Months with high humidity level brings with it an unpleasant effect on home doors. During this time, wooden doors absorb moisture from the air and swell at their edges.
As you should know, it feels so annoying when you try to close your door but it doesn’t due to the swells. If you don’t know how to fix a swollen wood door, you would be in a mess when all your interior or exterior doors expand. However, we’ve put together the best methods on how to fix a swollen door.
Best Ways to Fix a Swollen Door
These are some of the best methods used to fix swollen entrances.
1. Heat Gun or Hairdryer Method
Will a swollen door shrink? Of course, it can if you use the heat gun or hairdryer to dry out the moisture. When you set the heat gun on the swollen wood, the wetness inside escapes back into the air. Hold the drying tool like 30cm away so that you don’t burn the wood.
Use a rotating fan for painted doors. You can bring them down and repaint if the color starts flaking.
2. Fasten the Screws and Sand the Edges
One way to repair a swollen wood or door is to fasten the screws on the iron wares. These include the hinges and strike plates. When they get loose, they tend to slacken the door towards its frame, making it hard to close.
You might have to observe this fixture to know where it’s rubbing on the jamb. If you have tried tightening nuts and it didn’t work, mark the swollen areas with a pencil. Then sand this area with coarse sandpaper, ensuring you do it on an even keel.
You may have to take down the door from its hinges to sand all the edges evenly. It will be easier to work in that way, so loosen out the hinge clamps. Then, remove the door from the jamb, lay it on its side, and sand it thoroughly.
Various corrective steps apply to different types of doors, be it exterior or interior. If your door is wooden, you will have to take it down from the frame and give it a thorough sanding. After this, allow it to dry under the sun or use a fan in the garage to blow off the moisture.
This dampness in the door is there because you didn’t protect it with an exterior sealer. So, it shrinks or swells when the relative humidity is high in the atmosphere. But if you finish the sanding and drying process, the next thing is to cover the door with quality paint.
Using top quality exterior paint would ensure better protection in the long run. Apply an exterior primer first, on the four edges, and the back and front. Then, paint two large layers after the primer dries. You can also top it with stripping for extreme temperature and weather during drying.
The stripping will fill out any space through which hot or cold air may go in. Hang back the door on its frame and check if it now opens and closes without stress. Also, do well to examine it for gaps that allow air into your house to prevent moisture from building again.
4. Total Replacement
In some cases, the doors are so out of shape that you don’t have any other option than to change it. This method is the last resort after trying out the method above on how to fix a swollen exterior door and the interior ones as well. It’s better to ask for a professional opinion before trying any corrections at all.
However, it’s not always easy to carry out a door replacement, especially if its fiberglass or wooden material. You need to bore holes for the handles and even cut to size in some cases. If you don’t know how to install a new door, better call in an expert based on your budget.
You can seal a wooden door when it’s new by applying a sealer on the edges before installing. Do this regardless of the protective covering used by the manufacturer because of its not enough. The layer can’t prevent the swelling of the entrance.
Put the exterior sealer on all edges and faces of the door focusing more on the vertices and underside. Use a ball of light fine steel wool to apply at least three sealer coats with a light sanding. Ensure to read the instructions on the manufacturer’s guide for application procedures.
Try and carry out this preventive measure at least every year or two to ensure maximum protection.
Use a Dehumidifier
Since the door absorbs so much moisture from your home’s atmosphere, you can reduce it with a dehumidifier. This way, you will prevent it from taking in dampness and expanding out of its normal position.
But ensure you close the external door and windows of your home when using the device. It’s typical for wood to swell when you expose it to the summer months’ hot and cold air.
However, your basement doors are different because it’s an area where humidity is high naturally. The main reason why this area is always damp is that it is closer to the underground moisture.
Causes of a Swollen Door
Let’s see some reasons why wooden doors swell in the rainy season.
Humidity Due to the Rains
Wood is a natural material that can absorb heat or moisture from the air and start expanding. When this happens, it begins to rub on the framework and is difficult to shut and open. It’s quite reasonable in the period of heavy rainfall for doors to swell since the climate is wet and humid.
Your wooden gate absorbs this wetness and begins to expand. You may experience these changes once in a year or all year round, depending on your location.
Dampness in the Home
Dampness may build up in the home due to so many reasons. Some of them are poor ventilation, inadequate insulation, wet clothes in the house, and open bathroom doors. This allows moisture to escape into the room and pile up, causing mucky odors and the wood’s swelling.
Swollen Doors put our privacy at severe risks and need an immediate fix when noticed. Knowing how to fix a swollen wood door will help save more money, since you won’t have to call a professional.
It is also best you also know how to prevent doors from swelling so you don’t go through the stress of fixing this problem in the future. Why wait for your door to expand if you can prevent it.
If there is anything you will like to ask on how to fix a swollen door, you can leave your question in the comment section.
Wednesday 3rd of August 2022
our front solid wooden door is dragging 0n the bottom, against the threshhold plate. my husband wants to cut an 1/8 inch off the bottom of the door. i am afraid it will the start sticking at the top or we will get daylight thru the sides and bottom of door. he says cutting the bootom wont affect the top but looks to me like if would drop the top down. should we wait till cooler weather.this problem started since we have had such hot weather here in texas. Suggestions please
Thursday 22nd of July 2021
So upset we have French door in living room and due to the extreme humidity the wood separated from glass and split ☹️Worried how much a new door would cost l
Monday 5th of July 2021
Remove 1/8” from hinge mount,either door or frame
Sunday 23rd of May 2021
I have an oak cupboard which has a sliding door covering two sliding cutlery drawers. I have tried candle wax without success•. Does anybody have a solution to this problem? I don.t want to buy new cutlery?
Saturday 10th of October 2020
We have a houseboat that has hardwood floors including hardwood doors on the floor. How do we keep them from swelling shut?