Door Separating From Top Hinge!

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    Help! As can be seen in the attached picture, my door has separated itself from the top hinge. The door pictured is the door that leads into my apartment (no worries, this is the second door one would have to get through to get to me, so safety isn’t an issue and doesn’t make this an urgent matter.) This is a solid door and it has been hanging here just fine for many years. Is there a common reason that this happened? I’m considering replacing the door (I’m assuming it can’t be fixed) myself, but if this is something that is the result of improper hanging, I can ask my landlord to have a handyman come by. (I’d rather do it myself if possible and not bother the LL) Any ideas?

    In case the picture doesn’t post here, you can see the pic on my Flickr page:

    www.flickr.com/photos/35191472@N03/5621983842/

    34 Replies

    1. Door hinges are those metal plates that allow a door to swing back and forth between the closed and the open position. This action allows easy access to the interior of a building, or once inside, the door hinges then allow interior doors to open and close with ease. When a door hinge is installed, a hinge plate is attached to both the door and the frame of the doorway to create the mechanism for the movement of the door. The key to the operation of a door hinge is the hinge pin, that long solid shaft that allows the door to pivot along the axis of the hinge pin. Without the hinge pin the door would be an immovable object.

    2. Jock, does it have to be fire rated? It’s not really an exterior door. Lemme explain…my building consists only of my apartment and one commercial space below me. At the building entrance is a door. Let’s label that Door #1. That door leads to the vestibule. There you are faced with two different doors. One goes to the commercial space. The other is for me only. We’ll call that Door #2. Behind Door #2 (which only I have a key to) is a stairwell. Up the stairs is a landing/hallway where you are faced with Door #3, the door that leads directly into my apartment. Door #3 is the one pictured above that has come unhinged. Door #2 is fire-rated. Does Door #3 have to be in this instance?

    3. Is the whole website unhinged? I can get on the forum but nowhere else.
      Until this person’s door is fixed — probably jinxed rest of brownstoner.

    4. I have frequently jammed wooden matches and or toothpicks covered in glue into the screw holes before re-tightening the screws – it almost always seems to work

    5. I agree with WBer. That’s not a solid door, that’s particle board! Get rid of that POS and replace it with a solid wood door.

    6. Bond is right. The screw heads should be flush with the top of the hinge. These are too large and don’t seat flush in the countersunk holes i the hinge..

    7. You could use bungie cords instead of clamps.
      I think bxgrl means shims to make sure the door is really tightly shut.

    8. Thanks, WBer. I’ll go for smaller screw heads and glue. If all else fails by Monday, I’ll call the LL about a new door.

    9. Part of your problem is the screws are oversized, it looks like a #12 or #14 so the head can’t seat itself flush with the hinge. If memory serves me, it should be a #10 wood screw. Longer screws would be fine, but not thicker, that’s just going to make the problem worse. The current screws causing the door hinge strip to flex away from the door whenever you close the door. Replace those and then just wood glue and tacks should take care of the rest.

    10. Longer screws won’t hurt, but they probably won’t help on this door, as they’ll just hit into particle board, which doesn’t hold as well as wood (without anchors). The wood jamb piece is doing all the work here, once the screw hits the particle-board core, not much is happening. I think you also need smaller screw heads – these sit proud of the hinge, and they should rest in the chamfer of the screw holes (as do the screws on the jamb side). That could be putting stress on the door, and might have even led to the damage you’re looking at.

      Not sure that sort of laminated door is worth the effort, but if you have a motherload of glue, it’s worth a try.

    11. So, if tight shimming doesn’t work, I should go for the clamps? I just hate to leave the door open cause then the cats will get into the hallway. The hallway is all mine and the cats won’t disturb anyone, but Pia may pee in my shoes 🙁 And Mr. Bu is likely to find a way to hurt himself out there with the tools and such.

    12. If you can shim it tightly, yes. Otherwise you’re likely to get a door that isn’t square and binds.

    13. Snaps- if you have those thin chucks, you can force them in to make the frame tighter while the glue dries.

    14. ppwest, how true!

      Wait…can I do the glue and screw thing and then leave the door closed for several hours in lieu of clamping? When shut, the pieces are forced together in the door frame.

    15. If that piece is properly glued back, it does look like the screws are at least gripping it for the thickness of that piece, which should be enough. What you can do is once you glue the piece back, fill the screw holes with epoxy and wood matches, let dry and reinsert the screws.

      Nothing like a good long weekend project that involves screwing.

    16. Worse than that, pete, she’s entirely unhinged.

      Seriously, snappy, I think dibs’s advice is worth trying, first. However, it appears that the threading is no longer holding on the part that delaminated. If the door is not hollow, you might try replacing the screws with longer screws when you glue the section back on, and use wood screws for better threading. Those in the picture look like screws for wall anchors.

    17. Thanks, BSM! I have a motherload of wood glue (don’t ask!) but do need large enough clamps or rope.

      Pete, my screws aren’t loose…they are flat out missing 😉

    18. Thanks! I’ll give that a shot. While I’m at it, should I replace the screws as well? Perhaps with ones slightly thicker so they can grab into the center of the door?

    19. Lookks like that whole piece delaminated from the rest. Some wood glue and clamps would probably repair it. You could probably use rope as a makeshift clamp. Just make sure it’s tight and a few nails along ot will hold it until the glue dries.