Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Remodeling

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-08-2009, 10:49 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 3
Share |
Default

Interior door swelling?


So I installed some prehung doors in our basement this past spring (early spring I think?). We live in Northern MN, so the humidity levels were likely pretty dry when I hung the doors. The project has been slow moving, so I was going to start finishing the doors this weekend and noticed they're rubbing when you close them... ARGH! It is quite humid up here right now (93%). I tried tightening the hinges, thinking that may help, but it didn't help enough. Does anyone have any thoughts on if the humidity is actually the culprit, and also, what is the best way to fix?

jdeters79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2009, 01:32 PM   #2
Tool Geek
 
PaliBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pacific Palisades CA
Posts: 2,488
Default

Interior door swelling?


Humidity is the culprit. Your reasoning is right on. Thanks for including the present 93% NOW humidity number.

You can get a dehumidifier for the basement, which may help some over the long term but not solve the immediate problem:
http://www.allergybuyersclubshopping...ndustrial.html

The only way I know to fix the swelling is to scribe all sides of each door for a uniform gap then with a belt sander sand down to the line including a 3 deg bevel on the lock stile.

The easiest way to scibe a uniform gap is to use a common lead pencil held flat against the jamb to scribe a line 1/8" from the jamb. Then remove the hinge pins and with the door supported hinge side down, go at it with the belt sander.

Before reinstalling the door seal the bottom edge if you are going to finish the doors in the jamb.

__________________
Disclaimer
& Stay Safe
.....Bob Lavery
PaliBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
Civil Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,134
Default

Interior door swelling?


I believe PaliBob is absolutely correct, my interior doors do the same thing (swell in summer, contract in winter), and I believe so do everyone else's doors. Even if they are painted, the humidity will cause the doors to change dimensions over the course of a year.

The only thing I would add is that when I cut interior doors down a small amount (say 1/4 inch or less), I use a router with a long straight bit, typically about inches long and 3/4 inch in diameter. By making several passes, you can get a very nice cut with minimal chipout. Make sure you use a full length fence, no way you can hold a router straight over the length of a door. In my experience, this works better than a belt sander, which is easy to cut too much with, or get a wavy edge.
Daniel Holzman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2009, 12:17 AM   #4
Renovation Contractor
 
Paragon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Moorhead, MN/ Fargo, ND
Posts: 226
Default

Interior door swelling?


Hello from Fargo! well Moorhead but same thing, lol.

Okay so now here are my questions to establish "what the culprit might be"
0) where is the door rubbing? (forgot to ask this question then thought I should ask it first, lol)
1) where did you buy the doors?
2) how much did they cost each?
3) what are the doors made of are they hollow core or solid?
4) did you shim around the doors when you installed them? Did you shim both the hinge side and the latch side or just suck one side up to the framing and shim the other? Did you shim at all? How far apart were your shims?
5) How much of a reveal is above the door? Is it currently equal all the way across from side to side or does it decrease fromone side to the other inother words does the reveal look like an arrow or is it nice and even all the way across above the door?
6) how much of a reveal is there on the latch side? Same as the top, is it equal all the way down or is it shaped like an arrow? How much of a reveal on the latch side was there when the door was installed and was it even then?

Based upon the answers to these questions I might be able to express some opinions why the doors might be rubbing and how to fix the problem. Humidity MAY be the problem but we will have to see what your answers are first.

Just wait before you "go at that door" with anything!

Thanks for your time and attention and I eagerly await your response!
__________________
James D. Van Raden
Owner, Paragon Renovations Moorhead, MN/ Fargo, ND
"Committed to providing the finest renovation services available"
Paragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2009, 07:13 PM   #5
Drywall contractor
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 2,094
Default

Interior door swelling?


If you notice on the mfgr's. disclaimer on most doors you purchase, NO WARRANTY if the TOP and BOTTOM (basically all four edges of the door) are not sealed/painted also. Something many people do not do. Palibob is on the right track for a fix. Do you have "controlled air" (HVAC running) in your basement?? If not, I'd try running a dehumidifier for a while and see if the doors get back to "working". If they do, there's your answer. If you trim/sand/shave the doors now and add HVAC later, you'll have gaps around the frames. All lumber "moves" twice a year. Once during the heating season and once during the cooling season (when there is a "conditioned" enviornment) more than that due to humidity changes. A prehung door made from "composite" materials is way more likely to be affected by these changes than actual lumber.....
__________________
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a soldier. Support our troops.
bjbatlanta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2009, 09:02 PM   #6
Renovation Contractor
 
Paragon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Moorhead, MN/ Fargo, ND
Posts: 226
Default

Interior door swelling?


bjb very true! However a hollow core Menards $49 special with an origional 1/8" factory latch side reveal that is hung not as precisely as it could have been without a proper RO can also contribute to the door not working so great at a later date and time as well and is the purpose of the questions I asked earlier.

I always cut down my doors with a skill saw but in this case a power planer may be the ticket if the only solution at this point is to alter the slab however if there are deficiencies with the install or deficiencies in the quality of the doors there may be other directions one should go, like removing the cheapo doors and putting in quality doors that will not so drastically change with the seasons, will fit correctly and not require the homeowner to make any more adjustments down the road every summer.

