Frustration of catching doors and the damage it causes

Frustration of catching doors and the damage it causes

Doors are an essential part of any home.  They help to keep us protected from unwanted visitors such as burglars and also help to keep the warm air in and cold air out.  Most entry doors (or exterior doors such as front or back doors) also have integrated security ranging from basic rim cylinder (‘night latch’) type locks to more secure multi point locking systems.

Some doors have a combination of these such as a rim cylinder and a mortice lock for ‘dead-bolting’ the door.  Doors provide us with much needed security and it’s easy to take them for granted until something goes wrong and they need repairing.

Unfortunately door repairs are a common fact of life and at some point you may need to call in an experienced uPVC technician to help you with yours.  In the meantime, learn about the most common door faults, how you can help to prevent them from occurring and what to do when things go wrong.


Common Door Faults / Door Repairs

Doors are pretty resilient but over time even the most secure door is likely to develop a problem of some sort.  The most common types of door faults are:

Alignment Problems – providing a frustrating clunk as the door hits the frame before fitting, the door catching the frame

Door Swelling – making for not such a good fit for the door, stiff top open or close, door catching

Rusty Hinges – generating a lovely squeal as the door opens or closes

Hardware Failure – may have challenges locking or unlocking the door

Faulty Weather Stripping – draughts at the edges or letting water in at the edges

Faulty Door frames – draughts at the edges or letting water in at the edges or the door catching the frame as it is opened or closed

In addition to this doors and frames can also be damaged by brute force during a burglary, although there are products available on the market which can help against this type of risk.


Door Repairs – Alignment Problems – Door Replacement

Sometimes a door can become loose on its hinges which will cause problems when trying to open or close the door.  This doesn’t usually affect the function of the lock or handle at first, but over time a misaligned door can cause stress on locking mechanisms which can make it difficult to lock or unlock the door.  A badly adjusted door, or one that has slipped over time, may catch the frame which in turn may damage the door or the frame itself, this may lead to the frame needing to be replaced and thus needing a door replaced too.  This can be quite a frustrating issue as you may have to slightly lift the door to make it shut properly or push it a little harder to get it to shut itself into the frame.

This type of problem is more common with uPVC doors due to the fact they are heavy units and require aligning with a combination of spacers and screws.  Over time the sheer weight of the door on its hinges can cause it to come out of alignment, and when this happens it can become difficult to activate the multipoint locking mechanism, or give excessive wear on the locking mechanism, and the door will no longer close or lock properly.

At this point it is advisable to contact a local locksmith who specialises in uPVC door repair so they can adjust your uPVC door.  Provided no real damage has been done to the locking mechanism the door can usually be fixed by adjusting a few screws.  Continued use of the door without contacting a specialist to assess and repair the alignment issue can cause additional problems which may require a new multipoint locking mechanism.


Draughts – Faulty Weather Stripping – Faulty Door frames

One of the main causes of draughts from a door are when the uPVC door is loose and sort of ‘rattles’ in the frame. To resolve this type of issue, you need to adjust the latching of the door by reducing the gap between the door and the door frame. Doing this will tighten the seal on your door to stop draughts.  The seal on the door is the rubber bit that can be found, generally, in the frame.  The door mates against this seal and provides a draught seal and weather seal around the edge.

A faulty frame may also cause issues such as draughts or leaks if the frame is not properly sealed to the wall or to the door.  May be worth checking the external sides of the frame from time to time to make sure this part of the frame is not neglected.


Rusty Hinges – a melodramatic soundtrack

In the scarier films the doors always open with a rusty squealing sound.

Not good for the home, we prefer doors to open nice and smooth without the melodrama.

From new the door hinges need looking after with a touch of oil now and then.  However, if neglected and the hinges have become a little tired it may be time for a door repair and get those singing hinges seen to.  If they are not too damaged it may be possible to clean and lubricate them.  The hinges may need to be replaced or worst case you may require a new door.  This is where the uPVC experts come in handy.  They can check the door, not just for the squeals emanating from the hinges, but for any other issues you may have missed.


Door Swelling

Wood swells when it is damp or wet if it is not treated.  The moisture can get into the wood causing it to swell.  This in turn then may prevent the door from fitting securely.  When trying to close the door is the door catching against the frame as it is being closed or really difficult to open in the first place because it is slightly stuck in place?  As the door is pulled open, or pushed closed, it may squeal against the frame.  These are signs of a swollen door.  You will need to let the door dry out properly and treat it to try and keep the moisture out.  Varnish or paint as necessary or it may be necessary to get your door replaced.  Modern uPVC doors are less prone to swelling but it is worth making enquiries from an experienced team to see what would suit your situation, they may be able to suggest a solution to prevent the door from swelling, or do a door repair to lessen its effect, or recommend that you get the door replaced.

If you’re interested in triple glazing for your home, take a look at our Latch and Mechanism Repair packages. Alternatively, just take a look at our other services for more!

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