04/05/2023 Posted By Siarhei Konushok

why doors don't stay closed doordesignlab

We don’t care a lot about a well-functioning door, but we start to realize its true worth when it begins to annoy us by shutting or opening on its own. It can be because of improper installation of the door, excessive use of the door, or it can be improperly aligned at the strike plate, latch, or the hinges.

Fixing a Door That Won’t Stay Open

If the door won't stay open, then it is because of loose hinges. Or, there can be an issue with the door jab. Here is how you can fix this problem for good.

Tools You'll Need

      • - Screwdriver;
      • - door stopper;
      • - hammer;
      • - plumb line;
      • - chisel;
      • - vice.

Step 1: Examining The Door Hinges

First of all, you need to examine the door hinges to see their condition. Use a stopper to give support to your door, or you can use some magazines as well. Now try to tighten the hinges. Hopefully, it'll fix the problem. If it doesn't, then move to the next step.

Step 2: Inspecting Misalignment of The Door Hinges

Check the pin of the hinge to see if it is full of oil or grease. Remove the excess oil or grease. There is a possibility that an over-greased door is causing the issue. If that's not the case, then you need to check the misalignment of the door hinges.

Step 3: Fixing the Hinge Pin

Take out the hinge pin from one of the hinges and place it in a vice. Now, use a hammer to gently and slowly tap it. Make sure it is not bent a lot; a slight bent would be enough. Put the pin back into the hinge. Repeat the entire process with other hinge pins and hooks. Test the door to check if it works properly and if it doesn't, then move to the next step.

Step 4: Leveling All The Hinges

Use a door stopper to provide support to the door at the right level. Start loosening the hinge screws. Place a shim between the frame of the door and the hinge. Tighten the door screws to check the alignment of the door. If it doesn't help, move to the next step.

Step 5: Using a Chisel

Slow take away the door from the frame and remove hanging hinge screws. Start deepening the areas where the hinges rest by using a chisel. If needed, you can also use new hinges. Re-hang the door by putting top pin first, bottom pin second, and middle pin last. It will help with the alignment of the hinges. If it still doesn't work, repeat the process. We are confident it will fix your door that won't stay open.

Fixing A Door That Won’t Stay Closed

It is frustrating to have one door in the house that just won't stay closed. So, here are some easy-to-follow steps to fix the problem.

Step 1: Tighten The Hinges

Take a screwdriver and tighten the door hinges. It may or may not fix the issue, but you should definitely give it a try. It is because sometimes doors won't stay closed only because of some loose hinges.

Step 2: Fix a Door Gap Problem

Shut the door to notice if there is a gap between frame and door along the side with the latch. There should be an even gap all the way down. If you notice that the gap is wider at the top or bottom, the removal of screws in hinges closer to the wider gap will solve the problem. You can also use cardboard shims to fix the issue.

Step 3: Readjusting The Door Frame

The reason why the door barely catches the latch is that the gap between the frame and door is too wide. You can readjust the door to get at the shims by removing the trim along the latch side. Take a 1/16-in.-thick cardboard strip and slip it behind each hinge. It will help narrow the gap and fix the problem.

Step 4: Fixing The Strike Plate Issue

Close the door to see if the latch is hitting the strike plate too high or too low. If you notice any sort of misalignment, then simply use a file to enlarge the hole in the strike plate.

Step 5: Removing The Strike Plate

If enlarging the hole in the strike plate doesn't fix the problem, then it is best to remove the strike plate. Once you remove it, enlarge the shallow groove by using a chisel. Reattach the strike plate to see if it is aligned with the latch.

Step 6: Bending The Hinge Pin

If the door keeps on swinging open, then there is a high possibility it is because the door frame isn't plumb. Instead of changing the door frame (which can be expensive), you can try a much easier fix. Take a few scraps of wood, a hammer, a shim, and a large nail. Stick the shim between the jamb and the door so that you can easily drive out the upper hinge. Slightly bend the pin and reinsert it. If it doesn't work, repeat the whole process with the lower hinge.

The Bottom Line

For doors that won't stay open, you need to fix loose hinges without wasting any time as it can lead to further complications. It is because the door's alignment becomes worse with time and it leads to a more challenging fixing job. For doors that won’t stay closed, fixing the gap between the door and frame along the side of the latch will fix the problem without any hassle. Instead of calling a handyman, you can fix your door without quite easily. So, give it a try and if nothing works then just remember that you can always call a professional.