Latch doesn't meet jam opening

Old 07-26-05, 07:48 AM
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Cool Latch doesn't meet jam opening

Over the years, settling has caused my interior door between the laundry room and garage to become misaligned, to the point where the latch from the door knob isn't long enough to insert into the opening in the jam. Thus, the door won't stay closed, especially when there is a temperature difference between the open garage and the cooler house. Should I try to re-align the jam? (It's a metal casing around the door). I'm not sure if I can even move the metal casing ( i.e., aligning it more vertically so that it matches the vertical plane of the door). Any thoughts? Thanks

Chuck Cuttic
Old 07-26-05, 10:45 AM
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The metal casing should just pop off if you pry under it with a putty knife. Remove the casing on both sides of the hinge side. Also, remove the door from its hinges by removing the hinge pin, and if that's not possible, remove the screws - not from the door, but from the hinge where the hinge attaches to the metal door frame.

It sounds to me like the bottom hinge side of your door is moving, which is increasing the size of the gap on the latch side. If your door also has a larger gap on the top (latch side) than on the top (hinge side), that's probably what's happening. The weight of the door would like to pull down and in on the top hinge, but if that won't move, then it will exert pressure down and out on the bottom hinge.

Once the casing and door are removed, it might be possible for you to move the steel jamb back to where it once was (measure the distance between the jamb sides and make it the same at the bottom as it is at the top). Then screw or nail the jamb to the studs. If that's not possible, you might need to insert some sort of combination of shim material between the jamb and the stud to keep it from pushing back in the future.

Put the door back on its hinges before you get it screwed all the way in to make sure it is closing properly. Once you know it will work, then you can finish nailing the jamb off, and put the casing back on.

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