When it comes to doors you get what you pay for and a person can get some very nice solid 6 panel oak doors prefinished for 150 - 175 and if in fact the 49 elcheapo is installed the poster might think about removing the junk doors and reinvesting their money into something that is going to last, however I do recognize that money does not grow on trees and as bjb stated running a little hvac or dehumidifier to see if they loosen up a bit might just be the best bet.

just my .02 worth take it for what you will.
__________________
James D. Van Raden
Owner, Paragon Renovations Moorhead, MN/ Fargo, ND
"Committed to providing the finest renovation services available"
Paragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2009, 11:23 PM   #7
Drywall contractor
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 2,094
Default

Interior door swelling?


You bring up a very good point paragon as to the "you get what you pay for", but this site is a source for the DIY'er. I don't think it's appropriate to "bash" their choice of doors since "prehung composite" doors are what "sells" at the big box stores and is the easiest for a novice to install. These doors are already installed, why suggest "removing the elcheapo doors when that's likely not an option. Do you actually approach YOUR customers with the attitude they're stupid for buying what's available to them??? That's the way you're coming off in this post....

Just my .02 worth too, and no offense meant personally to paragon.
__________________
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a soldier. Support our troops.

Last edited by bjbatlanta; 08-14-2009 at 11:29 PM.
bjbatlanta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2009, 01:00 AM   #8
Renovation Contractor
 
Paragon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Moorhead, MN/ Fargo, ND
Posts: 226
Default

Interior door swelling?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bjbatlanta View Post
You bring up a very good point paragon as to the "you get what you pay for", but this site is a source for the DIY'er. I don't think it's appropriate to "bash" their choice of doors since "prehung composite" doors are what "sells" at the big box stores and is the easiest for a novice to install. These doors are already installed, why suggest "removing the elcheapo doors when that's likely not an option. Do you actually approach YOUR customers with the attitude they're stupid for buying what's available to them??? That's the way you're coming off in this post....

Just my .02 worth too, and no offense meant personally to paragon.

First of all, let me thank you for your words of praise. I appreciate your candor and the support on the consumer getting what they pay for, it was very kind.

Second, you are very correct when you say that these doors are what sell and I meant no offense when I referred to these doors as "el cheapos" it was meant as a catch phrase rather than an insult.

It was not my intent to come off condescending to anyone in this or any other thread. However we as professionals owe it to our clients to be honest, informative and trustworthy as that is what they pay us to be. The consumer guides their every decision on what professionals tell them both in the field and in the store. These consumers depend on the weekend warrior in the big box store who sells them these abominations. The associates tell them there really is no difference between products so the consumer who most of the time happens to be the DIYers trusts this to be true. So now the consumer scoops up ten of these doors, proud as can be and totes them off to their beautiful new basement, at a heck of a savings over those other more expensive doors until come summer the doors start to swell so severely that they can't open them. However, they don't understand why they don't work because the professional at the store told them they were just as good as the others. Worse yet maybe there was NO ONE to guide them in their purchase because the millwork associate was over in paint the morning the consumer went into the store to spend their hard earned money.

Now as far as easibility to install, if light = easy then yes you are correct but I would wager that the average novice would have a much easier time installing a well manufactured / milled door wouldn't you? These hollow core doors might be easier to move but easier to install with their miniscule 1/8" reveals and poorly constructed jambs? I on any day would choose to install a quality door over a more economically priced door because they just seem to go that much nicer, for me. There is a reason that sometimes things look like it is so easy and that is because it starts with and ends with quality. After all a high quality tool works better than a China knock off and that is why I invest in my tools and not just search out the bargain.

You are correct those doors are already installed and I do believe I acknowledged that in the money tree analogy? I recognize that these are not just throw away items, however, if the consumer would have been guided with honesty as to which doors they could have purchased then we may not have seen this consumer here, but wait, do we know that it is the slab swelling or did we just assume that from Pali Bob identifying the culprit being moisture?

If you look at my initial post I asked a battery of questions to help identify what the true culprit might be. The jambs may have been over shimmed, may have been installed incorrectly or not shimmed at all. The door may be sitting in the R.O. crooked causing the doors to rack but we don't know any of that. The cure may just be some simple adjustments and voila the problem is fixed.

I also did not intend to accuse anyone of being stupid and if I did I apologize for that as well.

