Home Repair Tips – Door and Frames

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

Doors are subject to constant use, so it is understandable that they don’t always open and close properly. All doors have the same problems. They are caused either by the frame and door or by the hardware. Door and frame problems include:

• Swelling

• Warping

• A loose fit

Wood swells when moisture gets into it. Never sand or plane a swollen door. Wait until the weather gets drier or remove the door and keep it in a dry, warm place until the swelling goes down. If the door continues to stick even after the wood is dry, inspect it to find out where it is binding. Then lightly sand the area until the door moves freely. Seal the wood and finish with paint or varnish. The sealer and paint will keep moisture from swelling the wood again. Be sure to seal top and bottom of doors as well.

Humidity can also cause doors to warp. A warped door lets heat out in the winter and, in summer, lets heat in. You can straighten a warped door by removing the door and piling weights on the, bulging part. But it’s usually easier to pry loose the side stop and renail it to fit the warped door.

Since there is always a little swelling and shrinking, doors should be smaller than their openings. To have the door work properly but fit tightly, use weather stripping. The simplest weather stripping is adhesive-backed plastic foam. To install it, first clean the door stop. Remove grease and dirt. Then press the weather stripping along the top and side of the door frame

Seal the bottom of the door with a folding (hinged) threshold seal, or use a special aluminum-plastic strip that tacks into the threshold. You can purchase weather stripping in specific lengths or cut it to size.

Self-adhesive weather stripping is pressed along the door stop as the paper backing is removed. Since straightened doors fre quently warp again, it is easier to move the door stop to fit the door than to try to reshape the door. Remove the stop. With the door closed, draw a guide line on the frame and renail the stop along this line.

The bottom of the door can be sealed with a special strip attached directly to the door. Another type of seal, made of plastic and aluminum, fits right into the threshold.

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