Screen and storm doors put up with a lot of rough treatment.
They get slammed, pushed and blown open. And while that might not cause permanent damage, it can make your door squeaky.
So what can you do?
Well, fixing a squeaky door is easier than you think.
We show you how to identify the source of the issue and what steps you can take to eliminate the problem. We’ll even explore the effectiveness of door closers and how – in many cases – they can prevent the problem in the first place.
Read on to find out more!
Why Does Your Door Squeak?
There can be a few reasons why your door squeaks when it opens and closes.
If the door has just been installed, the hinge and screws may be too tight, causing friction as the door swings open and closed. This often resolves after a few days or weeks and is rarely a cause for concern.
If your door is old and the squeak has just started, it could be a result of built-up dirt around the hinges. This can happen when your door is exposed to the elements. And let’s face it, screen and storm doors often are! The dirt clogs up the hinge pin and causes friction, giving you that squeaky sound.
On the other hand, squeaking could result from a lack of lubrication between the hinge and the hinge pin, which can happen over time. Most people don’t realise that doors need to be lubricated every six months. Make sure you check your screen or storm door manual for instructions on maintenance and care.
The last common reason for squeaking is everyday wear and tear. Slamming a door or using it regularly can loosen screws, damage hinges, and cause alignment issues. This creates gaps between the hinges or distorts the hinge pin, which results in squeaking.
How Do I Fix a Squeaky Storm/Screen Door?
The solution to a squeaky door depends on the cause.
If you can’t work out what it is by inspecting the door (and let’s face it, not many of us can!), try one of these five fixes.
If the first one doesn’t solve the problem, try the next one.
Once you’re successful, you’ll know why your door squeaks and how to prevent it from happening again in the future.
1. Remove any dirt from the hinges
Due to their exposure, screen and storm doors can accumulate dirt, particularly around the hinges. It’s often difficult to tell how much dirt there is until you remove the hinge pin. Gently hammer out the hinge pin and inspect it. If there’s dirt or dust, clean this thoroughly and lubricate it with a multipurpose oil.
If you see signs of rust on the hinge pin – also a cause of squeaking – use a rust remover or steel wool to clean it. When it’s dry, lubricate the pin, replace it in the hinge, and test the door. If there’s no more squeak, you’ve found your culprit!
2. Lubricate the hinge
The first fix is to lubricate the hinge.
Any kind of multipurpose oil from your hardware store will do the trick. Apply two drops to the hinges and move the door back and forth to allow the oil to disperse. This should quickly get rid of the squeak pretty much straight away.
If the oil isn’t penetrating the hinge properly, you may need to unscrew the hinge and oil the parts separately, then replace them and test the door again.
3. Tighten the screws
If the door is hanging loosely and not aligning properly with the jamb, you may need to tighten the screws.
Use a screwdriver to do this (but don’t screw them too tightly!). This should eliminate the squeak.
Keep an eye on the hinges in case this happens again. Rough or repeated use of screen and storm doors can make them prone to alignment issues.
4. Loosen the screws
If your door has just been installed, the screws may be wound too tightly, resulting in a noisy open and close. The installer should be able to troubleshoot this straight away.
If they don’t, you can always loosen the screws yourself to see if it fixes the problem. Do this slowly because you don’t want the door to fall off the hinge. Loosening it too much could cause the same problem, so try to find the right balance. If it still squeaks, you may need to call the installer to make sure the door has been measured and aligned properly.
5. Check the hinge or hinge pin
If all else fails, the fault could be in the hinge or the hinge pin. A quick inspection of the hinges should reveal if the gaps between the barrels are even or not. The best way to confirm this is to remove the hinge pin with a screwdriver and inspect the hinges one by one. Compare them for uniformity. If one has a narrow gap, you can gently knock the hinge back into alignment using a hammer and the hinge pin.
On the other hand, if the hinges look normal and it’s the hinge pin that’s bent, you can knock this back into shape with a hammer. However, a broken or intractable pin will need to be replaced. A trip to the hardware store might be inconvenient, but it’s faster and cheaper than getting a new door!
Can you use olive oil on a squeaky door?
When the cause of a squeaky door is lack of lubrication, any oil can fix it, including olive oil.
To avoid a messy clean-up, use a pipette or dropper and place two or three drops at the top of the hinge. Let the drops ooze into the hinge and clean up the excess with a dry cloth.
If you want full coverage, take out the hinge pin, remove any dust, and lubricate this as well. Olive oil works on other squeaky hinges as well!
Are screen door closers worth it?
Like a lot of people, you might be wondering if door closers can prevent squeaky hinges. The answer depends on the quality of your door, where it’s positioned, and how often it’s used.
Keeping the hinges clean and well-oiled is one way to prevent squeaking. Another important factor is avoiding slammed doors. But this can be difficult when you’ve got children or careless flatmates. That’s where door closers come in.
When you buy a screen or storm door, door closers are an optional extra and most people dismiss them as an unnecessary expense. But they can actually be a worthwhile investment.
Door closers can provide a soft close for your door that prevents slamming and minimises stress on the hinges. This means that loose screws and alignment problems are unlikely to happen. Not only will your door move smoothly and quietly, but it’ll also last longer and you won’t have to waste money on hinge repairs and replacements.
On the other hand, if your squeaky door is due to an installation error or cheap materials, a door closer won’t make much of a difference and you’ll need to speak to your installer or replace the door with a high-quality model.
There’s no doubt that squeaky screen or storm doors can be annoying – and a sign that your door might not be in great shape. The solution depends on the cause, which could be a loose screw, lubrication issues, poor alignment or damaged hinges.
Each problem can be addressed with one of the five fixes described above. Some are as simple as putting a few drops of oil on a hinge or tightening a screw; others are more complex, such as removing the hinge pin and hammering it into shape.
Whatever you do, these fixes won’t take more than a few minutes – or a few hours if it’s complex. However, it’s important to remember that regular door maintenance will prevent squeaky doors in the future. By keeping door hinges clean, using a door closer, and keeping an eye on loose screws, squeaky screen/storm doors can be a thing of the past!
If you found this information helpful, check out more of our articles below. Have a great day!