Why are the doors in my house starting to stick?
Doors in your home may be sticking and hard to open and close for various reasons. Sometimes it’s something innocuous such as the natural expansion and contraction of the wood. Other times it may be an indication of a more serious and foundation problem that can become a significant long term issue if you do not correct it.
Reasons that shouldn’t make you worry
If it has recently rained or the humidity is otherwise high, the wood can swell causing “sticking” doors. As the humidity decreases the wood will once again shrink and the problem disappears. If you notice that the door doesn’t stick year-round, this is probably what’s happening. It’s pretty common for homeowners to shave a slight bit of the wood off the top or bottom of the door where you’ll never see the tool marks and stop the sticking door.
In older homes, door hardware may fail causing the door to sag a slight amount which results in sticking. Sometimes the hardware and hinges themselves may be fine, however, the screws in the hinges have worked loose. If you have children that play or swing on the doors this may have caused the hardware to loosen or move out of alignment. Removing the old screws or simply backing them out and resetting can fix the problem. If the hinges are old, you may want to replace them.
Foundation problems are a common cause of sticking doors and windows. If you have noticed your floors creaking or developing cracks in addition to cracks in the drywall/paint and sticking doors, then you should probably have your foundation inspected. Walls, ceilings or chimneys cracking are a major indication that the issue could be serious and you should promptly make an appointment to have your foundation checked.
Causes of Foundation Problems
Shifting soil, plumbing leaks, cold/hot weather, drainage issues, and tree/shrub roots all may cause movement of your foundation which can cause widespread structural problems. Slab foundations are at a special risk of heaving from moisture or roots. In earthquake-prone regions, foundation problems can also arise out of ground movement.
Signs of a Foundation Problem
With a structural foundation problem, all the doors in your home will not immediately start sticking. Instead, it typically occurs on one end of the home and gradually progresses as the structure settles. Caught early, the repairs will remain relatively easy but as time goes by, they could become extensive and costly.
Forensic Engineering Specialists
Engineering Specialists Inc. has nearly 30 years of field experience in analyzing the damage to residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. We can work on any project in any state, nationwide. When you or your business needs to confirm the extent of damage or how to correct a problem, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us, toll-free, at (877) 559-4010.