I have an exterior door which is wood (with a glass window in the
middle). It was unstained wood when it was installed so I stained it
with a stain/waterproofing product. I think, unfortunately, I forgot
to stain the bottom of the door.
Over the last couple weeks it has gotten harder and harder to open.
Now it won't close. I checked the hinges and they're all still tight.
I can see the marks from the door jam on the door where its rubbing.
Should I use my electric sander or planer and sand down those places
until it closes? Then should I stain and waterproof (or laquer it) or
will that trap the moisture inside? Also, if I sand it down, won't it
shrink back to normal size in the summer, leaving me with gaps? I
assume the reason for the swelling of the door is the rain we've
received in San Francisco in the last few weeks.
I was just looking at it again and the deadbolt is almost flush with
the edge of the door. So I won't be able to sand much off of the door
before the deadbolt will stick out. What about sanding down the side
of the door jam?
Standard for maybe a carpenter charging by the hour who is out of
work, Ive adjusted maybe 50 doors, redone hundreds, never did, never
will remove it if the locking side sticks, you remove the hinge side
if hinge side was improperly installed.
Are you this stupid normally or did you stay at a Holiday Inn last
Remove the deadbolt and lockset. Plane down the edge of the door until
it fits. Cut the recesses for the deadbolt and lockset deeper if you
need to. Reinstall.
Sooo, what would you do?
What, three minutes to gather tools, mark the interference point, pop
the pins, lay the door on its edge? Ten minutes to plain? 5 minutes to
check fit? Say 5 more to replane? 5 to reinstall?
Toss a thin coat of primer on the bottom & plained side, others if
needed, & put the door back. Wait for dry weather to properly paint.
Maybe it's only sticking because the top hinge screws have loosened?
If it's not sticking so bad it can barely be opened, I'll often just rub
parafin, a candle, or even soap on it until better weather comes so I
can fiddle with it. Actually I have storm doors so it's not a huge
problem unless it's zero type weather.
When finishing a door, don't forget the bottom lip. A properly
finished, paint, varnish, whatever, will prevent humidity problems by
sealing the door against it. If there isn't a storm door, there should
be. Protects the entrance door from weather & adds a little insulation
to the door.
Might be a real cheap door badly installed. IMO, things like these are
perpetual problems. You will surely futz with it for months, maybe
years, and finally in exasperation, have it done over to a higher
standard. If you don't have the patience to tolerate the problem, have
it corrected now. Install a fiberglass door that won't be affected by
the climate, takes a decent finish and then go on to other things.Good
On Mon, 5 Jan 2009 16:56:28 -0800 (PST), BoscoXavier
Yes, yes and yes. The door is wood. Wood (even when dead) changes
dimensions with moisture changes. More changes occur across the grain
than with the grain, and some kinds of wood are more stable than
others. Most doors are constructed in a way to minimize
expansion/contraction, but obviously, the larger the cross grain, the
more movement you will get. Trim the door just enough to allow it to
close--that will minimize the gap during a dry spell. Allow the door
to fully dry before applying finish. Water is wood's enemy, so
maintaining a finish will greatly help extend the life of the door.
Storm doors will protect too.
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