Easily Tighten Exterior Door Hinges Easily Tighten Exterior Door Hinges

Ever have the frustration of your front or back door not closing properly, lock set bolt not lining up, or a door that cant close at all? Maybe the exterior door hinges need tightening. However, sometimes this is easier said than done.

Tips for Tightening Loose Hinges

Most exterior door frames are about one inch thick, mounted against two inch by four, or six inch studs, which should allow a significant depth of wood for the hinge screws to penetrate, and hold to. Unfortunately, most hinge screws are not greater than 1 inch in length, so you don't get the benefit of all that lumber to attach to. Hinge screws loosen over time, either by corrosion, or wear on the attachment wood. When this happens, it is usually best to consider an upgrade in the size of the replacement screw. Consider a replacement screw which is a little wider, and longer than the previous screw which failed.  Often, a screw long enough to penetrate the door jamb's backing stud is a quick and long lasting repair.

Be sure to examine the attachment wood itself. If it has become fragmented, broken, cracked or weakened in any way, you may need to replace the wood, either by inserting new wood (often called a scarf insert, or joint) or by utilizing an epoxy filler. Often, if the wood is not damaged badly, and the aperture which held the old screw is just worn out, inserting a sliver of wood, or filling with an epoxy putty narrowing the aperture will make a simple repair.

Remember, when inserting any new screws not to over tighten and cause the door to become unplumb with the door jamb. Often, a carpenter may insert a small shim(a thin slice of wood, or even cardboard may be used) between the door edge and the hinge to help position the door correctly and prevent the hinge from binding. If you encounter this, be sure to replace the shim when you reattach the loose hinge. Doing so will maintain consistency with the doors operating functions.

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