Many homeowners have likely experienced issues with doors not closing or latching properly at some point. If you have a door that sticks, doesn’t close flush with the frame, or rubs against the jamb or floor, it may need adjusting. This is a common problem that locksmiths are well-equipped to fix.
What Causes Doors to Become Misaligned?
Doors can become misaligned and stop functioning properly for a few key reasons:
- Settling of the house over time: As homes naturally settle, this can throw doors off alignment with the frame, causing sticking issues and gaps.
- Warping from humidity or water damage: Exposure to excess moisture can cause wood doors to warp, twist, or bow, preventing smooth operation.
- Wear and tear on hinges: With frequent use over years, hinges may become loose and allow the door to sag.
- Incorrect installation: Doors not properly shimmed, squared, and plumbed during installation are prone to alignment problems down the road.
Signs You May Need a Locksmith To Adjust Your Door
Here are some common signs that your door is out of alignment and could benefit from professional adjustment:
- The door sticks when you try to open or close it.
- There is a visible gap between the door and frame.
- The door drags on the floor or scrapes against the door jamb.
- You have to slam the door to close it fully.
- The door doesn’t latch when you close it without extra force.
- There is resistance when trying to turn the knob and unlatch the door.
- The door locks but then pops open again when closed.
- There is air or light visible around the edges of the closed door.
How Locksmiths Adjust Doors
Professional locksmiths have the right tools and expertise to subtly tweak the alignment of your door for smooth operation. Here is how they go about adjusting a problematic door:
Checking alignment and gaps
The locksmith will first inspect the door when opened and closed to look for alignment issues and note where there are gaps or rubbing.
Making incremental turns to the screws on the hinges can shift the door slightly side to side or up and down. This helps center it in the frame.
Filing or planing problem areas
For spots where the door rubs or sticks, the locksmith may use a metal file or plane to shave down the door edge in those areas for clearance.
Replacing loose hinge screws
They’ll tighten any hinge screws that have become loose over time to help stabilize the door in the frame and prevent sagging.
Adjusting strike plates and latch bolts
Tweaking the positions of the strike plate and latch bolt can help the door lock and seal more securely.
Checking level and plumb
Locksmiths confirm the door is level horizontally and plumb vertically after adjusting using special tools.
Professional Adjustment For Smooth Operation
While it is possible to attempt adjusting doors on your own, there is a lot of nuance and margin for error without proper training. Locksmiths have specialized expertise when it comes to positioning doors just right to restore smooth operation and proper function. They have all the right tools and use precision measurements when making adjustments. This methodical professional service helps ensure alignment problems are corrected for good.