Few annoyances are as burdensome for homeowners as the sound of a slamming door. Various reasons can cause a slamming door, but the loud noise is enough to drive anybody insane. Thankfully, many different steps can be taken to prevent slamming doors and keep your home peaceful without the fear of a startling bang.
This article will look at what causes a door to slam before describing a range of solutions to stop it from slamming. Read on to discover nine effective ways to prevent slams that do not require much work.
What Causes a Door to Slam?
The common reason why doors slam is because of too much force applied to the door. If a person is heavy-handed, or just plain angry, too much force can be easily applied when it settles back into the door frame. We have all slammed a door at one point, and our neighbors have probably thought of the same thing, which is somebody is upset.
However, a door can slam without any force applied to it. Excessive or minimal force changes in air pressure, the hinges, and the frame’s uneven alignment are the three common reasons that doors slam. Let us take a look at each.
This is the most common reason why a door slams. Since a door is attached to hinges that hold the door inside the frame, the slightest nudge can cause it to slam. But the door would only slam into place if there are changes in the air pressure. These pressure changes are common and occur when air is transferred from an area with high pressure to low pressure.
With this in mind, any excessive force applied that is greater than normal will cause the door to slam.
Air Pressure Changes
Since air pressure is the main cause for doors slamming shut or open, let us take a more in-depth look at how pressure causes door slams. When a door is closed, circumstances in the surrounding atmosphere can change in several ways. If the surrounding windows are shut, there is no way for air to leak out of the room.
An area of high pressure is created when the door is closed, which sends the opposing air on the other side of the door to decrease to a lower pressure. This is what makes a door slam because there is an uneven balance between the incoming air and the stagnant air already indoors.
Force and air pressure may not be the only common culprits for a slamming door, since the state of the doors hinges and overall alignment can also cause door slams. Ensure that the hinges are even and flat against the door’s frame, as this can directly cause the door to swing erratically. Loose hinges can easily be fixed by tightening the hinges back with a screwdriver.
Alternatively, a door that was installed without proper balance can also lead to slamming. You will want to ensure that your door is perfectly vertical and not tilted in the slightest bit. While air pressure changes are typically the cause of door slamming, malfunctions with the hinges or door frame can also lead to slamming even without undue force.
Now that we have explored why a door slams, let us take a look at 9 simple steps that you can take to correct the problem.
How to Stop a Door From Slamming
To stop a door from slamming, you can use several devices and methods to address the friction between the door frame and the hinges. Felt pads, cushioning, and weather strips create a buffer. Pinch guards, door stops, bumpers, or a door closer can catch the door before impact.
Use Felt Pads
One of the best ways to prevent a slamming door is to apply products that can cushion the door as it hits the frame. Felt pads represent one of the easiest steps to achieve a proper cushioning of the door frame.
Since felt pads are commonly used to stop appliances and other structures from scraping against a delicate surface, the same can apply to catch a door before impact can be made.
To apply felt pads, stick them inside the door frame. This will allow the pads to catch the door before the excessive force can collide with the door frame. The pads can also be placed on the bottom mantle, but this would likely cause the door to stick. Therefore, the frame is the optimal spot.
You can place felt pads above the handle and lock since this will catch the door before it can latch into place. The adhesive on felt pads can be annoying if other items scrape against the felt, but this step is easy to do since the installation is simple.
Stick the pads and allow your door to latch onto them. Ensure that your door is properly closed since the pads will likely catch the door before it locks into place.
Recommended product: Smart Surface 8727 Heavy Duty Self Adhesive Felt Pads
Attach a Door Closer
A door closer is an anti-slam device that traps the force used to open a door inside a spring mechanism and then slowly releases that force until it is closed again. Much like how the air pressure is responsible for causing a door to slam, the same process is utilized with a door closer to reverse it, slamming into a gentle closing movement.
The spring inside a door closer is an air-filled piston that creates a low amount of air pressure between the door edge and the frame. Therefore, you never have to worry about applying too much or too little force to open and close it. The air pressure takes care of the process for you.
Installation of a door closer is based upon the type of door closer you purchase: manual or hydraulic-powered. Hydraulic door closers control the velocity of the door swinging back and forth based on the force used. Like the more common manual door closers, a hydraulic-powered door closer sits on top of the door and is attached to it to control its motion closing back into the frame.
