Squeak Be Gone….DIY Remedies For Squeeky Things

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by Dave Jones
(Bridgend, UK)

Squeaking doors can be a really irritating problem. Although many would consider it to be a major problem, it isn’t! In fact, it’s a minor house problem that even you yourself can fix, and here’s how to.

Stop, Look And Listen

First, you should know where that squeaking sound is coming from. You can do this by stopping, looking and listening carefully. You should perform the “swing test” first before you go off buying a whole new door.

Start off by making sure that your surroundings is quiet. Then, you should stand on the side of the door in which you remember that the squeak was loudest. When you’re in position already, swing the door in a gentle manner, covering its complete arc. Do this action repeatedly and try to vary the speed while doing so.

While swinging the door, you should take note of some factors. Try to note exactly where the squeak comes from. Then try to note when it is loudest.

See whether it is loudest when you swing the door fast or slow. Then lastly, find out why exactly the squeak is happening. Finding out why is a very crucial factor, since this dictates what remedy you should use.

Two General Remedies

Once you’ve determined where the squeaks are, you can do two general remedies. First, tighten all the screws in the hinges. Then, get a flat-headed screwdriver. Carefully tap its blade in between the hinge body and the hinge-pin head to separate them.

After doing this, get a 3-in-1 sewing machine oil and squeeze in a few drops of it into the small space between the pin-head and the hinge body. If you don’t have sewing-machine oil, you can also use a WD-40, and spray some into the same space.

By applying some lubricant in the space, you enable the lubricant to seep in into the remaining length of the pin, which is inside the hinge body. Thus, you give the best lubrication coverage that you can give for the hinge.

Doing this would generally resolve your squeaking problems-if you were accurate on determining the source, that is. However, if you pinpointed the wrong source, then most probably your squeak would still be there.

All Hope Is Not Lost

If you pinpointed the wrong source of the squeak, don’t worry then! By this point in time, you have determined that the hinges are not the problem. Then, most probably it’s a wood on wood kind of squeak problem.

To solve this kind of squeak, you would have to do the squeak test again. After which, you have to release the bind, since the problem may be the hinge binding on the wood.

While performing the swing test, heed on how the door’s hinge-side settles into the door-jamb. Also, take note of how it makes a final contact with your door-stop.

This is when stop, look and listen wouldn’t be enough, since you would have to make use of touch. If you feel that it has springy feel, when the door is approximately in the closed position, odds are very good that it is hinge-bound. This can be the cause of the squeak since the door is forced to rub with the jamb material.

To repair this kind of problem, you need to remove your door by removing the screws on the hinges’ jamb side and leaving the hinges intact with the door itself. Then, you need to chisel out some hinge recesses towards the direction of the hinge barrel. Then, reinstall the door and perform the swing test again.

If this doesn’t solve your problem, try chiseling out more recess. It can be a trial and error process. However, it can be fixed.

Click here to read more about DIY home improvement

Updated: February 24, 2014 — 4:22 am

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