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How to Repair a Door

Ysobel Croix | Improvement Center Columnist | December 13, 2011

A broken door can be anything from just a nuisance to a serious problem. Not sure how to repair a door? Some jobs are best left to the professionals, but these three fixes are easy and require only a few tools:

1. Your door squeaks

Haunted house sound effects are not part of your home security system--there's no reason to live with a squeaky door. Use a hammer and a nail set to pop the hinge pins up one at a time, starting with the bottom hinge. Once you have the first pin partially removed, use white lithium grease or a silicone spray to lube the pins. Keep a rag handy for drips.

2. Your door sticks or doesn't close properly

Heat and humidity causes wood to expand, and the movement of a door over time can cause a door to bind. The first step is to find out where the door is sticking. You can use carbon paper between the door and the sill or jamb to help you figure this out if you can't easily tell.

If it's rubbing along the top edge or along the top, outer edge of the door, you may just need to adjust the top hinge. To check, close the door and apply pressure to this hinge to see if the problem is corrected. If so, you can tighten the hinge's screws using a screwdriver. If the screws are stripped and you need to replace them, or if the screws are spinning, you might need to use a hammer to pack the screw holes with toothpicks, golf tees or slivers of scrap wood so the new screws fit tightly.

If adjusting the hinge doesn't fix your problem, it could be a matter of adjusting the door's sill, or planing or sanding your door. Before making a change to your door that you cannot undo, however, you should consult a professional.

3. Your door won't stay open

If your door keeps closing on you, remove one of the hinge pins and bend it just a bit by placing it against a hard surface and striking it with a hammer. When you put the pin back in place, the increased friction should keep your door from shutting on its own.

Not every door problem requires professional intervention, but if you are not able to diagnose the problem or might risk injury trying to make repairs, do not hesitate to call in a specialist.

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