Loose Exterior Door

thesoupmamaSeptember 9, 2010

We have an exterior door that was put on an enclosed porch/mudroom that we had put on a few years ago. The door worked fine in the beginning and it has a dead bolt lock as well as the door lock. After about a year, the door began getting harder and harder to lock, and felt loose. Now, we can no longer lock the door, it doesn't seem to "catch" and won't lock at all(both locks). This past summer it is so loose that a light wind will blow it open. I have to put a chair up against it to keep it closed. It almost looks like the door is too small for the opening. Now what?

Any suggestions?

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Check the hinge screws into the jamb.

The supplied screws are often so short they do not reach into the framing and the load of the door pulls the screws part way out of the wood.

The door than sags and becomes hard to close (it rubs on the lock side of the threshold) and the locks in the door no longer line up with the strike plates for the locks.

If you remove a screw you should be able to get longer screws of the same type (normally flat head) and size (#9 is common) but at least 2.5 to 3 inches long to replace at least one short screw on each hinge (and two per hinge is much better).

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 9:44AM
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If what brickeyee recommended does not work---and it should since short screws are the usual problem---it could be the screrws for the hinge to the door side.

Longer screws can work, depending on the door construction.You only want to use a screw about a half inch longer, however.

Another possible fix is to remove a screw and stick a couple of toothpicks in the screw hole, and replace the screw.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 10:01AM
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"You only want to use a screw about a half inch longer, however. "

Still so short it will not reach the framing.

You want to get a decent length of the screw into the framing around the jamb.

The jamb is about 3/4 inch, there is a shim gap of about 1/4 inch, and then there should be framing.

You want full diameter screw threads into the framing.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 11:41AM
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The half inch longer is for the DOOR side of the hinge.

I agreed with you on the frame side.

Sheesh, read what I wrote.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 1:53AM
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"Sheesh, read what I wrote. "

It was less than clear.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 9:58AM
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