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Step 1 Open and close the door to see where the door is sticking. It is also possible the door has shrunk and the latch no longer reaches the strike plate. If this is the case, the door may pull open even when "closed" or may grind against the latch strike plate. If the latch is not functioning properly, this could prevent it from reaching the lock strike on the frame. Here is how you can fix your jammed door. 1. You should first test the door latch to ensure the latch is sticking inside the door and not due to a misaligned strike plate. When houses settle, doors can settle along with them, resulting in misaligned door latches. Screwdriver. If you want to fix a door that's not closing properly, check the metal piece on the jam for marks to see if the latch is too high or low. My Door Knob Turns But Won’t Open. It is because the door's alignment becomes worse with time and it leads to a more challenging fixing job. It may stick on the top or bottom of the door. A door that won’t latch is definitely cringe-worthy but as you can see from the instructions we’ve provided, you don’t need the skills of a locksmith to fix this simple problem. That being said, be sure to take good care of your door locks—what starts as a small latching problem could snowball into a costly repair. File off enough metal to allow the latch to catch inside the plate and secure the door. There are many varying ways a door latch can be stuck and unable to retract. Are you locked out having problems opening your door because the latch won’t retract to let the door open? Next, adjust your hinges as needed. In order to understand how to fix the issue, you need to know why the door latch is stuck in the first place. How To Fix a Door that Won't Latch. Sometimes, doors of old houses show a similar kind of problem. Now look at one of the other doors that does work properly, and see how that latch is oriented. Door catches must coordinate and align to work properly. 7 Steps to Fix a Door that Won’t Stay Closed Step 1: Collect the necessary tools. If that's not the problem, check if the hinges are uneven by closing your door as much as possible and seeing if it lines up straight on all sides. They’re almost always caused by these two problems: Shifting Foundation: Over time, the foundation of your home may shift, causing your door and window openings to go out of square. The most common problem with door catches is the failure of the striker to penetrate into the striker plate. Explore › Home. 0 Comment Comment. For doors that won't stay open, you need to fix loose hinges without wasting any time as it can lead to further complications. The bolt may be positioned above, below, or to one side of the strike plate. Do you have a door that won’t open because the lock latch won’t retract enough to open the door? Quite often, if your door is sagging – it can be very easy to fix. There's one piece of good news if you have a stuck latch that won't let you shut the door: At least it's not a stuck latch that won't let you open the door. If your door will close, but it won't latch, see our article on doors that won't latch. Troubleshooting a Kwikset Latch that Won’t Retract. For doors that won’t stay closed, fixing the gap between the door and frame along the side of the latch will fix the problem without any hassle. But in reality, door latching problems aren’t caused by bad locks. When the door knob is locked, the handle will not turn, which keeps the latch from retracting. Follow these as a step by step guide to get your door latch opened and fixed right away. Hammer. How to Fix a Door That Won't Latch. Accidentally closed latch solution: To fix an accidentally closed latch, first take a look at the latch on the door that won’t close, and see how it is oriented. 71. 0 Comment Comment. The provided methods are arranged by their level of difficulty (easy to hard). Supplies. If so, here’s how you can fix it. Sometimes, people’s first instinct for how to fix a door that won’t latch is to replace the lock. Below are the ways of how to open, repair and replace a door latch. As a house settles, door latches and strike plates sometimes become misaligned, so doors won’t latch shut. Usually you have to push the door in, and either pull up or press down on the doorknob in order to get the door latch to catch in the strike plate. 3.3k Views. How to Fix a Door Knob that Turns but Doesn't Open. You will be able to see from the lipstick left behind on the strike plate if the latch is hitting too high or too low. It happens because of the excessive use of the doors and slamming them hard. It's possible to fix these tricky doors with a few hand tools and some basic maintenance to the door frame and hardware. If the movement has been slight, there’s a very simple fix for the problem. A door knob, or door handle, uses a spring-loaded latch. A door that closes properly but won't latch closed may be affected by the weather, or it may result from wear and tear, loose hardware or settling of the building. Door locking problems almost always originate in the door latch, not the locking mechanism. Insert either a triangular file or a flat file that’s small enough to fit inside the strike plate. Solve the problem with a file, a chisel, and a dab of lipstick (any shade will do). The first and easiest thing to check is that all the hinge screws are tight. Fix a door that won’t latch. How to Fix a Door That Won't Close Because of Settling By Heath Robert Things You'll Need. A door that does not stay shut is usually improperly aligned at the hinges or at the strike plate and latch. If the latch does not catch, close the door slowly to watch how the latch bolt meets the strike plate. Again, start by tightening the screws and see if this helps. 71 Likes . A faulty interior door latch can also be the cause of an interior door not closing properly. How to Adjust a Doorknob So That it Will Stay Shut. So, if you have a door that won’t latch, follow these steps to get the solution. Embed. 3. by Ryan Block. That's not very fun. I knew I wasn’t going to be lucky; otherwise I would have dealt with this a long time ago. (Scars on the strike plate will show where it is misaligned.) If it is, use a metal file to file down the hole so the latch fits. How to Fix a Door Catch. You’ll need a screwdriver to tighten the hinges of your interior door. If the latch moves freely but your door still won't latch, you need to determine how and where the latch is missing the strike plate. The turning of the handle retracts the latch by pulling on the spring and compressing it. A sticking door latch might require some lubrication, or it might be jamming against the strike plate on the door jamb. This is really just another version of the hinge adjustment described above. In this case, the easiest solution is to replace the lock with a new unit of the same size and style. As the weather changes, wooden doors swell and may fail to latch; for that situation, refer to our article on doors that won't close.. The exact method for how to fix a French door that won’t latch will depend on the specific problem and the design of your doors, but it’s very often a quick fix. Proper safety eyewear is a MUST for this task. A good first step is to apply a small amount of lipstick to the end of the latch and close the door. It may be fixed in the open or … Phillips Screwdriver Can of WD40 Large flat head screw driver Needle nose pliers New dead latch – buy after you take yours out. Therefore, you need to know how to fix a door latch. Check where the latch on the door hits the strike plate on the frame. A handful of things can cause a door latch to get stuck in the open position. In the resting state of the lock, the spring is extended. This can be caused by settling of the house, improper installation of the door, or damage caused by slamming or excessive use of the door. Here are five of the easiest ways to fix a latch on a French door: Fix One: Make Sure the Door Isn’t Obstructed. How do you fix a door that won’t lock? Step-By-Step Solution If The Door Won’t Close. Moving Striker Plate Widening the opening in Striker Plate and Door Frame Using 3" screws to draw… Door Hinge Shims: Fix Doors That Will Not Latch: Interior doors can have misalignment between the latch bolt and striker plate. Other types of doors can also be fixed, but there are fewer options when it comes to modifying the size or shape of the door itself. Many of these can be fixed by simply disassembling and reassembling the door knob mechanism. 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