Messed up doors at your building, whether exterior or interior, are at best a daily annoyance and at worst a security risk. If the door tends to open on its own, it’s not a ghost, it’s an issue with the door balance.

Likewise, if the door is really hard to open and rubbing against parts of the frame. If there’s no outward damage, it may be hard to come up with ideas on how to fix the door. Often, it’s the hinges that are the culprit of a bothersome door, and that’s an easy fix. But how do you tell if it’s the hinges? And if it is, how do you fix the door?

Let’s discuss these questions and watch a commercial door specialist deal with hinge binds on a standard steel-frame commercial entry door.

How to Tell if Your Door Problems are from Hinge Binds

Sussing out a hinge bind is pretty simple. You can be pretty sure your hinges have shifted if:

  • the door only latches weakly
  • the door doesn’t latch and won’t stay closed
  • the door has slowly become more difficult to open
  • you have to lift the door to make it latch
  • you physically can’t force the door closed
  • you can see the margins of the door are uneven

Fixing a Commercial Door with Bound Hinges

The term “hinge bind” describes a swinging door that has gone off balance. It’s an extremely common issue, as the door is used dozens of times a day; it’s going to need a tune up at some point. The key to fixing bound hinges is to rebalance the door by doing exactly what was done when it was installed: shimming and shoring.

First, try lubricating the hinges – a lot. If you’re just dealing with seized hinges, some WD-40 and a few opens and closes to let it penetrate the inner parts of the hinges can fix the issue. But if it doesn’t, that means you’re going to have to adjust the hinges to get the door back to its original, functional position.

Shoring Up a Crooked Door

If the door is binding on the hinge side, you’ll likely see rubbing marks on the frame and wall on that side. Remedying this is often a simple fix of tightening all the screws on the hinges, replacing any stripped ones, and adding a long drywall screw to each hinge. This screw will anchor each hinge into the stud in the door’s frame.

Shimming an Unbalanced Door

Another remedy for wall binding, as well as one for binding on the knob side of the door, is to remove the hinge opposite the bound area, add a steel shim, and reattach the hinge. To identify which hinge to shim, look at where the door margin is gone; if the door is rubbing on the top side of the frame, shim the bottom hinge, and vice versa. It might take a try or two, but once you’ve fixed all the margins, your door will work properly again.

Need a visual? Let’s take a look at how a commercial door pro can fix a hinge bind in no time; you’ll realize this is a pretty safe and easy DIY. Or if you’d rather not be bothered, it’s a pretty cheap and easy professional repair.