Door frames are prone to damage, just like most other items in our homes.
When exposed to moisture, forced entry attempts while the door is closed, and high temperatures, they may become disfigured.
In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know about door frames and how to fix a faulty or damaged one.
In order to fix the door frame, it is important to pay close attention to any identifying features of the fault.
You need to know what kind of damage you're repairing before you start working on it.
For example, if you're repairing a door that was damaged by water, then you should use a different method than if you were repairing a door that was broken open by force.
When you have an issue with your door, the first thing you want to do is determine whether or not there's any structural damage to the door itself.
If the problem is only cosmetic and doesn't affect the integrity of the door, then there’s not much a bit of filler or a lick of stain/paint won’t fix.
However, if the issue is more serious, then you'll need to repair the area where the damage occurred.
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What To Do If Your Door Frame Is Deformed?
- Using a hammer and chisel or a putty knife, remove the door stop and molding from the frame. By removing the block and trimming along the way, you should begin with the base and progress upward. This is an essential step in order to fix your deformed door frame.
- Detach the stop carefully from the frame so that it doesn't get damaged. You can accomplish this by pressing firmly down on the nail with the head of the hammer. This ensures that you are able to freely work on the door frame without the risk of doing further damage.
- The door is secured by adding shims to both sides of the frame. If you don't already know this, remove them, as deformed door frames must be removed before they can be straightened. Straighten the frame with a mallet after the screws have been removed.
- Make sure the door is shut as you strike it with the mallet. A thick piece of wood must be placed over the area where the blows land. It will ensure that the impact of the blows is distributed evenly throughout the frame.
- The shims should now be reinstalled, since the frame has been straightened. Replace the shims that were taken out already. If needed, obtain plastic shims at a store. Their longevity is greater than that of their wood-based competitors, and their resistance to rot is also greater.
- Install new shims between the hinges and on both sides of your door as you replace the old ones. As the door has transferred its weight to the frame at this point, this will protect its integrity in the future. Fasten the shims to the frame with nails.
- Reinstall the shims after the door has been opened and closed several times. This will help you determine if the door is level. The door may also need to be adjusted if the shims aren't aligned correctly.
- After the shims are installed, it is time to install the door molding. To remove any excess, you will probably have to use a utility knife, since its size is comparable to the original shims. Once completed, make sure the moldings are in alignment with your frame.
How To Repair A Cracked Door Frame
This split may have appeared in several places on the door, based on the way it was broken.
The middle of the frame might have taken the brunt of the blow if the door had been closed or opened violently.
Burglaries often involve this scenario. In contrast, if you or somebody in your house had kicked the door hard enough, the lower portion of the frame might have split.
- Use a hammer and chisel to remove the molding and door strip. Remove the molding and strip one by one, starting at the bottom and working your way up.
- Measure six inches above and below the damaged area if it lies in the middle of the frame. Pencil mark the measurement afterwards. The only alternative is to mark measurements above the damaged area at the bottom of the frame.
- Measure the damaged area, and then cut away the frayed edges with a power saw based on the measurements you marked. Applying screws to both sides of the frame measurement will help keep the frame firmly in place. Take care not to damage the frame by cutting too deep.
- Replace the damaged wood with new wood. You can cut wood the same size by using the measures you recorded in step 3. Ideally, the wood used for the frame should be of the same material. To be sure of this, you can take the damaged section to your nearest hardware store.
- Once you have cut and purchased the new wood, you can attach it to the wall using carpenter's glue. Two nails should be hammered into the timber to stabilize it. One nail should go through the top and the second through the bottom. Sand the area where the timber meets the frame and apply a wood filler. Once the filler has been sanded, prime the timber, and paint it two more times.
When The Door Frame Starts To Rot
As you might have experienced, wood root often occurs at the bottom of the frame as that's where water is most likely to be absorbed.
Take a measuring tape to the area where rot has formed, and mark the area with a pencil.
- Cut the damaged frame away using a chisel according to the measurements you marked in the previous step. Ensure that all rotten wood is removed. The rotted wood will quickly spread to the remainder of the wood if even a small piece remains in place.
- Install a wire mesh in the opening after you have cut one, then secure it with screws.
- To fill the gap you created in the second step, apply wood filler. Add additional filler after the filler has set for a few minutes. A chisel should be used to remove any excess filler before it hardens. Sand the area and then apply one coat of primer and two coats of paint after the filler has dried overnight.
- A frame can sustain minor damage for many different reasons, including animal bites, bed frames, door keys, and other household accidents. Test the damage by gently tapping the damaged area. The frame can be repaired if the wood is not pulling away.
- The smaller nicks, dents, and gouges can be filled with filler by using a putty knife. We recommend wood filler over epoxy filler because the latter might be more long-lasting, but it doesn't have a pleasing aesthetic.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the door frame is too severely damaged, it might just be best to replace it altogether, but, as you now know, even seemingly big issues can be solved with a little bit of know-how and elbow grease.
The way we see it, there’s no harm in trying to salvage your frame first. Then, if you’re having no luck, you can go ahead and replace the whole thing.
Door alignment problems are the most common type of door fault. Door swelling is another common problem, but the classic rusted hinge comes in a close third.
Despite doors being pretty resilient, even the most secure door is likely to develop a problem eventually.
A door jamb is an individual section of a door frame.
Two side jambs make up the vertical components of the door frame and the head jamb is the top horizontal component.
Together, the jambs (along with mullion) comprise the door frame.
Yes, you can use baseboards as door trim. However, it can look visually unappealing to some due to the thickness of regular door trim versus, baseboard trim.
The door trim is also designed to draw interest towards the door, whereas baseboards don't do that.
Doorway casing trim comes in several different widths.
While 2-¼”-wide trim is the most common, you can often find widths up to 3-½ inches at a home store. Anything wider must typically be custom ordered.
In our opinion, the three methods we have given you are the best ways to fix a damaged door frame.
It is important to take your time and follow each instruction carefully so you do things just right.
If you are worried about your door frame and aren’t feeling that confident about DIY-ing it, simply call in some professional help.
Yes, it’ll cost you, but it’ll be done satisfactorily, and you won’t have to lift a finger.