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5 Most Common Problems with Doors

Last modified: 2020-01-22 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Amanda Harvey

The doors of your home play a significant role in keeping things looking and feeling comfortable. Your front door is a portal into the interior, whilst the doors of each individual room allow for privacy and maintain proper temperatures.

But of course, as with all the bits and pieces of a home, problems will eventually arise that cause your doors to work incorrectly and/or inefficiently or to be plain annoying. 

In order to keep on top of the inner workings of your home, it helps to be aware of common problems that can occur with your doors. Luckily, door maintenance is straightforward and can be done by the novice among us. So, if you’re curious or looking to fix a door in your home, we’d suggest you continue reading.

5 most common problems with doors

exterior doors

1- Doors that stick

More common in older homes, but a pretty prominent problem is a sticky door. We know all too well the feeling of pulling on a handle with force or having to slam a door just to keep it shut. A sticky door is a sign of structural settling, and will often rub against the jamb at the top. 

Since this points to a deeper structural issue, there isn’t much to be done aside from altering the door itself. This will come down to trimming a door so it’s able to properly sit in the frame. Make sure to take note of where the door is sticking exactly, trimming it in the area you’ve marked off.

Following this job, you’ll need to repaint and restain the door. This step is very important, as it will keep moisture out, and moisture will lead to further deterioration and problems. Of course, reinstall the door in place and make sure it no longer binds. If you find it does, just repeat the process of slowly altering it until it sits near-perfectly in place.

open door

2- Hinge issues

It’s likely, even normal, that you are using your doors on a daily basis. For all doors that are heavily used, there comes a time in their life when they will face hinge issues.

If you’re finding your door sticking around the lock edge or interior side, this generally points to a sloppy hinge that is out of place or needs to be tightened. As may be obvious, this is a fairly easy fix and involves tightening the hinge screws. Make sure to tighten screws on the side of both the jamb and the door. 

If tightening doesn’t quite do the trick, or you’ve taken this route numerous times and are experiencing the same problem, then this could point to the fact that the screw holes themselves are worn out or stripped. If you discover this to be the case, use larger and longer screws to compensate.

3- A rattling door

A rattling door is annoying and disruptive. Luckily, it’s easy to detect what’s creating this problem, as there are 3 main reasons why your door is rattling:

  • The strike plate has recessed;
  • The latch bolt is no longer aligned;
  • The strike plate needs to be reset.

If your doorway has been painted several times over the course of the last few years, it’s possible that the strike plate has recessed. Alternatively, check out the latch plate and see if it aligns with the hole in the strike.

If it doesn’t, this will need to be remedied by filling the strike plate. If neither of these fixes seems to do the trick, the strike plate will need to be reset in place. 

White front door on brick home

4- A door that won’t stay open

If you notice your door slamming shut behind you, or refusing to stay open, chances are that it’s out of plumb. In order to correct this issue, you will need a shim that sits between the back of the hinge and the door jamb.

The hinge screws will need to be loosened almost entirely for you to install the shim, adjusting the amount you insert as you go in order for it to swing correctly. 

Pink door with door handle

5- A door that hits the wall

Another common but disruptive problem is a door that continuously hits the wall. Not only will this wear away the paint, but it could also begin to lead to deterioration of the wall itself.

This issue generally points to a timeless solution: the doorstop. There are 3 distinct types of door stops on the market, and the one you’re looking for will be dependant on your situation:

Solid/flexible stop: This is the simplest option to work with, and consists of a screw-on one hand and a rubber cap on the other. 

Hinge stop: This style is used when trying to limit the span that a door can open.

Floor stop: This is the strongest of doorstops, and will attach directly to the floor. If you’re working with a commercial space, this is an excellent option. 

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