Doors do a lot for your home. They allow you to enter and exit your home, separate rooms from one another for privacy, security, and insulation, and even act as a safety measure against the spread of fire. When your doors aren’t functioning as they should, you’ll want to fix the problem as soon as possible. However, you can’t solve the problem without knowing the root cause. You may have an issue with your hinges, latch, or even your home painting situation. Let’s go over some of the most common culprits of door malfunctions and how to fix them.
Before we get into this issue, it’s worth noting that not all doors operate on hinges. Barn doors, for example, slide on a rail and garage doors work with a pulley system. Most standard doors found in homes, however, include hinges that allow the door to open and shut. Oftentimes, when doors won’t shut all the way, it’s due to worn down or misaligned hinges. Screws attach a hinge to the door, and after enough use, they may become loose. This may prevent the door from properly fitting into the door frame.
The pins inside hinges can also get stuck, often producing an annoying sound whenever the door moves. If this friction gets severe enough, the door may not be able to close without excess effort, if at all. The pin may need to be reset or merely lubricated with WD-40 to reduce the squeaking and loosen up the rotation.
If your hinges are working properly but your doors won’t close as they should, the door itself may no longer be compatible with the doorframe. You might wonder how this could be possible. Consider the climate. Bathroom doors, in particular, are regularly bombarded with moisture and heat from showers, baths, hairdryers, and toilet and sink use. This humid atmosphere can cause doors to warp and expand over time, especially wooden doors. These changes may be subtle, but one day you might notice that your door no longer fits in its frame like it once did.
Fortunately, most warped doors can be fixed. You’ll need to detach the door from its hinges and move it to a dry environment, lay it on a flat surface, and weigh it down evenly with heavy bags for a full day until it’s straightened out again. Of course, the humidity will strike again once you’ve reattached the door. To mitigate this moisture and its warping effects in the future, hire interior painting contractors to varnish the door and invest in better ventilation/dehumidifying solutions for that area of your home.
Standard doors stay shut thanks to a latch attached to the doorknob and a strike plate attached to the frame. If any part of this mechanism breaks, your doors will have a hard time closing and staying closed. If this seems to be the problem, you must determine which part or parts of the latching mechanism are malfunctioning. You may simply need to tighten the screws that keep the strike plate in place. Or, perhaps something is preventing the latch or doorknob from popping in and out. The latch may also be misaligned with the strike plate. If so, the door itself might be out of place, once again signaling a hinge or warping issue.
A poor interior painting job doesn’t just ruin a door’s appearance, but it can also affect its functionality. For instance, if you choose to paint a door while it’s attached to its hinges, you risk getting paint inside the hinges, which can lead to problems. Or, if you don’t allow the paint to fully dry before closing the door, it may stick to the top of the frame. These are admittedly minor concerns, typically resolved with some additional painting and cleaning, but dealing with them requires additional time and effort. Also, remember that paint contains mass. Applying too many coats of paint can effectively enlarge your door, making it a tad too big to fit snugly in the door frame. If this happens, you’ll need to sand down your door accordingly.
If you want to avoid these paint-related door problems, you should know the best practices for painting doors. Otherwise, leave this process to professional painters. They will remove your door, paint it properly, allow it to dry fully, and then reinstall your door when the time is right.
At All American Painting Plus, we can do even more for your home and doors. If your doors won’t close properly, we will investigate the problem and make necessary repairs, even if they’re not related to residential painting. To learn more about all that we can do for our clients in Northern Virginia, give us a call at (703)-620-5563!