Repair an Exterior Door, The doors in our homes are often subject to high levels of traffic and abuse. In addition to this heavy use, these doors must also withstand exterior elements like wind, rain and sunlight. It’s no wonder then that exterior doors tend to require regular maintenance to keep them functioning as intended. One of the most common problems homeowners will face with an exterior door is the inability to keep the door tightly shut. This occurs when hardware gets loose or worn out over time. Fortunately, this problem is relatively easy to fix for most DIY homeowners. Within a few hours, you can have your door shutting tightly again using simple tools and techniques.
Things You’ll Need
- Deck screws
- Metal file
- Wood shims
- New lock (optional)
Tighten the Hinges
Examine the base of your door. The No. 1 reason that doors fail to shut tightly is that the hinges loosen over time, causing the door to sag. When this happens you’ll likely see that the bottom of the door is lower along the lock side than the hinge side. If this is the case, use wood shims or some other flat object to prop up the bottom of the door as you work to resolve the problem.
Tighten the screws on the hinges using a screwdriver. Start at the top hinge, which tends to bear the heaviest load of the three. Tighten all the screws in both leaves of this hinge. Add screws to any empty holes you see. Once you’re finished, check the door to see if this has resolved your problem. If it has not, proceed to Step 3.
Check the screws in the middle and bottom hinges and tighten them as you did the top hinge. Add screws as needed to fill empty holes.
Repair stripped screws by replacing them with longer deck screws. If you are trying to tighten the hinge screws and they just keep spinning in the hole, they are likely stripped. Remove them and replace them with screws that are long enough to pass through the door frame into the framing on the other side. You’ll likely need screws between two and three inches wide for this purpose.
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