How to Repair a Sagging Storm Door
What good is a sagging storm door? It isn’t. You certainly shouldn’t have to live with the problem, either.
Fix your sagging storm door in a quick do-it-yourself project that doesn’t require the expert skills of an experienced craftsman, but just an hour of your time and the right tools.
Fixing the Metal Frame
The most common culprit behind a sagging storm door is the issue of the metal frame that surrounds the door coming loose, not the wood trim. To fix this problem with your sagging storm door, you’ll need stainless steel screws, a shim, and your drill.
You can suspect that the metal frame or surrounding molding is to blame if your storm door is having trouble opening or closing, scraping against it as you pull. If you push the door up and down and the molding moves, start by securing it with a few extra nails at the top of the wood trim.
Add more nails along the trim if it’s needed, then if you want to aim for aesthetics, cover the nail heads with caulking, finishing the job with a coat of paint.
Stick a shim between the door and its metal frame. Next, you’ll want to tighten the screws that are already in the frame, and then drill additional screw holes for your new stainless steel screws you’ve purchased. This is where you’ll want to drill carefully, as you don’t want to drill into the wood molding with this 3/16-inch bit. Making a 3/32-inch pilot hole into the wood, add at least two or three screws at the top of the frame to resolve your sagging door issue.
Installing a Turnbuckle to Fix a Sagging Screen
A turnbuckle is a brace that reinforces the door. Essentially, it’s a metal rod with ends that thread into a nut and by installing one you can easily fix the sag of a screen door. However, even though your sagging problems will be long gone, the turnbuckle will change the overall look of your door, which is something to keep in mind.
You can purchase a turnbuckle in two different sizes: 42” or 50”, designed for doors that are less than 36” wide or doors that are wider than 36”, respectively. Other supplies you’ll need are your drill and the appropriate bits, and a tape measure.
Start by Threading Nuts and Positioning the Turnbuckle
You’ll start by threading the coupling nuts onto either end of your turnbuckle. Next, position the turnbuckle about 2” above the door’s bottom corner, making sure it’s on the door’s handle side, no the hinge’s side. You’ll then slant it upward and holding it against the hinge side of the door.
The turnbuckle should be flush against the screen door. Open and close the door a few times just be sure that the turnbuckle won’t interfere with its function. Mark where you want the screw holes to be drilled on the screen door.
Drill Pilot Holes and Tighten Everything
Finally, drill pilot holes where you’ve marked the spots on the screen door. Only tighten the screws all of the way once they’re all in place. Lastly, you’re going to be tightening the turnbuckle itself. Manually turn the coupling nut until the door becomes level. It may become increasingly difficult to turn so you might need to equip the help of a wrench or pair of pliers for the final turns.
The turnbuckle may look aesthetically jarring, but there’s no question that it does the trick. You may notice it because you were the one who installed it, but most of the time, people hardly pay attention to storm doors, let alone the turnbuckles that run across them.
Upgrade the Hardware
Sometimes, a door out of alignment that appears sagging may just need a fresh set of hardware. Storm doors are exposed to moisture and spend a lot of time out in the elements. Hinges and screws can become rusted and stop supporting the door like they should.
If you’re sure that the problem isn’t in the surrounding molding or metal frame, the sagging could simply be old hardware. Replace the storm door’s set with new ones, and if possible, choose slightly larger hinges and screws as they’ll do a better job holding the door in its place.
Add a Shim to Your Sagging Storm Door
Fixing a sagging storm door and preventing one can be done with the help of a shim. It takes just a few minutes—start by unscrewing the bottom hinge of the storm door and cleaning off the buildup of gunk, buildup, and debris.
Your shim can be derived from a piece of wood or even cardboard, whatever you have handy. Place your shim by the hinge and screw all of the components back into place. If the door isn’t aligned, you will need a thicker shim.
Last, check the door’s operation and alignment by opening and closing it.
Be Kind to Your Storm Doors
Storm doors see an awful lot of abuse every day. They’re slammed, kicked open, and battered by the elements. Checking up on them at least once (or better, twice) a year can prevent them from falling into shambles, and that includes the common problem of sagging.
A sagging storm door is sad to look at, so be kind to your storm doors and fix them up when they need it.
Replace Your Sagging Storm Door
The simple way to fix an ongoing problem is by replacing a storm door completely. Repairing something is like putting a bandage and sometimes it’s not good enough if your home is losing out on energy efficiency. That’s why over 400,000 homeowners have turned to Feldco for storm door replacement. In fact, Feldco has replaced over 100,000 doors. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.