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Stop Tugging Your Sticky Door and Tighten It Instead
Written by Peter Malik   
Thursday, 27 May 2010 21:46

Doors work hard for us. They lead us into and out of rooms, they keep belongings safe from toddlers, pets and unwanted visitors, and they sound out our anger with a firm slam. Doors help muffle the sound of disturbing noises, give us privacy for surprise planning, and close to give us a moment's peace on a moment's notice. But all this hard work can take its toll on hinged doors. Eventually, a door will start sticking when we need to rush into the bathroom, won't slam when we're throwing a tantrum, or won't close without a second tug. If your doors are sticking and squeaking, and you're tired of tugging and pulling every time you enter or leave a room, it's time to take a look at your door frames and hinges.

Stand on the side of the troublesome door where you can see the hinges. Look at the top and bottom corners of the door that are on the side of the doorknob as you are opening and closing the door. If you see either of the corners rub against the frame, your sticky door might be caused by a few loose screws.

Open the door all the way to access the screws, and tighten them with a screwdriver that has a tip the same length of the screw. A screwdriver that is too small or too wide can further damage the screws. Sometimes just tightening the screws a little bit can make a difference in your door's alignment, so test your door after a few small turns.

If the slots of your screws have some dried up paint covering the screw slot, just dip a cotton swab into some paint thinner and dab it on. Let the paint thinner soak in for about ten minutes, then scrape it out with a paperclip or the tip of your screwdriver, then try tightening the screws.

If your screws keep turning and don't tighten, the screw holes have probably enlarged from all the movement. You can take the old screws out and replace them with screws of a larger diameter to cure the problem. Unfortunately, some hinges might not let you take in larger screws, and you'll have to take the door down.

Test your door after you've adjusted the screws and see if the corners are aligned with the frame. Make sure the top and bottom corners aren't touching the frame. Open and close the door to test it. If it moves free and clear, your problem is solved. If you can't fit in screws that have a larger diameter, or the door still does not open and close properly, you'll have to take down the door to do some more work and inspect it to see if there's other structural damage causing the door to stick.

Hopefully, a few twists of a screwdriver is all it will take to get your door swinging with ease, and then you can get back to enjoying your privacy and get a good night's sleep behind your easy-to-close door.