Hinges are an important part of the structure of our doors as it not only provides support for the weight of the doors but are also the pivot points that allow the doors to swing open and close efficiently.
Misaligned door hinges can be a real hassle, and if you’re currently experiencing them, you might be wondering what techniques you can do at home to fix this.
Fortunately, there are different ways you can do to align door hinges, and you can easily do it yourself at home. You only need to use a few simple tools and little effort on your part!
Here is a comprehensive guide to learn about the possible causes of this issue and the best solutions to resolve your misaligned door hinges problem.
What Causes Misaligned Door Hinges?
There are several possible causes why your door hinges don’t line up. Misalignment of your door hinges could be the result of loose hinge screws due to the constant use of your doors.
It could also be because of the persistent swinging or slamming of the doors hard, which can loosen the screws or damage the hinges due to the impact.
Other possible causes include wear and tear or rust on the door hinges and hinge screws. When there are deteriorations, the door hinges won’t be strong enough to support the weight of the door itself, putting more strain on the hinges and other parts of the door as well.
The formation of rust due to humidity and moisture can also weaken the door hinges, resulting in misalignment and sagging of doors. Also, age can also take a toll on the door hinges, especially if the door has been installed for a long time and hasn’t been replaced ever since.
You can see the telltale signs that your door hinges don’t line up when you have difficulty opening and closing your door, your door is sagging, tilting on one side, or chafing against the floor.
You might also hear loud sounds coming from your door if your door hinges don’t line up, especially if the hinges are too lose or too tight. The reason for squeaky or noisy doors is due to the friction created between the door itself and the door frame.
If the screws are just turning or spinning and not tightening anymore, it could also cause the door hinges to misalign.
What to Do If Door Hinges Don’t Line Up?
After determining the main cause why your door hinges don’t line up, you can now choose from these simple yet effective methods of fixing misaligned door hinges, depending on what suits the situation best.
Before starting the repair, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials to ensure the ease of the restoration process. It includes tools, such as a screwdriver, cordless drill, hammer, 2-inch screws, wood dowels, wood glue, wood chisel, sandpaper, and pencil.
Check and Tighten the Hinges
The first step you need to do is to look for the areas where the door hinges don’t line. You can do it by opening and closing the misaligned door and looking at the gaps around the door’s edges when closed. Hinges tend to become loose over time due to constant use, and the first ones to loosen are the top hinges attaching your door to its frame.
When the door hinges are out of alignment, you can try to tighten the hinge screws using a screwdriver—tighten especially the ones holding the hinge to the jamb and the door. Remember to refrain from using a drill when tightening screws because the chances of over tightening or chewing up the screw heads are high.
Ensure that all screws are tight and snug firmly. Remember to also look at the visible hinge spaces while tightening and ensure that the hinges are fully drawn into the door frame. After making the necessary adjustments, you can check the door hinges again and tighten the hinge screws back if it’s still not in alignment.
Replace the Hinge and Screws
After tightening the hinge screws and the door hinges aren’t still in alignment, it’s best to examine the hinge further. You can replace all existing hinges if it’s old and has lots of visible damage or rust. If they are still in good condition, you may replace the existing hinge screws instead.
You can switch your existing screws with longer ones to keep the door securely attached to the jam and the hinge and better support the weight to avoid sagging. If you also notice that the screws are only turning or spinning and not tightening, you might want to replace the hinge screws with a bigger one.
Mortise Your Door Hinges
Another method you can use to align the door hinges is to mortise your door hinges. You can take scrap wood and cut it into the desired measurement to fit snugly into the mortise in your door jamb.
Next is to glue it down by applying a generous amount of wood glue onto the cut wood and putting it in place. You can strike it with a mallet to ensure the wood is seated securely and tighten it using a clamp. Don’t forget to wipe any glue residue and let it sit for a few hours to dry.
Once the glue is dry, start removing the clamps and flush or smoothen the wood using a long angle block plane. Once the wood is flushed and smoothened out, you can now take the hinge and screw the hinges using screws to the new mortise you created.
Another simple way to mortise a door jamb is to trace the outlines of the hinge using a pencil on the cardboard. You need to trace half of the hinge two times on the cardboard if you’re going to adjust one of the door hinges.
You can also trace additional outlines to each door hinge and repeat the process until you have made outlines for all hinges on your door. Next is to cut the outlines you traced as precisely as possible.
After cutting, put two pieces of the cardboard cutouts in the mortises or the indents on the door or where the hinge plates rest. Place the hinges back and screw the door hinges to secure them properly. Do this process to all your hinges, and once done, the cardboard shouldn’t be visible anymore.
This method should align your door hinges to prevent your door from sagging. It will also help minimize the gap between the frame and the door.
When you experience common door problems, such as its hinges not being in the right alignment, determining the possible causes or the telltale signs is a good practice to help you know the suitable method to fix the issue.
Use the door hinge realignment tips mentioned above to help you identify the specific cause of your problem and repair it efficiently.