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How to fix doors that are sticking

20/09/2016
  • If you’re suffering from sticking doors in your home, you’ll know how frustrating it can be – not only don’t they close properly (if at all) but you have to tug too hard on the handle to get them open again which can lead to damage and further repairs. Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to fix this problem. Here are some handy tips on how to fix doors that are sticking that don’t cost the earth and that you can do yourself.

    First, identify the cause of the problem. In some cases, the hinges and jambs might need a slight adjustment, in other cases humidity can cause excess moisture in the air which can cause wooden doors to swell and stick in the frame. If your house suffers from damp this problem can be present all year long, and get worse in the winter. It’s likely to cause other issues too – like drawers sticking in rooms where the damp issue is more prevalent.

    So what can you do about it?

    Screwdriver adjustments

    If it’s the hinges that need some attention, this is normally a simple fix using your screwdriver. Screw carefully, and keep checking the door as you go to check your progress. Over time, screws can work themselves lose, but you don’t want to go too far and screw them in so far that you damage the wood and the frame. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend that you use an electric drill.

    Dehumidifier

    If your doors are sticking because of the humidity in your home, a dehumidifier could be the answer, and means you don’t have to do any work at all to the doors or frames – simply plug it in and let it suck the excess moisture from the air.

    Treating damp

    If your doors are sticking all year long, then it could be a sign of damp. Moisture in the air can be very bad for wood – it absorbs it and this can permanently alter the shape of your furniture. Treating damp once and for all will be better long term for your home and your health, but in the meantime you can also use the dehumidifier to keep damp at bay.

    Candlewax or soap

    For a sticking door that is caused by friction a simple trick is to rub a bar of soap along the edge that is catching to reduce the friction. This is an ideal solution for occasional sticking but is also only a temporary fix and you might need to repeat it every now and again for maximum benefit.

    Sanding

    This is an absolute last resort, and a permanent fix, so if your door is sticking due to a temporary issue like the weather this is not an advisable solution. To fix a door that needs to be trimmed, you need to remove it, take it outside, sand it, and then rehang it and repaint or refinish it so that it looks like the rest of the door – it’s quite a laborious process.