Having a door that won’t stay closed or unexpectedly swings open can put your security at risk. It’s not a matter of a malfunctioning lock the doors structural elements such, as a frame, misaligned hinges or an improperly positioned strike plate can also play a role in the problem. Recognizing and resolving these issues is essential to guarantee door functionality and enhance your security.

If you come across a door that is being difficult and won’t close the advice given in this article may help you out. On the hand if you don’t feel confident in fixing it yourself or would rather have a handle it contacting a locksmith is always a good choice.

Doors that won’t close can be attributed to several causes: an obstructed pathway, door misalignment, a defective strike plate, a malfunctioning latch, or faulty hinges.


The accumulation of debris in the latch of a strike plate may make it difficult to close the door properly. Sometimes fragments from the door frame or other objects can partially block the latch hole. It’s an idea to inspect the hole in the door frame where the latch is supposed to fit.

There have been cases in settings where people deliberately place obstructions in strike plates with malicious intentions. This tactic is used by burglars to keep doors open allowing entry after hours. In prison locks inmates have also been known to tamper with them. Additionally make sure there are no objects wedged between the door and the frame that could hinder its closure. For example a coat hanging on a rack behind the door might get in the way.

When dealing with sliding door locks it’s important to check for any debris on the track. Even if you manage to close the door any leftover material on the track could cause it to slide open again at some point although how long it stays closed can vary.

Tip #1: Make sure to remove any debris that you find. If you notice that the door or frame is loose or damaged you might need to use trimming or chiseling tools. To get rid of any substances it’s an idea to give everything a thorough clean with soap and water.


When a door doesn’t close properly it’s important to check the gaps around all sides of the door including the top and bottom. Whether its a core or hollow core door it can. Cause the gaps to close up resulting in friction against the frame.

Unlike doors interior doors with cores are less affected by weather changes because they use wood. However if there are shifts or changes in the houses foundation it can impact the alignment of the door. So adjusting hinges or strike plates may not be the solution for situations.

If there are any modifications in either the door jam wood or changes in ground elevation due to roots or other factors you may need to make adjustments on the door itself. Look closely at the edges of the door to identify any gaps and determine how needs to be trimmed.

These problems tend to worsen if left unaddressed. Therefore its recommended that you focus on identifying and resolving the root cause than just treating symptoms related to door tolerance.

Tip #2: If your door is getting difficult to open or close it could be because the door tolerances are too tight which prevents it from staying open as intended. If the tolerances seem fine you may want to consider replacing the entire lock as a solution.

Alignment of the striking plate

Sometimes if a door doesn’t close properly could be because the strike plate is misaligned. This misalignment can happen when your doorway size changes or the hinges aren’t properly aligned. However focusing solely on adjusting the strike plate can often solve the problem.

In cases when you have patented locks you might need strike plates or deeper catch holes. In these situations it’s not that the door cannot close completely rather than the lock won’t fully engage. It’s important to understand this difference in order to find a solution.

It is advisable not to adjust or replace the strike plate every time you change a door knob. These modifications can weaken the door jamb. Impact its security. If a door won’t stay closed it’s crucial to select a replacement that ensures security when properly closed.

To keep a door securely closed both the latch and the strike plate should align correctly. Remember that spring loaded latches commonly found in doorknobs are not meant for high level security, however it is still important to ensure doors remain closed when necessary.

Tip #3: Make sure to identify and fix the underlying issue causing the misalignment of the strike plate. Ignoring this problem could get it even worse over time. While you might be able to make adjustments or move the strike plate to resolve the issue be cautious not to manipulate it as that could weaken the door frame, potentially requiring a complete replacement.

Stuck Door Latch

If you find yourself in a situation where a door keeps opening despite your efforts to close it the problem might be with the latch not fully extending into the strike plate. You can try manipulating the handle or gently pushing the latch to free it.

For latches that feel sticky and have springs using a high quality door lock lubricant can help. Move the latch back and forth times to ensure it moves fully retracts. This should improve its operation by reducing friction.

Keep in mind that lubricants may not always solve every latch issue. Different problems require solutions. It could be a matter of a connection between the handle and latch. Sometimes the latch only sticks occasionally.

Of resorting to changing locks on a door that won’t stay shut consider that there may be other factors at play besides just the latch itself. In spaces replacing commercial door locks might provide efficiency.

Tip #4: One effective method to prevent a door latch from sticking is to substitute the doorknob with a deadbolt. The deadbolts bolt extends completely making any stickiness easily noticeable and preventing any instances of the door opening unexpectedly.

Hinge Alignment

To align the door hinge begin by opening the door and applying pressure in directions. If you notice any movement or instability it could indicate hinges. Use a screwdriver to tighten the screws on the hinges taking care not to damage the screw holes to prevent issues with sagging hinges.

If there is no movement and the screws are secure but the door still doesn’t close properly you may need to adjust the hinges. To do this you can use flexible materials like printer paper or cardboard as shims. Remove the hinge place folded sheets between the door frame and hinge then reinstall it. The thickness of these sheets will help adjust the alignment of the door.

Tip #5: Regular maintenance of locks should involve checking the hinges. If you notice any signs of corrosion or distortion in the metal it might be an idea to replace the hinges. However it’s important to be careful because if you replace or adjust them incorrectly it could make alignment problems worse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why won’t my door stay closed?

If a door keeps opening when you try to close it there could be a problem with either the door itself or its lock. This issue usually occurs when the latch or bolt doesn’t securely connect with the strike plate. In situations even a slight breeze or the weight of the door can make it swing open.

Should doors be kept closed?

To prioritize safety and privacy it is important to make sure that doors are kept closed. Closed doors act as barriers against intrusions. Help maintain personal space. Moreover as stated by the Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) closed doors can be crucial in saving lives during a fire incident. If a door fails to stay closed it compromises your security.

How can I keep a door closed without a latch?

Course there are methods to secure a door without using a lock. Door wedges or improvised barricades can fulfill this function. Nonetheless it’s important to consider that these approaches might impede the ability to exit quickly through the door and could potentially pose safety concerns.

Can a closed door assist in controlling climate?

Closing a door can greatly improve the insulation of a room by limiting airflow and helping to keep it warm. When a door is left open it creates an area that requires energy and time to cool down using an air conditioner.

Does a door that won’t close pose a security threat?

Ensuring security is of importance. This entails making sure all doors are properly closed especially in shared living situations. While its clear that external doors must be closed it’s equally crucial for doors to remain shut for safety reasons. However not all doors have a security function. Take bathroom door locks for instance, they primarily serve the purpose of providing privacy. Nevertheless if doors don’t close effectively they won’t be able to fulfill their intended purpose.

When you encounter a door that won’t stay closed it’s more helpful to troubleshoot and pinpoint any problems with the lock, strike plate, doorway, hinges and so on. By going through this problem solving process you might discover that the effective solution doesn’t necessarily require replacing the lock itself.

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