We recently moved into a '96 mobile home and have developed an interesting
problem. The storm door opening is narrowing at the bottom. The frame
doesn't seem to have moved (there is a metal threshold between the door
frame sides), but now the door is too small for the opening. The storm door
frame is tight to the wooden frame. We have been in the trailer since early
November and have not had a problem. We have been having generally warm
weather (above freezing), but recently had near zero temps lately and are in
a warming spell again, up to 50 today. Any ideas would be welcomed!
Use a block of wood to protect surfaces and a hammer to knock the frame back
into position. Should take about 10 seconds to fix. Tools needed is a
hammer and block of wood about 3inch x 3inch by 2 inch.
Some rain, but the underside is still very dry. I was just under there to
add some phone outlets. There is pretty good drainage away from the
The storm door frame was not installed properly and has a gap at the catch
side on top. Gap has not changed. The main door is still fine. Only the
storm door has a problem.
The ground isn't frozen. In fact, it started after the temps went above
freezing. Trouble is, the door frame width is locked in by the threshold.
There is no sign of any compacting of the wood frame against the aluminum
threshold. The main door is still a good fit. It didn't change, only the
That it was warm under the trailer doesn't necessarily imply the
ground under the supports didn't freeze/thaw. The symptom after the
warmup after cold is pretty typical of a minor heave movement. If the
blocking is just sitting on the ground, wouldn't be at all surprised
if it moved some after a spell of zero-degree weather.
If it isn't related to something overall, then the conclusion has to
be something on the frame itself or the mounting to which it fastened
There is no indication that this is an old problem as there were no marks on
the storm door frame. Why would it take 10 years to see this? We just left
for the week. When I get back I'll have to check for twisting, if the
problem is still there. Which still leaves the question as to why the entry
door is fine and unaffected.
Got back from the trip and the door now works fine again. It has been in
the 60 all week. The entry door has only a slightly larger gap than the
storm door. If the door frame got squeezed enough to require forcing the
storm door open and closed, why did the gap on the entry door not change?
They share the common door frame!
The inner and outer edges of the door frame do not necessarily remain an
equal distance apart. It is entirely possible for the outsides to move
closer together without the insides doing so. In other words, the jamb can
twist slightly. You can probably jack or lever the outsides apart slightly
if needed. Everything in the world is elastic, just some things more than
Even with an aluminum threshold there to keep the sides from moving in?
In other words, the jamb can
I tried to move it, but only cracked the door frame. It refused to move,
even after removing the screws on the storm door frame. There was no room
to move as there is no gap between the storm door frame and the entry frame.
It is not clear just why the door is binding but it seems strange that there
would be absolutely no gap between the two frames. Door frames are not real
high precision assemblies and there is usually some allowance for
mis-alignment and/or sllightly differing dimensions.
I suspect that the solution to your problem will require removal of both
frames and cutting back the rough opening to allow enough space for the
doors and their frames to fit squarely in the opening with the proper
clearances all around. You should not attempt to install them too tightly,
they need small gaps everywhere.
This I know. There is a small gap between the door jam (rough opening) and
the entry door frame (less than 1/4"). There is zero gap between the entry
door frame and the storm door frame. If I go to the trouble of doing as you
suggest I would go the extra mile and put in a real door and storm door.
However, the point I am trying to get an answer to is how the door frame can
shrink on the outside edge only when there is an aluminum threshold
preventing the frame from moving in. It was only jamming at the bottom foot
to foot and a half. There was still a gap between the rough opening and the
frame (I looked under the molding). Nothing anyone has said makes any sense
of the situation. After returning a week after this problem developed the
problem is gone, for now.
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