DIY Door Repairs You Can Do in an Hour or Less

Repairing a doorYour entry door is one of the most utilized and important components of a home or building. From screen doors to doors made of steel, not only do they grant access to those that pass through it, entry doors provide an effective barrier to noise, help to shape the aesthetics of the structure and provide convenience, safety, privacy and security.

Because it is used every time someone enters or leaves the home or building, and because it must withstand all of nature's elements (changing temperatures, wind and rain) the entry door can acquire a significant amount of wear and tear. Also, when the temperature changes, it is natural for a wooden door, or wood screen doors to contract or expand accordingly, while doors comprised of steel are at risk of denting.

Easy Repairs

Luckily, if you regularly inspect your entry door, you will find that some door repairs can easily be done on your own with ease in a short amount of time. This is welcome news indeed, simply due to the number of times you use your front door – some slight damage or a squeaky hinge can significantly alter the flow of your main passageway.

If you are having issues with your entry door, take a look at its various components:

  •  Is the door rubbing against its frame? Check the side, against the threshold at the bottom and the top of the door to see if this is the issue.
  • Check the hinges on your entry door. Is one (or more) of the screws loose?
  • Check the entry door's latch – it might be malfunctioning or the bolt might not be aligning with the strike on the door.

Basic DIY Repairs for Your Entry Door

Fix squeaky hinges: To stop your hinges from squeaking, lubricate them with silicone, then remove the pin and scrub that, the hinge leaves and the barrel with a piece of steel wool. Then, coat the hinge with a thin layer of light penetration oil or silicone spray.

Repair dents in a steel entry door: You can repair dents in a steel door using an auto filler. With a piece of sandpaper, sand down the dent until you see metal. Then, apply the auto filler in layers until your door is smooth. If it needs sanding at this point, sand it down some more. After you have ensured that the surface is smooth, prime the area, and paint it.

Mend a sticky entry door: Clean all of the hinges, removing the build up along the edges of the door. If this doesn't address the squeaking, adjust the hinges on the door.

Stop air from leaking inside or outside the door: A leaky entrance door can be a significant drain on your energy bills as well as a source of discomfort from in-climate weather sneaking inside. Inspect the caulk around the door and replace it if you see any damage or gaps.

When Is it Time to Call a Professional for Door Repair?

Although these DIY techniques should only take up to an hour, in some situations you will want to turn to a professional door repairman or installer for door replacement. Repairs to entry doors that need to be cut or planed, for example, require a larger investment of time. If you are less experienced with household repairs, you may find that it might save you money and time to consult a door repair expert. If your door is coming apart or warping, it typically means you need door replacement,  another situation where it is probably best to call an expert.

Here are some situations where you will want to call a repairman so that you can save yourself much needed time and effort:

  • You have a glass door that is broken or shattered
  • Your door will not lock or unlock
  • The fixed panels in your sliding glass door need to be repaired

A door that functions properly is important for your home or building's security, comfort, aesthetics and convenience, so be sure to inspect your entry door every six months, or when you notice that it is not working. If upon inspection, it is a simple repair, the good news is that you can easily address many issues that occur with an entry door.

If the repair is more involved, or beyond your level or expertise, do yourself a favor and call an expert that can often do the repair in a short amount of time, which will, in the long run, save you money. Knowing when to “hold em, and when to fold em” is essential when it comes to household repairs.

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