Doors are not only one of the most practical features of your home, but they are also one of the most important aesthetic elements of architectural beauty. They add curb appeal to your house and enhance the value of your property. Wooden doors can be especially lovely with their natural designs, colors, and texture. They have a timeless appeal that is still strong today. Of course, houses built in the past were necessarily equipped with wooden doors because besides metal, it was the only material available. Today, of course, there are doors available made with modern materials that can rival the appearance of wood. But it’s hard to beat the warmth and glow of wood. Yet they do have their disadvantages, and one of them is swelling and sticking.
Why Do Wood Doors Swell?
Everyone is familiar with wood doors sticking when the seasons change. Wood is susceptible to expansion and contraction with heat and cold, causing it to expand when it gets warm and get stuck in the frame. A wooden door shrunk with cold temperatures can leave gaps, causing drafts and loss of heat. But moisture can cause more severe problems. Natural wood is a porous material capable of absorbing moisture and slowly warping out of shape. Over time it can get to the point where the wooden door won’t close or be very difficult to open. If a door hasn’t been treated with a protective treatment, is directly exposed to water, it becomes waterlogged. Then, it’s not likely for it to return to its original shape because the water permanently alters the fibers of the wood.
Prevention Is Key
The best way to protect your wooden doors from swelling and warping is to practice prevention. Although most new wood doors will be treated when you purchase them, you may have to reapply a sealant in spots with use. If you buy unfinished wooden doors to stain and decorate yourself, you must apply a complete coat of wood sealant, even for interior doors. Try to keep heat sources at least a few feet away from a wooden door. Proper ventilation will help to keep moisture levels from becoming high enough to cause swelling problems.
Repairing A Warped Or Swollen Wooden Door
One of the most common home repair questions homeowners ask is, “How to fix swollen wood on a door?” If you have a wooden door that has just a small amount of swelling causing the jam, you can usually mark and measure the area where it gets stuck in the frame. Then use a wood plane or sander to plane the area down to fit carefully. You can also try adding a hinge in the middle between the top and bottom hinges. However, if the swelling is serious or the door has become warped out of shape, repairs can be difficult or even impossible. It’s best to ask for your local renovation contractor’s professional opinion on whether it would be best to try to fix the door or to have a replacement installed. Even if repairs are possible, doing it yourself can do more harm than good. Again, it would be best if you left that to an experienced technician.
If you do have to replace your doors, you should consider the benefits of a ThermaTru door. They make some of the best doors on the market today, and RWC is proud to be a certified installer.
To sum things up:
- Moisture and heat causes doors to swell
- Prevention is the best protection against it
- Swelling can be repaired, but sometimes replacement is necessary
- Seek the advice of a professional