How to Fix a Loose Door Latch So Your Door Doesn’t Shake

Last Edited: 9/15/23

Fixing a loose door latch.
When a closed door is shaking due to wind blowing, or changes in interior air pressure, the spring-loaded lock isn’t fitting well into the strike plate of the door. This is caused by the metal tab on the strike plate being bent away from the door and being unable to properly capture the latch.

While a loose door latch is an annoying problem, the fix is usually simple.

Loose Door Latch? We Can Help!

Here’s what you’ll need to fix a door that is loose in the latch:

  • A Phillips and flathead screwdriver.
  • A pair of pliers (in some cases)

Fix One

Place the screwdriver inside the tab where the door latches and then bend the tab on the strike plate until it’s straight again. Be careful when bending the tab, making sure not to push it too far the other way.

When the tab is straightened out, try opening and closing the door. If it latches properly without shaking when closed, the problem is fixed.

Fix Two

If fix one doesn’t work or there isn’t a slot to insert your screwdriver to bend the tab, remove the strike plate from the door by unscrewing the screws that attach it to the doorframe. The type of screwdriver you’ll need will depend on the type of screws that hold the strike plate onto your door.

Use a pair of pliers to bend the tab on the strike plate. Once you’re happy with the adjustment, reattach the strike plate by placing it back on to the door and tightening the screws.

If the problem is fixed, you should be able to close the door properly and notice that the rattling has stopped.

Get a Professional Solution to Your Door Problem

If you’re still having problems with the door rattling, it’s time for professional door repair services from Mr. Handyman. Our experienced carpentry experts can quickly assess if repair or replacement of the entire latch is the best option, and resolve the issue to your satisfaction.  

Get started by requesting service from your local Mr. Handyman or calling today.