Aidan Coady
10 August 2015
Why is my door sticking? 

Summer - the season known for beach trips, barbeques, and family vacations. For Maritime home owners with wooden doors however, this season can be notorious for causing “sticky doors” – a door that gets stuck on the frame when opening and closing. But what exactly causes wooden doors to become this way, and how can it be fixed? As your door and window experts, we’re here to help. We’ll list the potential causes of your door troubles, and go over some home solutions.




The usual culprit in creating sticky doors during the summer months is humidity. If a wooden door has been not protected properly with water-repellent finish (or the finish has worn off) the wood is susceptible to swelling. Water gets absorbed by the wood and then expands in humidity which causes the enlarged door to rub against the frame. Fixing these kinds of problems can be complicated depending on the severity of the water damage, but preventing anymore water from getting into the wood can help. One way to do this is to lower the humidity near the door.


For inside doors, decreased humidity can be achieved via a de-humidifier. Outside wooden doors will need to be protected as much as possible from the rain and the sun. In the northern-hemisphere, a southern facing door is going to get a considerable amount of time in the sun. This can wear off the door’s finish faster then usual and make it more liable to water damage. An overhang or a screen door is a great way to protect your wooden door from the elements and it will greatly increase the door’s lifespan.


Re-finishing your wooden door is a more direct prevention method for the D.I.Y types but requires quite a bit of work. You will need to remove the door from its hinges, take the hardware off the door, sand off the old finish and then apply the new product. If you do decide to re-finish your door make sure to consult the door manufacturer as to what finish suits the door best, then carefully follow the instructions on the finish label.


If your door has a considerable amount of swelling, is sticking excessively, or multiple parts of the door are catching on the frame you will need professional help. Your door could need trimming with a planer, hinge replacement/ realignment, or a combination of both. If in doubt, come see us! Our seasoned experts are more than happy to see what they can do for your specific door situation.


Other causes


Humidity is not the only cause of a sticky door and sometimes your door is sticking simply because it is sticky. This could be caused by a buildup of dirt and grime on the side of the door. To solve this problem, you can lightly wash the door with soap and water to clear away any gunk.


Door stickiness can also come from an accumulation of paint or sealant on the sides of your door causing it to get caught on the frame. A way to remove the blockage of paint/ sealant is to sand down the excess material till it is level with the rest of the door - make sure not to sand down the door material or you risk letting in a draft. After sanding, paint and re-finish the area.

Finally, make sure to check your door’s hinges. The door could be sticking because the hinges are not properly oiled causing the door to not open as smoothly. Or the problem could lie in the hinge screws not being tight enough, making the door sag and come into contact with the frame. Using a screwdriver, make sure all the hinge screws are flush against the hinge leaf.


A sticky door can be a frustrating problem. Sometimes the door just needs a quick cleaning, while others need hours of hinge adjusting and planning to get them working properly again. In either case, if a door shows signs of stickiness the best policy is to determine what the problem is as quickly as possible. If it doesn’t appear to be an easy fix, don’t hesitate to contact us and get a professional opinion.


If you want an end-all-be-all solution to your wooden door woes, our steel entry doors will certainly fit the bill. Steel doors have become an increasingly popular choice amongst home owners due in part to their extreme durability and excellent insulation qualities. They also will never shrink and expand like a wooden door, making maintenance very minimal. For the homeowner looking for a fantastic long term investment, a steel entry door could be your ticket to worrying less about sticky doors and spending more time enjoying our precious summer season.

Amazing crew, the two installers were punctual, of good humor, and very skilled in their workmanship, even with the additional repair required on a Friday morning before a long weekend. They were both truly professional and I commend them both! A job very well done!

Mike L.


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