Warped wooden doors are a somewhat common issue in many homes. Warped doors can be a frustrating nuisance, but luckily there are ways to fix a warped door, and there are ways to prevent wooden doors from warping in the first place.This blog will serve as your guide for fixing your warped door, and ultimately preventing any warping in the future.
What Causes A Door To Warp?
Changes In Humidity: Wood is a hygroscopic material, which basically means that it absorbs moisture out of the air. When the humidity in a wooden door’s environment is particularly high, it will absorb more moisture and swell. When the humidity is low, the door will lose moisture and shrink. This can cause wooden doors to warp - especially when the humidity in the environment changes from high to low (and vice versa) suddenly.
Extreme Heat: Heat causes materials, like wood, to expand. This can cause wooden doors to warp when, for example, one side is exposed to heat while the other side remains cool in comparison, the door will warp towards the hotter side.
Improper Finishing: What does a good finish do for a wooden door? It adds durability to the door, it makes it look beautiful for longer, but most importantly, it protects from the elements. A wooden door without a proper finish will thus be more exposed to moisture and heat, and will be more prone to warping,
Bad Construction With Poor Materials: Poor construction will leave a door with many weak points that will be exploited by humidity and heat. Using poor wood that isn’t properly seasoned (dried for a sufficient amount of time) will also result in a door that is more prone to warping - properly seasoned wood is also less likely to be attacked by pests and fungi.
How To Fix Your Warped Doors
Step 1 - Identify The Warp
Take a look at your door and examine the extent of the warp. It will either be bowing, cupping, or twisting. After you’re done examining your door, remove it from its hinges with a screwdriver and take the door to your working station.
Step 2 - Apply Moisture
Dampen the side of the door that is convex (curving outward). Use a damp or wet cloth. The moisture should help relax the wood fibres within your door. Leave your door in a cool, dry area for a few days so that it can acclimate to the new moisture level.
Step 3 - Apply Pressure
Start by laying your door down on a flat, clean, even surface with the concave side (the side curving inward) facing upward. Apply wood glue to the concave side of the door (you only need to apply the glue to the areas affected by the warp). Clamp the door to the surface it is on - these clamps need to be along the warp to apply even pressure. Tighten your clamps until the door straightens out. Allow the door to remain clamped for at least 24 hours so that the glue can set and the door can regain its shape.
Step 4 - Sand & Finish (Optional)
When you have given the door enough time to regain its original shape, you can remove the clamps and begin sanding it down to remove any residue left by the glue. Start with a heavy grit and gradually work your way to the finer grit sandpapers to remove any imperfections on the surface of the door. After you have completed sanding down your wooden door, you can paint it or apply a wood finish (which will help protect the door from warping again in the future).
Step 5 - Hang Your Door
After you have completed the steps listed above, you can hang your door on its hinges, ensuring that it swings smoothly.
How To Prevent Warp In Wooden Doors
Here are a few tips to avoid your wooden doors from warping in the first place, or to avoid them warping again.
Use A High-Quality Wood: When purchasing a wooden door or building one yourself, we recommend investing in quality, well-seasoned wood seeing that it will minimise the risk of warping. Some great types of wood that are more resistant to warping than other woods is; Mahogany, Oak, Maple, Cherry, and Walnut.
Proper Installation: Ensure that your wooden door is installed correctly, meaning it needs even and sufficient support and appropriate clearance. If your door has proper support and isn't being damaged every time it opens or closes by hitting a wall. Roof, step etc. it will go much longer without getting a warp since it should keep it’s strength and durability.
Seal & Finish: Apply a protective sealant or wood finish to protect your door from moisture infiltration and heat to some extent.
Control Humidity: Using a humidifier in dry conditions and a dehumidifier in humid conditions will help you keep a consistent climate with regard to humidity. Inconsistent humidity levels are one of the core causes for warps in wooden doors. This tip is more applicable to internal doors since it will be very difficult to control what your external doors are subject to from the outside environment.
Regular Maintenance: It is recommended that you inspect your doors frequently so that you can address any issues promptly. Doing so will ensure that your doors get the attention they need before warping.
In sum, warped wooden doors are a common issue that can be caused by a variety of factors, such as changes in humidity, extreme heat, improper finishing, and poor construction. While warped wooden doors can be frustrating, they can be fixed and prevented with the right care and attention. If you have a warped wooden door, the first step is to identify the warp, and follow the steps in this blog to fix it. The steps involve applying moisture, applying pressure, sanding and finishing (optional), and hanging the door. To prevent wooden doors from warping in the first place, it is important to use high-quality wood, ensure proper installation, seal and finish the door, control humidity, and perform regular maintenance. By following these simple tips, you can keep your wooden doors looking and functioning great for as long as possible.