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5 Common Problems With Doors, Causes, And Solutions

September 22nd, 2022 | 9 min. read

5 Common Problems With Doors, Causes, And Solutions

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Whether you walk through your garage door on your way out to work, go out the front door every day to check the mail, or open your back door to let Fido out, you’re constantly using the doors on your home.

The action of opening and closing a door takes many steps. Think about it. 

You unlock the door, turn and pull on the handle, swing or slide open the door, and do it all over again in reverse order. This repetitive action wears on your door every time you do it.

Like many things in our homes, your doors become worn over time. The older and more worn your door becomes, the more problems you will start to notice. 

Maybe the door is feeling a little shaky. Maybe you feel a draft coming from the bottom threshold of your door. Or maybe the lock is starting to become tricky to use. 

No matter the problem you are experiencing, you want to know the major cause and how you can fix it. 

Southwest Exteriors has been an exterior home remodeling contractor in San Antonio since 1989. We specialize in high-quality full door replacements for any type of exterior door. 

When homeowners want to replace their door, they are most likely either looking to upgrade their home’s aesthetic or replace a very old door that has been causing them issues. 

But, if you are experiencing problems with your door, you don’t always want to replace the entire thing, and we completely understand. A new door is a big investment. 

You just want to know what is causing the problem you are experiencing and what you can do to fix it. 

This article will cover five common problems with doors, what the probable cause is, and what your best solution will be. 

After reading, you’ll have a better understanding of why you are experiencing the problem you are and know what is causing it. Then, you can take the right next step to having your door fixed, whether it is a simple DIY fix or hiring a professional contractor. 


What’s causing my door problems, and how to fix them?

There are many common issues you may experience with your door, ranging from something that may need a small adjustment to fix and others that warranty a full door replacement. 

If you can’t close your door properly, have to slam your body against it to turn the lock, or just notice something isn’t right, it’s a hindrance. 

You want to know what is causing those problems, whether old age or an installation issue and what you must do to fix it. 

The five most common door problems are: 

  1. The door is not functioning properly
  2. The door is rubbing on the frame
  3. Water is coming in around the door
  4. Light or air coming through any side of the door
  5. Repairs and adjustments that still aren’t fixing your problem

Let’s break down each of these problems and analyze what is causing them and what your solution is. 


1. If your door is not functioning properly

The first and most common problem homeowners experience with their door is that it is not functioning properly. What we mean by this is any problems that hinder your ability to use the door correctly.

This could be an inability to close your door properly, having issues with the lock, or having loose hinges. This could even have to do with the glass on your door, like having issues opening a door window or the fogginess of the glass that obstructs your view. 

What causes the problem of an improperly functioning door? 

If your door is not working properly, it could either be an installation problem, manufacturing defect, or cause of old age of your door. 

For example, if your door is difficult to open or close, it is most likely not aligned vertically and horizontally. This can happen from general use over time or be an installation problem. 

Depending on the problem you are experiencing, there may be various solutions an expert would advise for you. 

What is the solution to a door that isn’t functioning properly? 

A simple adjustment can fix most functionality problems on a door. 

If the door is out of square, the hinges may need to be tightened or the frame adjusted. If the lock isn’t working properly, it may just need to be replaced, or there may be an issue internally that a professional can fix. 

Overall, if you are experiencing functionality issues with your door, it’s best to have a professional come out and assess the situation. They can then advise you on what the proper solution is. 


2. If the door is rubbing on the frame

Another common door issue is when the door slab rubs against the framing. This will cause a functionality issue and damage the door's foundation. 

You’ll notice your door is rubbing against the frame if you hear a noise when the door closes, the door is difficult to open and close, or if the door feels wobbly and unstable. 

What is the cause of the door rubbing against the frame? 

If your door is rubbing on the door frame, it means the door is out of square or not properly evenly installed within the door frame. 

The hinges may have come loose, causing the door to fall one way or another, or maybe the door frame was not installed properly. This can also be caused by the foundation shifting of your home, which shifts and affects windows and doors. 

This problem is mainly caused by unevenness between the level of the door slab and the door frame, making it difficult to open and close your door. 

What is the solution to a door rubbing against the frame?

If the door is out of square and rubbing against the door frame, you will most likely need to have the door adjusted. 

The hinges may need to be adjusted, or shims may need to be added around the door’s frame. Shims sit between the frame of the door and your wall, wedged in a small gap to level the door perfectly vertically and horizontally. 

