Get A Handle On It: How Failing Hardware Could Be A Sign That You Need To Replace Your Door

When it comes to home maintenance, we often overlook the importance of our exterior doors. We use them every day without giving much thought to the hardware that keeps them functioning properly. However, understanding the signs of failing door hardware can help you identify when it’s time for an exterior door replacement. By staying proactive and taking care of your door hardware, you can ensure the security, energy efficiency, and overall functionality of your home.

In this guide, we will explore some common signs that indicate your door hardware is about to break. We’ll also discuss the importance of regular inspections and proper maintenance to prolong the lifespan of your exterior doors.

Your Door Isn’t Working Properly

One of the most noticeable signs of failing door hardware is when your door stops functioning as it should. You may observe that the door is sagging or sticking when you try to close it. The key might not fit properly in the lock, becoming loose, tight, or even getting stuck. Another red flag is when you need to pull up on the door knob to lock the door, indicating an underlying issue. Additionally, a draft coming in from under or around the door, along with an uneven alignment when closed, are signs of malfunctioning door hardware. If you notice any of these issues, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough examination to identify the problem.

Missing or Broken Parts

Regularly inspecting your doors, especially those used frequently, is essential to catch any missing or broken parts early on. Look out for loose or missing screws, which can occur due to frequent use. Loose screws in the hardware should be tightened or replaced immediately. Grinding sounds when opening or closing the door may indicate a problem that requires further investigation. If you notice any broken parts, such as a damaged latch strike or deadbolt strike, it’s important to replace them promptly. A sticking door is another indication that something is amiss with your door hardware. Check the hinges first, as missing screws or broken hinges can prevent the door from sitting properly in the frame.

Incorrect Grade of Door Hardware

Many people are unaware that door hardware is graded, with each grade designed for specific functions. Using the wrong grade of hardware can lead to faster wear and tear, making components more prone to breakage. It’s essential to choose the appropriate grade of door hardware for your specific needs. Interior doors require different hardware than exterior doors. Before installing door hardware, ensure that you select the correct grade. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to seek assistance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Avoid the common mistake of opting for the cheapest, lowest grade hardware, as it can compromise the security and durability of your door.

Lack of Lubrication for Hinges

A squeaky door may seem like a minor annoyance, but it can be an indication of a larger issue. Many people overlook the connection between a squeaky door and the need for regular maintenance of door hardware. Proper lubrication can prevent hardware failure and prolong the lifespan of your door. Research the manufacturer’s recommendations for door maintenance, which may involve using products like WD-40 or graphite powder as dry lubricants. Regularly scheduling maintenance and lubrication can help you stay ahead of potential problems with your door hardware.

The Importance of Regular Door Inspections and Maintenance

Regular inspections and maintenance can save you both time and money in the long run. When your door hardware starts failing, the door’s overall functionality suffers. Ignoring these issues will only lead to more severe problems down the line. By conducting routine inspections, you can identify any signs of trouble early on. Here’s a checklist to guide your inspections:

  1. Close the door and step back to assess if it fits flush in the frame and appears straight.
  2. Open the door and note any difficulty in opening or if it feels unstable.
  3. Examine the lock and doorknob for breaks, cracks, or missing screws.
  4. Test the doorknob and deadbolt for secure fitting and check if the doorknob feels loose.
  5. Engage the deadbolt and evaluate its stability.
  6. Close the door and observe if it closes smoothly without catching, dragging, or grinding. Check if the deadbolt engages effortlessly.
  7. Inspect the strikes on the doorframe for any signs of damage or missing screws.
  8. Examine the hinges for broken parts, missing screws, or signs of looseness or squeaking.
  9. Remember to check both sides of the door, as the doorknob is present on both sides.

Regularly maintaining your door hardware not only ensures its longevity but also contributes to a more energy-efficient home. Faulty hardware can lead to air leaks, resulting in higher heating and cooling bills. Additionally, compromised door hardware makes your home more vulnerable to break-ins. By dedicating a few minutes to check your door hardware, you can enhance your family’s safety, reduce energy costs, and maintain the overall aesthetic appeal of your home.

Finding a Local Door Expert

West Shore HomeĀ® is the leading expert in door hardware and exterior door replacement, ready for whatever project you are looking to start in your home. Our company-trained installation team can get your new door installed in as little as one day and you’ll have one less worry about the safety and durability of your front door. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!