At some point in time, we’ve all had a door that became difficult to close or open. Maybe it wouldn’t latch properly when closed, or it would catch on the floor despite only being open halfway. A leading cause of doors sticking is wood swelling. Even interior wood doors can be prone to swelling if the air is sufficiently humid.
Once a door has swelled, there are numerous things you can do to fix the problem, but the best way to deal with it is by preventing swelling in the first place. Here are our top three expert tips to prevent swelling in wooden doors:
Seal Your Door
The leading cause of wood swelling is humidity. Moisture in the air gets absorbed by the cellular structure of the wood, causing it to expand unpredictably. In some cases, it may swell horizontally, and in others, it may swell vertically.
The easiest way to deal with humidity is to prevent the door from absorbing moisture by using a high-quality sealant. To be clear, we aren’t talking about weather stripping foam around the edges—though that can also prevent humidity from entering your home.
High-quality sealants, such as polyurethane and marine sealants, can provide a moisture-free barrier between your door and the environment. Consult with a professional to determine the type of sealant best suited for your door and the environment in which you live.
Control Your Indoor Climate
The inside of your home shouldn’t feel like a tropical jungle. High humidity indoors is often caused by poor ventilation in high-humidity areas, like bathrooms and kitchens. By ensuring these areas are properly ventilated, homeowners can reduce humidity.
Furthermore, maintaining a steady temperature in your home will help reduce condensation and heat swelling. Air conditioners help keep indoor humidity under control, and by keeping the temperature within a range of eight or ten degrees Fahrenheit, you can reduce condensation from forming. This is easy to do with a programmable thermostat that will turn on your AC or heater often enough to maintain a steady temperature, even when you are out of the house.
An Ounce of Prevention
Doors that face the sun are prone to weathering much faster than other doors–all the polyurethane in the world isn’t going to stand up to ten years of UV exposure. Like any wooden structure, these doors need proper care and maintenance. This means occasionally inspecting the seals, looking for signs of chipped paint or sealant, and identifying the moment a door starts to become deformed. Once a problem has been identified, indoor dehumidifiers and resealing can prevent the issue from getting worse.
If a door has swelled and you cannot get it to shrink back to size, the door frame may have also swelled or shifted. Environments with extreme hot-cold or wet-dry cycles can cause houses to shift, and nowhere is that more evident than a door. Adjusting door hinges is one way you can keep a wood door from sticking. Alternatively, you can sand the edges where the door gets stuck.
Engineered Wood That Resists Swelling
Made of engineered wood with real wood veneers, the doors at 27EStore manufacture stand up to the harshest conditions. Whether it’s a home in the sweltering south of Georgia or a bathroom door that’s been abused by teenagers, our doors will stand up to whatever you can throw at them.
Browse our full selection and see how much an interior wood door costs—compared with other high quality door manufacturers, the answer might surprise you.