If you’re experiencing this problem, you will also want to call a professional to assess your door.  A contractor will provide you with the right information on whether your door can just be adjusted or may need to be replaced if it was installed incorrectly.

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3. If water is coming in around the door

Another common door issue that can be very severe is if there is water coming in through the door frame. This is a serious issue when water comes through any part of your home.  

If water is leaking around your door, this can cause rotting in the slab, frame, and surrounding wall if left untreated. 

What is the cause of water leaking around my door? 

There are a few different causes of water coming in around your door. Water gathering around the bottom threshold of your door is most commonly caused by improper installation of the door. This means the bottom threshold is not doing its job in repelling water from the door's frame. 

If water is leaking from the top corners of the door, this may indicate something wrong with your roofing or siding, causing water to leak through the door. This could also mean an installer did not flash the door properly around the frame.

Flashing around doors and windows prevents water from infiltrating the frame, which causes leaking and rotting. 

There may also be damage to the walls around the door or in the door frame that can only be seen if the door is removed from the wall. 

What is the solution to water leaking around my door?

If you notice water coming in around your door, this is a serious issue that you should not ignore. 

Whether the door was installed improperly from the threshold, jambs, or flashing, or if it is a siding or roofing issue, you should consult a professional as soon as possible.

The door may be able to be repaired where the leaking is happening, or the door may have to be replaced completely.


4. If you notice light or air coming through any side of the door

The fourth common issue with an exterior door is noticing light or air (drafts) coming around the door.

You’ll notice light coming through the door from the interior when the door is closed. This indicates the door is not level in the frame. 

Drafts are noticeable if you put your hand around the door frame and feel air blowing in or out around the frame. 

What is the cause of air and light leaking around a door frame? 

Light and drafts leaking around the door frame indicate that the door is not level in the frame. 

An improper installation could cause this if a contractor did not install the door plum and level. This could also occur over time if your home’s foundation has shifted. 

What is the solution to light and drafts around my door?

Because these issues could be due to improper installation or foundational shifting, they may be solved by simply adjusting the door’s frame, or you may need a full door replacement. 

An improper installation is unfixable, warranting a full door replacement with a trustworthy contractor. But, if the door is out of level, it may be fixed with some adjusting. 

Gaps causing drafts and light to penetrate around the door can also let water leak in, which causes many other issues. So, you will want to call a professional to assess your door and provide the right solution. 


5. If you’ve repaired and adjusted your door, and it’s still not fixed 

The fifth and final common problem with home doors is if you’ve been dealing with and fixing many issues and your door still doesn’t seem to work. 

This is a common issue with older doors or doors not installed properly. 

What is the cause of my door never getting fixed? 

If you seem to keep repairing and fixing your door, but it still won’t work properly, this is a sign that the door is just about dead. 

Adjusting a door is like putting a bandaid on a deep wound. It may cover the problem on the outside but will not repair it for good. With older doors and improperly installed doors, you can only adjust them so many times.

So, if you seem to be experiencing this problem, there is only one solution. 

What is the solution to a dead door? 

After adjusting and repairing your door over and over again but still experiencing issues, it is time to replace your entire door system. Replacing the slab will not do the trick. 

To successfully replace your door, you must find a high-quality door replacement contractor that offers full door system replacements. Then, you will have a door that will last, and you won’t have to constantly maintain it. 


Finding the right solution to your common door problems 

Now that you know five common door problems that many homeowners experience and what the cause is, you better understand the right solution you need. 

Some door issues may be fixed with a simple adjustment or replacement or a small part. Other problems will require a full door system replacement. 

Whatever problem you are experiencing with your door, you will want a professional's opinion. A professional door replacement contractor can assess your problems and determine the best solution. 

At Southwest Exteriors, we value educating you and providing you with the right information you need to make the best decision. 

While we only provide full door system replacements in San Antonio, we are not here to convince you to replace your entire door if you do not need it. 

We want to help educate you on your door issues and how to find a trustworthy contractor. Whether you need a full door replacement or not, we are here to help. 

But how do you find the right company to help with your door problems? By knowing what to look for and asking the right questions. 

This article will outline nine questions to ask a door replacement contractor. Then, you will know what company is trustworthy to work with and feel assured they will fix your door problems. 


Schedule your commitment-free consultation today!