With time, doors may sag and stick in the jamb. This deterioration also affects the performance of deadbolts or doorknobs. Here are seven key steps to eliminate it.
The cause may be as simple as loose hinges. It may also be a symptom of more complex issues – for example, door sags due to settling of the foundation. If this is the case, deal with sagging first and address settling later.
Tighten the Screws
Try tightening the hinge screws. Do it the old-school way using the screwdriver because a drill may strip them. Try closing and opening the door afterward – the problem may be resolved.
Replace the Screws
You may try replacing loose screws with longer ones. For the jamb, the best choice is a 3-inch screw as it must sink deep into the frame. In general, choose screws that are at least an inch longer than the old ones.
You may find that some of the holes have widened or the screw does not bite them. In this case, you may use a couple of wooden match sticks to pack the opening. Cover them with carpenter’s glue and let it dry first. Next, cut them flush with the wood and try driving the screw back in.
If the door is still sagging, try shimming out the hinge at the top or bottom of your door. First, open the door and place support or a wooden wedge under it to relieve tension. Starting with the top hinge, remove the hinge and put 1-2 pieces of plain paper between it and the jamb. Screw the new hinge on. Alternatively, you may set it deeper into the door or jamb by chiseling out the mortise.
Add One 3-inch Screw
Driving one screw into the jamb may help loosen a sticking door, as it will draw the jamb against the frame. Choose a point where sticking is the strongest.
Readjust the Jamb
If none of the above works, try taking the door down and replumbing the jamb. This step may be considered if the gap at the top or bottom is at least 1/4 inch wide. To see which of the side gems needs readjustment, measure their levels. In some cases, both should be repositioned.
Take off the Casing
If you know which side jamb is to blame, use a pry bar to pry the casing off both sides of it. Pull out the bottom of the jamb and replace the shims. Use a level to plumb the jamb and nail it back to the frame. Finally, change the casing and rehang the door.
Did It Work?
These stops eliminate sagging in most cases. If you are still experiencing problems, or feel you lack the experience to resolve the problem by yourself, contact your local repair team. Door sagging is a common issue, but it is not that difficult to fix.