Door Closes on Its Own
DEAR TIM: I have several interior doors in my house that are driving me nuts. The doors will not stay open. When you open one of the doors completely and walk away, the door slowly closes. Another door opens all the way on its own when I want it to stay partially closed. I do not want to have to use a traditional door stop. This problem is not caused by wind as it happens even when all windows are closed. Is there a way to stop the doors from moving on their own? Jenni W., Fresno, CA
DEAR JENNI: Doors that move on their own are a fairly common problem. Heavy solid-core doors are usually the most likely to swing open or closed as the weight of the door can have lots of potential energy if the door is slightly out of level.
To stop the doors from moving, the trick is to create more resistance in the hinges. I have stopped doors from swinging shut on their own by bending the hinge pin. In rare cases you will have to bend more than one hinge pin. Bending a hinge pin is accomplished with a hammer and a flat piece of concrete.
Locate some shims or scrap pieces of wood you can use to gently slide under the door at its lower corner under the door handle. This important step prevents stress on the door and its hinges as you begin to remove one of the hinge pins. Use a hammer and a flat-blade screwdriver to carefully drive the top hinge pin up and out of the top hinge.
Take the hinge pin and hammer outdoors, to a garage or a basement and place it on a concrete floor. Lay the hinge pin on its side on the floor and strike the middle of the pin with the hammer. This will put a nice bend in the hinge.
Tap the hinge pin back into the hinge and operate the door. The bent hinge pin should produce enough resistance that the door will not move unless you or someone else operates it. If it does still move ever so slightly, you may have to bend one or more additional hinge pins.