A storm door closer is surely a handy solution for windy areas.
However, nothing is perfect and long exposure to heavy winds would surely wear it out.
You could fall victim to a broken storm door closer if you don’t check up on it or don’t do maintenance over time.
But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world if your storm door closer doesn’t work properly. It’d annoy you slightly, for sure, but I’m here to help you with that so you can immediately take care of it.
So without further ado, let’s show you how to fix storm door closer, DIY work…
Some Storm Door Closer Problems and How to Fix Them
Fussing over Hydraulic vs Pneumatic screen door closers doesn’t matter. What matters is whether or not they are working properly. A storm door closer might be a small tool, but it’s got a hell of a utility. And, it comes with its fair share of problems too.
But why let such minor inconveniences stop you from reaping all the benefits it presents, which is why I’ll be talking about some of the most common storm door closer problems and their solutions.
It’s best if we talk about further in detail below:
Problem #1: Bent storm closer
Usually, a storm door closer should be able to handle regular nudges of the wind. But heavy winds from massive storms are a whole different story.
Top-notch closers would be able to hold their own for a reasonable amount of time, but eventually, it will start to bend, especially with the ferocious storms we’ve been seeing in the US lately.
A bent storm closer can be easily straightened. To fix this, we need the following items-
- Vice grip
You’ll extend the bent rod fully, clamp it at one end on the bench and the other end using vice grip. This ensures that the rod won’t retract. Next, you take a hammer and keep bashing it to straighten it. Make sure the rod is clamped tightly.
Rotate and straighten the rod of the closer from every angle until it’s entirely straight. Finally, use the screwdriver if there is any need to adjust the tension.
Problem #2: Storm door closer jammed at the outside of the frame
Much like most other storm door problems, the wind is responsible for jamming a closer. When a storm door closer gets clogged, the rod can’t retract or extend- ultimately getting stuck and not letting the door open or close.
To fix this, you’ll have to remove the closer and take out all the pins. Now, pull the rod slightly, take a screwdriver and rotate the rod 180 degrees. Then try to put it back in slowly. If everything goes well, your storm door closer will get unjammed smoothly.
Problem #3: Storm door closer ripped out of door frame
When facing outrageous stormy weather, a heavy gust of wind is capable of blowing your screen door open and ripping the door closer. This is very nasty damage to your door frame because the wood is torn, and the metal is somewhat ripped.
This occurs quite commonly if you’ve used short screws on the door.
First of all, take out the closer, separate the wood and metal. Out of these, wood is the easiest to fix, so let’s start with that. Patch the broken wood, then add some strong adhesive into it.
For the metal, put a metal plate and glue it. Now, it’s time for you to redo the bracket. It’s better to use long screws- 3″ or bigger to give you better protection. If needed, redrill the holes for the screws to go in.
The screws go in the wood behind the door frame and through-bolt connection of the closer. Taking help of machine screws, nuts and washers will make this step faster.
Finally, pound it back in with a hammer. I’m 99% positive that it won’t cause you trouble anymore unless something disastrous happens.
Problem #4: Storm door refuses to open
Every once in a while, I hear of cases of a storm door closer stuck open from the inside, and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get it open. Now, there could be a few reasons behind this-
- You mistakenly pressed the button
- You might have snapped the spring inside that closes the door
- Your screen door closer got jammed
No matter what the scenario is, you shouldn’t panic because your storm door closer isn’t broken, and with simple steps, you can get it back to normal. Here’s what you gotta do according to each of the possibilities.
Scenario A happens with Touch ‘n Hold screen door closers where there is a button at the end. This happens mostly with people who just recently installed a door closer. The button keeps the door open, not closes it- please remember that.
As for getting it back to normal, simply nudge it further away and pull it back in.
In case you didn’t have a button and used a regular washer and rod type closer, then most likely, the spring went out. There is an easy way you could identify it, and there will be a distinguishable snapping noise that indicates the spring got broken.
Sadly, you have to replace the new closer in this case.
As for scenario C, I already covered that in Problem #2.
Problem #5: Storm door got locked open
This situation is quite similar to the previous one, just worse. The solutions that worked for Problem #4 won’t cut it here, though. Surprisingly, this is a pretty common problem, especially in pneumatic doors.
The cause of this is the storm door hold open washer not working as it should. This tiny thing becomes loose over time and doesn’t play its role properly.
Let me explain it a bit more deeply, after getting loose, the washer puts a dent on the rod when force is applied. It then fails to release over the dented area, thus being unable to move.
Fixing it is no major thing. Pop the pins out the door closer bracket then you’ll notice the other end of the rod wasn’t retracing in the hole. Finding this out is important because this hole is what holds the pin with the bracket.
Now, use a screwdriver with a thin neck to spin the rod 180 degrees in either left or right direction; it’s your choice. By rotating the rod, keep pulling it away from the closer. You’ll have to keep doing it until you see the rod retracing back to the closer.
And then, it’ll be as good as new!
Knowing how to fix storm door closer and having a rock-solid frame to accompany it will surely benefit you on a rainy day.
So just find the problem and fix them as I showed you.
But if your storm door closer is giving you trouble after all the fixes and adjustment, you have to go for replacing the door closer with a new one and you can be done with it within a matter of minutes.
This is Adam Sullivan, the author of tchardwaretools.com! I started my days as a mobile carpenter to become a full-time shop owner, and have been living my professional life for more than 8 years now.
Here I want to share my thoughts, experiences, and ideas through this platform. Stay Tuned!