Now, as far as how I approach my clients, that is another story, let me explain. I approach my clients with the utmost of respect, honesty and integrity. I educate them every step of the way as to what their options are and what may be in their best interest. I would never suggest to a client to save a few dollars on doors on a multi thousand dollar maybe even tens of thousands of dollars (in the case of finishing a basement)just to have them have doors a short time down the road not open, would you? If I were in the store selling them doors I wouldn't sell them that kind of inferiority either because I know better but if no one tells them then they would never know. I would never recommend them purchasing this kind of inferior product because 1 know they can get quality aesthetics, value and functionality for a few dollars more. I always make sure that my clients are 100% satisfied (there is no such thing greater than 100% so I won't use that cheesy analogy). I ensure that they know where every one of their dollars goes on their projects. I ensure they know what each step of the process is going to be and what their decisions mean to the project. I present my clients with a project rendering so that they can walk through the project before one hammer ever swings and I post it to my website so that they can review the project at any time, from any computer, so they can make sure it is exactly what they want. I get to know my clients on a one on one basis so they know me and I know them. I don't believe in my clients just being a check at the end of the project I consider them my partner. I treat each and every one of my clients with the highest regard and their projects are ultimately theirs I am just the vehicle to get them to completion. What they choose is their choice but if I fail to educate them to their level of satisfaction, then I have failed myself, the project and most importantly them, THAT is how I approach my clients!

Now onto jdeters79's situation.

If once we identify that the problem on this project is the slab swelling then yes the poster needs to trim the doors down and re mortise hinges. If the problem is going to reoccur next year and they have to do it again they are going to be frustrated. If the trimming of the doors cause additional problems and the doors do not operate correctly then maybe the best bet is to replace them with doors that function correctly. It is a hard call to make because once again we still don't know what the "real culprit" is. Just because we have 93% humidity does not mean that is what was or is causing the malfunction of the door as there is a multitude of things that may be "the culprit" and if we as professionals are just going to assume and not look at all of the possibilities then we have failed jdeteer79 who has come to us seeking professional advice.

So once again just my .02 worth take it for what you will and I will ignore your assumptions about how I approach my clients just as I will ignore the assumption that it is definitely moisture causing the doors not to work.

Take care and be safe and no offense taken
__________________
James D. Van Raden
Owner, Paragon Renovations Moorhead, MN/ Fargo, ND
"Committed to providing the finest renovation services available"
Paragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2009, 10:25 AM   #9
General Contractor
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Stafford, VA
Posts: 534
Default

Interior door swelling?


The reveal on the doors regardless of whether they are masonite pre-hungs, oak pre-hungs, or custom made by the installer is: 1/8" on the strike jamb, 1/8" on the head jamb, and 1/16" on the hinge jamb. If the door is properly installed with the reveals being equal there usually is not a problem with sticking.

Generally when I get calls to fix doors the problem is they where not installed right the first time. That said the bargain priced pre-hungs can have a variety of defects the untrained person may not identify. I have seen evrything from the side jambs being unequal in length (1 3/16" in one case), head jamb opening being 1/16" larger than the slab, the slab being warped to rediculas proportions, hinges mounted cockeyed, etc. So in regards to quality you do get what you pay for, what you save on the materials you'll spend later in labor.

While I do agree with several of paragons points I think this particular case is most likely a combination of less then perfect installation, lower end materials, and high humidity. 93% is very high and is most likely the culprit. If you continue to allow such high levels of humidity you are eventually going to have bigger problems then swelling doors. Even if the doors where completely sealed the framing is not (niether is the casing) and is going to expand under those conditions as well. This in itself could cause a door to to stick even if it was a high quality door installed correctly. If you want to correct your current problem and prevent other problems I would recommend you condition the basement.
ARI001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2009, 10:51 AM   #10
Renovation Contractor
 
Paragon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Moorhead, MN/ Fargo, ND
Posts: 226
Default

Interior door swelling?


Ari

To quantify my response the solid oak 6 panels I usually install are purchased from a local millwork distributer and the reveals on these doors are 3/16ths to a 1/4" They are a little wider than the big box stores doors. To see the doors I commonly install please look here to see I speak from experience and am not fabricating the information to back up my claims: http://paragonrenovations.net/basementtrim.aspx. The reveal on most doors I find to be 3/16 or wider and the lower end doors I find have the narrower 1/8" reveals but that is just my experience, others may have other experiences. Yes, as long as the doors are installed correctly with a nice even reveal (gap) above the door and on the strike jamb then the problem of a poorly functioning door is eliminated.

The doors that are on today's market are a travesty at times. The quality has been replaced by speed and economy and you are correct without a trained eye the deficiencies are hard to identify until usually unfortunatly after the installation.

I apologize to the forum but when someone comes after me about my approach to my clients because of one of my responses without knowing the full story I take this a little personally. I am in this industry because it is a passion of mine not just because I have no other choices not to say that is the case with any one here but is the case with some individuals that are in the industry.

I beleive you are spot on in your analysis. I beleive that the problem is a combonation of all of the ailments and not just one single factor. A little improper installation mixed with a low end door mixed with high humidity levels mixed with structural changes mixed with poor framing and a bad R.O. is a recipe for a sticking door. I beleive it is hard to tell jdeters79 exactly what it is that they need to do as it may be a combonation of various activities however regardless of the steps necessary a conditioned space is always a good thing and if there is excessive humidity a dehumidifier to prevent mold and mildew from growing and causing other structural damage would be a good idea, however the space may already be conditioned so maybe if jdeters had a few pictures to share with the forum that would lend itself most useful.

Thanks again good luck and be safe.

__________________
James D. Van Raden
Owner, Paragon Renovations Moorhead, MN/ Fargo, ND
"Committed to providing the finest renovation services available"
Paragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.