f your house suffers from damp, then you’ll probably have noticed some tell-tale signs – mould growing in corners or around windowsills, your walls being damp to touch, wallpaper peeling off, and a musty, stale smell that you can’t get rid of. One of the other signs of damp is that your internal doors may swell, due to the increased moisture in the air and the naturally absorbent properties of wood, which most internal doors are made from. This can cause your doors to stick in the frames and not close properly.
But what can you do about it?
Before you start to shave off the edges of your doors to get them to fit comfortably, you should instead try to tackle the damp in your home. Restoring the internal environment to normal and reducing the moisture in the air, should also take care of your sticking doors, and means you aren’t left with doors with gaps around them once your damp problem is under control.
Try these tips for starters:
· Ventilation is key for reducing damp problems. Make sure you have fresh air circulating around your house by opening the windows each morning. You also need to make sure there is a small gap around furniture against walls so that air can circulate here too, otherwise mould can start to grow unnoticed behind them.
· Keep your home warm. Damp can quickly appear in rooms that are unheated and where it is easier for condensation to build up.
· Avoid creating more moisture in the home by drying clothes outdoors and making sure the bathroom and kitchen are well ventilated and have powerful extractor fans in place.
· If you can’t dry your clothes outdoors, a dehumidifier will help to control the amount of moisture in the air. This can be emptied daily to remove the water which has been pulled out of the air in your home. Energy efficient models don’t cost a lot to run, and can be kept running until you get your damp problem under control.
When it comes to treating your internal doors against damp, there are some additional tips which may help prevent the sticking problem:
· Untreated doors can be more prone to water absorption, so create a barrier by using a wood stain or varnish to seal your doors.
Here’s an old trick for doors which are swollen and won’t shut properly – close the door gently and establish exactly where the door is sticking against the frame. Then take a bar of soap and gently rub it along the edge of the door and the frame. This lubricates the sticking point and will help the door close more easily – without the need for shaving it down and potentially damaging your door in the process.