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Fixing Sticky Doors

Fixing Sticky Doors

caring for a solid wood door

Over time, a wood door may become sticky or difficult to open. Aside from being particularly annoying, it can also be potentially damaging to a door that sticks. This is due to increased stress and pressures on the door that are not intended. The solutions for fixing sticky doors depend entirely on the cause, and there are many possible causes.

One big reason why wood doors can become sticky is a change in humidity. Because wood doors are natural products, they contract in dry air and expand in humidity. This humid expansion is sometimes referred to as door swelling. You can limit the amount of swelling by using a quality finish that locks in the current moisture content while preventing additional moisture from entering the door. Another way to diminish the harsher effects of excessive sun and moisture on a door is to ensure you have an adequate overhang over exterior doors.

If you notice that the finish has started to fade or has chips or cracks in it, you may want to consider refinishing the door. This can help extend the door’s life. It also provides a great opportunity to rehang the door, while paying attention to loose screws and hinges.

Sometimes the door and frame has shifted or is misaligned as a result of the house settling. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent your home from settling, but there are a few simple tricks you can adjust the door so it is no longer misaligned. First, look at the strike plate and bolt to determine if there is any misalignment. Next, look along the outside edge of the door and watch as it closes into the frame to check for contact points. If you can determine a specific point where the door is sticking, sand the area down using a light sand paper and reapply the finish. This should allow just enough room for the door to open and close without rubbing on the frame.

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