After the earthquake I noticed our back door has gotten really hard to close. You have to slam it and give it a booty bump in order to get it shut. To open it, I have to use all my weight to yank it open. It's also the location I ran to when I started to feel the house shake. I basically stood in that door way wondering what was going on and if I should run back in the house to grab some valuables.

Originally we thought it was because of moisture, but we don't ever remember this happening before.

What are our options to fix this? Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

  • 2
    Where is it sticking? Is the door frame no longer square? – BMitch Sep 14 '11 at 11:32
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    because the earthquake shook your house out of square – DA01 Sep 14 '11 at 17:55
  • Is this the only door in the house having this problem? Are there any other doors that are parallel to this door? (The house is probably out of square, like others mention.) – Richard Sep 15 '11 at 17:48

It sounds as though there has been some movement of your house - particularly in this area. I'd recommend getting a surveyor in to assess the movement and see what else might need attention. This might be just the most obvious symptom of some more serious problems.

Assuming that it is just the door that's the problem then you need to "ease" the door by removing some of the wood from where it's sticking. By closing the door gently you should be able to see where it now hits the frame. You need to sand/plane/rasp this section of the door removing material until it fits.

If it's at the bottom you might need to take the door off its hinges to be able to do this.

Once you've got the door fitting properly re-seal the now bare edges to prevent moisture getting in that way.

You could remove some material from the frame, but that's more awkward.

  • 3
    Don't forget to seal any parts of the door you work on, or you will have problems with moisture. – Niall C. Sep 14 '11 at 12:37
  • Defiantly call in an engineer to have a look to make sure the structure is still sound. A sticky door today, a collapsed house tomorrow. It's worth it to have it checked out. – Tester101 Sep 14 '11 at 12:43
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    Engineers love a good rebellion. – Doresoom Sep 14 '11 at 17:45

Besides the 'check if the door rubs' test, it's worth taking a square and checking the door frame. If you don't have a carpenter's square, just find something with a good 90 degree angle (carboard box, DVD case, etc.), and press it into one of the top corner of the door frame. If it doesn't fit well and there's a gap, it's out of square.

There's a small chance that the door frame is fine, the problem's actually that the vibration's bent a hinge slightly or loosened a screw, which could cause similar problems. (particularly if you were holding onto the door for support through the shaking)

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