home maintenance

Self-Closing Doors

Self-Closing Doors

Do you have a door that constantly closes on its own when you want it to stay open? This can be a real annoyance.  It was probably not hung correctly to begin with. The door is not level or has twisted slightly.

What to Check:

The first thing to check is whether or not you have a loose hinge. Try tightening the screws. This may solve the problem.  Consider replacing the screws with longer ones to help keep the problem from coming back.

If the door is still closing on its own, it may be that the hinges are out of alignment. Start by standing in front of the door and see if the hinges are vertically in line. If one or more of the hinges are set deeper than the others, you will have an issue with the door swing. Additionally, if you stand in the doorway and look at the hinges from this angle, they should line up vertically again. If they vary to the left or to the right, this could also be the cause of the problem.

The easiest fix is to try and increase the tension of the hinge pin to create more friction. First remove a hinge pin from the door. We recommend removing the middle one using a hammer and a small Phillips head screwdriver or large nail. On a solid surface such as a driveway or sidewalk, tap the side of the pin with the hammer.  You may need to put one end on a small rock so that it will bend just slightly. They bend pretty easily, so don’t hit it too hard.  The goal is to create a very slight bend in the pin. Once you have a slight bend, replace the pin in the door. This bend will create enough friction to keep the door from closing on its own. If this does not work at first, try again on another pin.

If all else fails, try to insert a shim. Remove all the screws from the bottom hinge. Let the door hang loose.  Cut shims the same size as the hinge from a cereal box. You may need to cut two or three to fill the space created when you remove the screws. Put the screws back in and you should be good to go.

How to Fix Nail Pops

How to Fix Nail Pops

If you notice small bumps protruding from your wall this is likely what contractors call a nail pop.  As new homes settle drywall shrinks causing nails or screws to protrude from the drywall.

Here is a list of supplies needed to fix nail pops.

  • Phillips screw driver
  • nail punch
  • hammer
  • quick dry spackling compound
  • putty knife
  • sanding block
  • painting supplies

You need to first find out if the protrusion is caused by a screw or a nail.  You can do this by pressing a Phillip’s screw driver into the center of the protrusion.  If it’s a screw the screwdriver will set into the head of the screw and turn letting you know it is a screw.  Simply turn it until it is slightly recessed into the wall.  If the pop is caused by a nail take your nail punch and press over the opening and tap the end of the nail punch with your hammer until the nail is slightly recessed into the wall.

Next apply a layer of quick dry spackling compound over the surface.  Allow this to dry and then sand the surface.  You may need to apply another layer of compound and sand it again.  Once you have allowed this to completely dry you can apply fresh paint over it.

If the nail pop is in the ceiling you will need to set the original nail and then drive in a second nail approximately one inch from the old one or the nail pop could reoccur.