is apparent, a replacement is on the cards.
Finding the Sticking Point
By finding the sticking point, you’ll get to the root of the problem and be able to get your door repair underway. You can determine this by simply opening and closing the door a few times, keeping an eye out for where the door catches as you push and pull on it.
If the sticking point isn’t clear, one handy tip is to apply chalk onto the edge of the door – you’ll be able to spot the chalk on the door frame after opening and closing, quickly identifying the problem area.
More often than not, you’ll find that the sticking point is related to the door latch and strike plate; other problem areas include loose hinges or the door jamb.
Repairing a Strike Plate
If you’ve identified the sticking point at the latch or strike plate, a repair won’t take long. The strike plate is ordinarily the main culprit when it comes to a stuck door, it’s prone to loosening over time through everyday wear and tear, but thankfully, it’s also easy enough to remedy.
Take note of the screw size on the strike plate and grab a manual or electric screwdriver with the right fixture; tightening the screws thoroughly will result in the strike plate being realigned and your door should open and shut smoothly, sitting flush with the frame.
Fixing a Door Hinge
Should the door be sagging and hanging unevenly, the problem is likely to stem from your door’s hinges. This is a common problem that occurs over time as people naturally drag on the door while opening and closing.
Thankfully, this is an easy fix. You’ll be able to clearly see which screws have loosened on your internal or external door hinge; simply take a screwdriver and tighten the exposed screws on each door hinge.
If you’ve tightened the hinges and the door is still sticking, the issue could lie with the door jamb and that it has started to pull away from the door frame. Again, this is a fairly simple fix. You’ll need a drill with the appropriate sized drill bit and a wood screw (around three inches); drill a pilot hole into the sticking point on the door jamb and insert the wood screw through the jamb and into the frame to tighten.
Altering the Door
If you’ve exhausted all of the above options or you think that they’re not the issue, the problem could lie with the door itself. Wooden doors are prone to swelling in humid conditions or, if the home is new, during the time a house takes to settle. This can affect both the door and the door frame, causing the door to rub and stick.
In such cases, there’s likely to be multiple sticking points that you’ll need to address. Though this takes a little more work than grabbing a screwdriver, it’s still fairly straightforward.
You’ll need to identify the sticking points using the chalk method we mentioned earlier, once these are marked out, slide out the hinge pins and remove the door. You’ll then need to use a belt sander to sand the sticking points on the surface of the door before reattaching the door to check that it’s stick-free. If you still encounter sticking, repeat this process until you’re able to open the door with ease then refinish the sanded areas of the door.
If you’re looking for more expert advice and handy how-to guides, check out the More 4 Doors blog page.