During the summer months, many homeowners may notice that their doors have started to swell or they find the door lock sticking. This is a common issue that can occur due to increased humidity levels. As the air becomes saturated with moisture, it can cause wood doors to expand and become misaligned. This can lead to problems such as difficulty in opening or closing the door, gaps between the door and the frame, and even damage to the door itself.
The issue of door swelling can be particularly troublesome for those living in regions with high humidity levels. If left untreated, the problem can worsen over time and may even cause permanent damage to the door. However, there are several steps that homeowners can take to prevent or mitigate door swelling during the summer months.
Why do doors expand in summer?
Most doors are made of wood or metal, and both of these materials can expand in the summer. Wood doors can absorb moisture from the air, causing the fibers to swell. Metal doors can also expand when exposed to high temperatures, causing them to warp or buckle.
However, the extent to which a door swells in summer depends on several other factors, such as the quality of construction and the length of exposure to the sun and humidity. The door frame and the surrounding weatherstripping work can also play a role in how much the door will expand. If the frame is not properly secured or sealed, it can shift or become warped. Weatherstripping that is too tight or too loose can also cause issues with the door’s movement.
Tips To Prevent Door Expansion in Summer
Summer is a season of fun and relaxation, but it can also cause unexpected problems to a homeowner like door lock sticking. To keep such issues from cropping up, consider the following:
1. Keep your doors clean and dry.
Regularly wipe down your doors with a dry cloth to remove any moisture or debris. If your door is exposed to rain or humidity, use a towel to dry it off immediately. This will help prevent moisture from penetrating the wood and causing it to swell.
2. Apply a protective coating.
This is an effective way of preventing door swells in summer. There are a variety of products available on the market that can help protect your wooden doors from moisture, including sealers, varnishes, and paint. These products can create a barrier that prevents moisture from penetrating the wood and causing your door to expand.
3. Install a dehumidifier.
If you live in an area with high humidity, you may want to consider installing a dehumidifier in your home. This can help reduce the moisture in the air, which is especially important if you have a lot of wooden doors.
4. Adjust the door hinges.
If you’re starting to notice signs of door swells in summer, you can prevent further damage from taking place by adjusting the hinges. This can help relieve some of the pressure on the door and allow it to open and close more easily.
To adjust the hinges, loosen the screws and move the hinge slightly in the direction needed to correct the door’s alignment. Tighten the screws afterwards to secure the hinge in place.
5. Use a door stop.
This can help prevent the door from opening or closing too far, minimizing any pressure that can result in expansion. There are a variety of door stop options available, including wedge-shaped, magnetic, and floor-mounted.
6. Ensure proper ventilation for the home.
If your home is well-ventilated, it can help reduce the humidity levels inside. This can prevent moisture from making its way to your doors, causing unnecessary swelling, and leading to various home problems. Consider opening windows, using fans, or installing a ventilation system to improve the airflow in your home and prevent door swells.
Door problems like a key sticking in the lock are not uncommon. However, they do happen more frequently during the summer months. While it’s important to identify the cause, equally crucial is the solution that you need to find to get the problem resolved.
Apart from the inconvenience, issues with your home door will place your safety at risk. It is thus imperative that problems like a stiff door lock are referred to professional locksmiths right away. This not only ensures your security, it also gives you peace of mind.
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