The Essential Door Repair Guide

The passageways that lead into our homes and separate our rooms are often forgotten. You probably only think about your front entryway when you're unlocking it to get inside. Likewise, passing through interior entries is rarely a moment that stands out among the crowded hours of your busy day. There are only two exceptions to the unobtrusive nature of ordinary openings on your property: problem portals and exceptional entryways.

If a door sticks, or it doesn't line up properly with its frame, or it doesn't latch properly, you're going to be left thinking about the issue every time you use that entryway. You'll have the same experience if your interior and exterior entries are especially extraordinary. An outstanding opening leaves an impression every single time somebody passes through it.

The local, experienced handymen on our team at Mr. Handyman of Greater Columbia and Eldersburg know everything there is about common door issues that disrupt the lives of homeowners, and all the potential styles that people in Ellicott City and the surrounding regions are using to make a lasting impression with replacement installations.

Common Door Problems

Want to know what you can do about some typical entryway issues? Here are some of the most common problems and recommended solutions.

Bad Latching

Your doors have one job. That's why it's so frustrating when they don't latch closed. Why have them at all if they can't manage to stay shut? Fortunately, fixing a latch failure is straightforward, as long as you have the right tools.

Recommended Equipment:

  • Screwdriver to remove your strike plate (make sure it matches your screws)

  • Chisel to alter your hinge mortise

  • Hammer to go with your chisel

  • Drill to reattach your strike plate (and a bit that matches your screwdriver)

  • Partner for safety and support

What To Do:

  • Confirm that your issue is a misaligned latch (that is the most common cause). The positions of a latch and strike plate (the small piece of metal that your door latches onto) should always be identical. If they're off-center from each other, then you have an alignment issue.

  • Use your screwdriver to remove the strike plate (save everything for later, unless you have replacements). Your partner can now hold everything up while you reposition your strike plate so that it lines up correctly with your door latch, and mark the new position with a thick pencil line.

  • Use your chisel to reshape the mortise to fit the new strike plate position by cutting away the areas marked with pencil. Then use your drill to re-attach the top screw of the strike plate in its new position and perform a test to confirm proper latching. When everything lines up, put in the bottom screw and that's your job done.

Sticking Doors

You probably don't think about how great it is to have doors that work until one of yours starts to jam around the frame. Doors that don't budge cause worry every time you open them and they scrape against something. This can be an easy fix too. If you're lucky, repairs are just a matter of tightening loose areas or adding longer replacements.

Recommended Equipment:

  • Screwdriver

  • Drill (if you're going to be replacing existing screws with a longer option)

  • Partner for safety and support

What To Do:

  • Inspect your hinges for missing or loose screws. If your door is sagging and rubbing against upper frame areas, this could be why. Over time, gravity pulls down on screws and hinges, causing them to become loose.

  • Use your screwdriver to replace anything missing and tighten hinges so that they're flush with your frame. Check for rubbing. You might be done here, but if you still have an issue, you might need new screws, in which case, proceed to step three.

  • Use a partner to prevent any accidental damage while you carefully remove the old failures and insert longer replacements one-by-one. Longer options add support by grabbing onto deeper parts of the frame. Once you've completed this process, check for rubbing again. If you still have a problem, then you're going to need more intense repairs and more specialized tools.

When Should You Get Help for Door Repairs?

If you're unable to fix your issue with our simple steps above, it's best to contact a professional for advice. There are many reasons that doors stick and rub, including changes in humidity and poor fitting. Solutions for these problems require more specific techniques and specialized tools, which increases the risk of damage or injury. Door services from someone with experience in repair services and specialized training will save you time and money on repairs.

New Door Installations

Sometimes it's simply better to install something new rather than keep repairing broken detritus swinging on rusted hinges. That's usually a decision that you make yourself, but you can always request advice from a professional company. Service professionals with specialty training and experience know a lot about modern styles and trends. They're knowledge about when you actually need installation, as well as the benefits of each style, will help you make informed decisions about your home's needs.

When Should You Consider New Installation?

  • There is an extreme amount of damage

  • Using an entryway is an intense struggle

  • Moisture is creeping into glass and through closed entries

  • Your door is warped, cracked, or weathered beyond repair

  • There are signs of insect damage or wood rot

  • You decide you want a replacement for an older, out-of-style entry

What Are Your Installation Options?

There are actually a wide range of options for homeowners in Northeast Columbia and the surrounding regions. You'll want to think about style, function, and cost when it comes to making your choice—some styles are better suited for interiors than exteriors.

Installation difficulty will vary based on your choice. Sometimes it's easy, but for more complicated, stylish options, it helps to have specialty training. Proper installation is as important as choosing an optimal style. Some popular interior installation styles include paneled, wood, and flush, while exterior installation options can include glass, PVC, sliding, and metal.

Do You Need Door Repairs or Installation?

If you live in any area around Greater Columbia and Eldersburg, MD, then you have quick, easy access for all your advanced home maintenance needs. Our team of expert handymen has years of experience helping homeowners, and we'd love you to save you from frustrating door distress.

Call us at 410-593-1920 for more information, or request an appointment online.