Recommended product: FORTSTRONG FS-1306 Automatic Adjustable Door Closer
Check the Door Hinges
Checking the door hinges is one step that you can take that requires no installation of products. The older door hinges become prone to rust or wear down with age.
As the years go by, door hinges see a lot of action. The constant opening and closing the door will loosen the hinge and become worn out. It could even start squeaking.
Consider all of the following when you are suspecting a problem with door hinges:
- One way to know for sure if a door hinge is past its prime is to check to see if the hinges are level with the frame with a leveler. If the hinges are not properly aligned, you can detach the hinges from the door and properly realign them with the door. If the problem still persists, you may want to buy new hinges to stop a door from slamming since this will ensure the hinges work properly.
- Door hinges can raise many problems with doors. One of those issues is the phenomenon of doors slamming with no identifiable source. Let us leave the notion of a ghost out of the equation since there are real issues that can explain this when it comes to door hinges.
- The older a home is, the more problems that can arise with doors that have been in place for decades. Hinges can become stuck in place. Door hinges are held in place by pins, which can be lodged into the hinge due to the continual use of the door or its age. This can cause a door to sway and even buckle under the lodged pins’ pressure, leading to it not swinging properly and being easily slammed with only minimal force.
- You can usually tell if a hinge has a lodged pin by checking the hinge and looking for a pin that is either sticking out or is hard to remove with a manual twist. If this is the case, this can help explain why your door is slamming, and the pins will need to be replaced. You can remove stubborn pins with a screwdriver, and you can tap the screwdriver with a hammer if the pin is refusing to budge from the hinge.
- Although removing the door may seem like the most logical step to take when checking or replacing hinges, you do not have to remove it completely. Using a level will save you a lot of time with this step as this tool allows you to check your progress as you tighten or replace hinges. Remove or tighten the top hinge first and place a level on top of the door to ensure that the door is completely vertical.
- Repeat the process for the bottom hinge as well. A door needs to be completely vertical to function properly. Therefore, if your hinges are not aligned properly or worn out, unwanted door slams are likely caused.
Install a Door Stop
This next step will not work if a door is being opened or closed. However, this is a logical and easy step to take if you like having your windows open but hate the sudden sound of a door slamming that is caused by the wind. Installing is not the right word, since all you have to is stick the rubber device under a door.
A doorstop can be any object with weight and can be placed in front of the door. An actual doorstop is an object that wedges underneath the door, but the concept is the same no matter which type of object you choose.
Rubber door stops are more versatile and can be versatile in that you can place it to keep a door open, or you can choose to keep a door closed. It all depends on what causes the slamming to occur.
Recommended product: Wundermax Rubber Door Stop Stopper For All Floor Types
Use Weather Stripping
This next step falls into the same theme of cushioning as explained above with felt pads, and that is the application of weather strips. Weatherstripping is commonly used to seal off small cracks and holes around doors and windows to prevent air, debris, or noise from entering the home.
When using weatherstripping to stop a door from slamming, the stripping allows the door’s frame to act as a thin cushion to prevent the door from impacting the frame from the strong force. This step can also help soundproof your door, which is great if your door creaks or makes a loud noise when opened or closed.
Weatherstripping requires no professional installation, and all you need to do is wipe down the interior of the frame and remove the adhesive backing of the weather strips. Run the strips the entire length of the frame where the door locks into place. This step will cushion the door every time it closes, regardless of how much or little force is applied.
Recommended product: DGSL Weather Stripping Door Seal Strip
Apply a Cushion
This step is effective because you can use virtually any object within your home to provide enough of a cushion to slide between the door and the frame.
A door cushion can be bought, or you can alternatively use a hand towel that can be held in place with rubber bands. You will want to choose a cushion that is thin enough as not to prevent the door from being unable to close completely.
To install a homemade door cushion, take two rubber bands and attach them to each of the opposing door handles. This will hold the cushion in place, and you will not have to worry about the door slamming, no matter how much force is applied to the door.
Recommended product: PONY DANCE Door Cushion for Jammer Noise Reducing
Install a Pinch Guard
Like door stops, pinch guards are not effective for keeping doors from slamming when the doors are opened and closed. If a door is slamming for other reasons, like increased air pressure from an open window, pinch guards are an easy-to-install and effective way to prevent slamming.
