Steel door not hitting seal

Old 05-10-06, 04:05 AM
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Steel door not hitting seal

I just installed a new steel exterior door and it works and looks great! Everything is level and plumb. (within a 1/4 bubble) However I do have one problem I can't seem to fix. The door droops and does not contact the seal at the top on the lock jamb side. Almost like the door is racked. Could some one please give me some tips and things to check to correct this problem?
Ken B.
Old 05-10-06, 08:43 AM
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When you install doors and windows, "1/4" bubble" is not good enough. Things need to be 100% level and plumb, and even then you may need to fudge a little bit to get them to operate and/or seal properly.

The first thing I'd suggest you check is to see if the head is level. Often, if the head is not level, it will appear like the door is drooping on the latch side when in actuality, it may be that the hinge side of the jamb needs to be shimmed up 1/8" or so. The reverse would also be true.

If the head appears perfectly level, then you would put a 6ft level on the barrels of the hinges. They should all be in line with one another and be plumb. If your door is drooping, it would indicate to me that the top hinge would need to be screwed back tighter to the stud. This is best done by removing one of the short hinge screws and replacing it with a 3" long screw that will go back into the stud and pull the hinge a little tighter (but not tightening it so much that it bows out that side of the jamb).

Regarding what you said about the door not contacting the weatherstrip, that usually indicates that the jamb needs to be moved in or out of the plane of the rest of the wall. So if you are looking at the door from the outside when it is closed, and you can see that the door is not contacting the weatherstrip on the top lock side, it simply means that that part of the door jamb needs to be pushed IN to meet the door. (the bottom hinge side could be pushed in to accomplish the same thing- or you could pull the other corners of the door OUT toward you and it would do the same thing.) The easiest way to check the door to make sure it's plumb with the rest of the jamb is to push the door closed until the latch almost hits the strike plate... you should be able to observe an 1/8" gap all the way up and down that side of the door. If you bring the door almost closed, and there is 3/8" gap at the top and nothing at the bottom, that's a sure sign that you've got the frame racked in the wall. (or maybe the wall is racked in relation to the door) At any rate, for the door to operate and seal properly, you have to make adjustments until you get it just right.

Good luck.

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