Let's face it, in the pantheon of routine home maintenance, caring for your door hinges and hardware clearly isn't as high a priority as say, getting your annual furnace maintenance done or regularly testing your smoke detectors. So why worry about your door and hinge hardware? For most people the answer is simply “I don't like hearing the squeaky hinges.”
There are more reasons than just an annoying squeak that you should do routine care for your door hinges and hardware. These reasons include:
Regarding security, loose hardware and hinges on outside doors can allow easier access to your home. And with respect to energy savings, while inspecting your door hardware, it is a great opportunity to also check your doors’ weatherstripping, which can save you on your energy bills. And finally, regarding catching small problems early, something as simple as tightening a few screws in your door hinges can save you having to have the entire door re-hung later on.
The first step is to assemble the tools that you will need. If you don’t have a small handy toolbox, then just get a bucket, and place the following items in it: a flathead screwdriver; a phillips-head screwdriver; a can of light penetrating oil; a small hammer; a roll of weatherstripping; a sharp knife; and some clean rags. You will also want to bring a small bucket with mild soap and water.
As you go around your home you will want to tighten the screws in the hinges, and tighten the screws on doorknobs and related hardware. Next, add a drop or two of oil to the top of the hinge. Be careful not to over oil, otherwise you will get oil dripping down your walls.
Only clean your door hardware with mild soap and water. The chemicals that are used in most cleaners and polishes can be harmful to the clearcoat finish that are on nearly every brand of door hardware on the market.
When you get to your exterior doors or doors on closets that are on outside walls, then you will want to inspect the weatherstripping on the bottom of the door and around the door frames. Gaps in these areas can increase your energy costs for heating and cooling your home.
If when you are tightening the screws in the hinges and you find the screws will not tighten because the wood has gotten stripped, then here's a trick that you use: remove the screw and glue a wooden toothpick into the hole. This gives new wood for the screw to hold onto.
And if you find one of your doors is out of adjustment and not closing properly you may want to consider hiring a handyman service to re-hang this door for you.
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