Pinch guards are typically made of foam and are meant to be placed over the door hinges to prevent a door from closing. Pinch guards are commonly used to keep the fingers of babies and children safe when a door is closed, yet the guards can also function as a preventative to keep wayward doors from closing.
When installing a pinch guard, place it on the top or side of the door to keep it from closing. This step can also be paired well with a doorstop to make the solution even more effective. Since pinch guards are detachable, you can use this step anytime you wish to keep a door open and remove the guard when you wish to close the door.
Recommended product: Wittle Durable Foam Pinch Guard Prevents Slamming Doors
Install a Bumper
There is nothing worse for doors that open against a wall than having a door slam against the wall and leaving an unattractive dent in the wall. One great way to prevent this from happening is to install a door bumper either on the wall or at the baseboard. A bumper will stop the door in its tracks before it can slam against the wall.
Bumpers are made of foam or plastic pads that easily attach to the wall to prevent the door from hitting it. You can purchase adhesive bumpers or glue the bumpers into the wall.
Recommended product: GroTheory Self-Adhesive Silicone Door Bumper
Use Door Filters
You may have noticed that this guide is filled with steps that do not address door slamming particularly but will work nevertheless. Since the basic goal is to prevent the door from closing too quickly and forcefully, a range of solutions can address these problems. Door filters are designed to be placed underneath a door to keep out unpleasant odors from the outside world.
Additionally, door filters can also create a buffer between the door’s base and the doorstep that can work as an effective cushion. Door filters are able to control how much air can enter your home from the outside, which means the filters are an effective tool against air pressure from both resistance and velocity.
When a door is opened or closed, a strong current is released that helps to propel the door into its resting place within the frame. The filter makes it impossible for the door to latch into place with the increased force that follows it and the tush of air pressure. Therefore, even the strongest amount of excessive force would diminish once the door hits the frame thanks to the bottom filter.
Most door filters also come with weather stripping for added benefit, which helps to hold the filter in place. Both the weatherstrips and the filter can amplify the effect of ensuring that your door will not slam into place.
To install a door filter, place the weatherstripping all along with the door’s frame, including the base. Make sure you wipe down the door frame thoroughly to ensure that the stripping will hold into place. Once the weatherstripping is complete, trim off any excess stripping and apply the two foam ends in the right and left corners of the bottom of the door frame.
You will then need to adjust your door filter to ensure that the filter matches the full length of your door. Most door filters come with adjustable ends that can be minimized based on the exact dimensions of your door. You will need to adjust the filter accordingly to ensure that the gap is fully closed, and the filter is slightly off the ground to prevent dragging.
The door filter will not act as a cushion as many of the other steps mentioned. However, the filter’s extra weight will actively work to prevent the pressure that comes from the wind of opening and closing the door. Also, you can keep odors from seeping into your home, which is always an added benefit.
Can Slamming a Door Damage a Door?
Now, you may be wondering if door slamming is really that big of a deal? In the long run, yes, door slamming can cause damage to a door in many ways:
- Slamming a door damages its jamb. The jamb of a door is the two points of the door frame that extend vertically. When you slam a door, the jamb becomes ruptured, causing the hinges to pop out of alignment and the frame to become warped over time.
- Slamming a door can lock the door into its frame. The momentum of a door slam can affect the jamb to the point where the seams of the door can bend outward, disrupting the lining of the door. This can lead to outside air seeping into the home and the possibility of the door locking into place due to the force of the slam.
Therefore, it is not only the horrible noise of a door slamming that you have to worry about, although that is enough to warrant alterations to the door to prevent slamming. We always assume that a door will always rest comfortably within its frame no matter if it is opened and closed regularly or slammed. However, the impact can cause damage to the door that will require maintenance in the long run.
These 9 steps will ensure that your door closes quietly and you will never have to worry about the unpleasant sound and reactions that come from a sudden slam. Each step is effective, and the problem could be as simple as faulty hinges or an improperly aligned door within the frame. Remember, there are three primary reasons why your doors slam:
- Too much force
- Changes in air pressure
- Uneven door alignment
Some remedies may already be in your household inventory, such as cushions, but each step is generally inexpensive and generally easy to install.
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