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How to Fix a Stuck Door

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Eric in West Virginia is on the line and he’s got some stuck doors in the house. What’s the matter? You’re locked in?

    ERIC: No, no, no, no. There’s this inoperable door that we no longer use. We can’t get out that way or come in.

    TOM: So describe these doors to us. Tell us what they look like and tell us how difficult they are to get to open.

    ERIC: There’s just wooden doors with – they’re (inaudible at 0:29:39) doors. They have wood on that side and then glass.

    TOM: Full-height glass?

    ERIC: Glass, yes.

    TOM: OK. So when doors get stuck, it’s usually because they’ve swollen in place. Now, the other complication here is that these are so stuck you can’t actually move the handles. If they are hinged doors, what you’re probably going to end up doing is having to remove them off the hinges to try to free them up.

    Once you get them out the first time, then you can try to examine where they’re jamming. There’s usually some evidence on the door somewhere: some rubbing, some abrasion where you can tell where it’s really stuck. And you can start to abrade or plane away or sand away some of those high spots until you get a door that swings easily and closes correctly.

    As far as the hardware is concerned, possibly when you get the pressure off the door to get them out of there, that might start to work again. The other thing to keep in mind is that very often you can adjust the door’s placement by moving the hinges. If the hinges are deeper down into the jam, for example, that will create some room on the other side of the door.

    But a combination of those moves could be very effective in freeing these doors up. Eric, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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