Loose or Worn Hinges

If you think the reason your door wonít lock or latch anymore is worn or loose hinges there is a fairly easy check to confirm that. 

With the door in the closed position, grab the knob or lever and lift upward.  If you hear the latch click into place, you have worn or loose hinges.  If you donít hear the latch, the problem is probably the result of a warped door or the building settling.

Those worn or loose hinges are letting the leading edge of the door drop lower than it should and as a result the latch no longer lines up with the strike.  DO NOT FILE THE STRIKE.  Open the door and check if the hinge screws are loose.  You can usually only check that with a screwdriver by attempting to make them tighter.  You may also find that it is easier to tighten them if you lift up on the leading edge of the door at the same time.  If the screws seem stripped and won't tighten, see our solution for that problem.

If that didnít work, it is likely that your hinges are worn.  That wear is having the same effect as a loose hinge but it isnít as easily repaired.  In fact, what you need to do is replace the hinges.  Measure the hinge exactly or if you have doubts and canít take one hinge off and with you to get replacements, make a rubbing of the current hinge.  That will get you the size and the pattern of the screw holes in the hinge.

In case you donít know how to make a rubbing, place a piece of paper over the hinge and then using a pencil as you would to shade a drawing, run it over the paper until you get the image of the hinge.

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