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Common Door Issues You Can Fix Yourself

A Few Tips from Our Experts

At P.J. Fitzpatrick, our door installation and repair experts know a thing or two about door issues. Throughout the years, we’ve completed many common repairs that can actually be done by homeowners. If you experience any of these door problems, all you need are a few supplies and a little handiwork to get the job done yourself.

A Door That Sticks

If your door sticks and doesn’t swing cleanly open, you need to adjust the size of the door relative to the entryway. First, try cleaning the hinges to remove any dirt and build-up and then tighten them down with a screwdriver. If that doesn’t work, you may need to sand down the area of the door that’s catching on the frame.

A Door with a Loose Handle

Tightening a loose handle is pretty easy, especially if you have a door with newer hardware that uses exposed screws. If this is the case, simply use your screwdriver to tighten the handle. If you have a door with older hardware and no exposed screws, locate the button on the side of the door knob and use a screwdriver to push it in and pull the knob off. Then, use the screwdriver to press the release notch and release the cover plate. After that, you’ll be able to tighten the screws.

A Door That Swings Open

If you have a door that swings open even if it’s slightly ajar, all you need to do is bend the hinge pin. First, put a wood shim between the door and the frame so that it doesn’t move. Then, use a nail to drive out the upper pin and use a hammer to bend it a little. If the door still swings open, do the same thing to the bottom hinge.

A Door with a Dent

A dented steel door is a pretty simple door repair, but if you don’t have the original paint color of the door, you may need to repaint the whole thing. First, remove the paint around the dent and roughen the area with sandpaper. After that, use auto body filler and a wide putty knife to fill in the dent. (If the dent is a deep one, you may need to add layers of filler). Once it’s dry, sand down the filler so it’s flush with the rest of the door, then paint over it.

A Door with a Stuck Deadbolt

If your deadbolt is stuck or hard to turn, it may just need a little lubrication. Spray the keyhole with Teflon lube spray, then insert and turn your key to spread it around. If that doesn’t work, use a screwdriver to take off the lock cylinder and spray the lube onto the bolt mechanism. Then, replace the cylinder.

A Door That Doesn’t Latch

Over time, your home can settle and your doors may not latch like they used to; you may find yourself having to pull up or down on the door in order for it to close. Instead of moving the strike plate, simply use a rotary tool designed for metal cutting to widen the strike plate hole. Put safety goggles on and then slightly shave down the hole. Test whether the door latches and if it doesn’t, keep shaving in small stages until the opening is the right size.

 

A Door That Needs New Hinges

There are different types of door hinges available so in this situation, the best thing to do is to take the door off of its frame and remove the hinges. Then, take the hinges with you to your nearest home improvement store to make sure you buy the right ones. When replacing the hinges, make sure you put them on the same way you removed the old ones and that they’re lined up perfectly before you tighten down the mounting screws.

If you find you have a door issue that you simply can’t fix yourself, don’t hesitate to call our door installation and repair experts!

P.J. Fitzpatrick, Inc.

21 Industrial Blvd
New Castle, DE 19720

  • NJ Lic. #13VH01142000
  • DE Lic. #2009603070
  • PA Lic. #PA011323
  • MD Lic. #130457
  • Bath
  • PA# 107078
  • DE# 2013601085
  • NJ# 13VH08201500

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