Home Improvement

How to Stop a Door from Opening on Its Own

Imagine staying at home, watching a movie, or reading a book, when suddenly the door opens by itself. You’re so spooked, you can’t come back to the story you were just immersed into. Now, all you’re thinking about is why this door opened by itself. Could it be ghosts?

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Of course not! But this might turn into a problem you’d have to look into and fix soon. The professional handymen from Fantastic Services are here to explain why your door opens by itself like it has a mind of its own, and how you could fix it.

So, if you:

  • Are having issues with a door opening by itself;
  • Want to know how to fix it;
  • Prefer to deal with small house repairs on your own,

Then read on! This post is for you.

Reasons the door opens on its own

There are a few obvious reasons why the door opened by itself, so let us list them here one by one.

  • It was the wind. If there’s a draft in your house, then it’s very possible for the wind to cause your door to open by itself. You would most probably hear the howling of the wind and maybe feel it too. Though, honestly, this doesn’t exactly exclude the possibility of ghosts.
  • Someone’s playing a prank on you. Children, pets, roommates, even parents get in a mischievous mood sometimes. They could be doing this on purpose. Though, if you live alone, the possibility of ghosts becomes eerily more plausible.
  • Pressure change. If you are in a small room, it’s very possible to have the door open the moment you close a window or another door. It’s the law of physics, since this way the pressure waves transmits in a small distance. Still, the force of the pressure wave shouldn’t be strong enough to cause a door to open. So, even if you have this, the following is certain:
  • There’s something wrong with the door. Wind and pressure change isn’t enough to open a properly installed door. If the door opens by itself, this can tell you a couple of things about the door’s maintenance.
  • Improper installation. If the door is not accurately vertical when it’s built, it would swing by itself due to its own weight. In this case, the door frame is slightly tilted to the side it opens on. You can check this by tying a heavy object and seeing how well the frame is aligned with the string.
  • It’s the hinges! This is the most probable cause of a door opening on its own. If the hinges are loose, or a shim is distorted, you would probably have this same problem.

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Things you need to fix this problem

  • Hammer;
  • Large nail;
  • Shims;
  • Screwdriver.

How to stop a door from opening on its own

Now that you examined the situation with your door and you know why it’s opening up on its own, it’s time to do something about it. Gather all your tools and make sure you have enough time in the day to do this quick repair.

  1. Get into position. Close the door and take a good look at the hinges. They are your main culprit in this maintenance exercise. At this point, you should be able to see the source of the problem.
  2. Slide a shim. Your target is right between the jamb and the door on the opposite side of the hinges near the top. Insert the shim carefully.
  3. Remove the pin from the top hinge. Hold a nail against the base of the pin at the bottom of the hinge and tap it upward with a hammer, until the pin is out of the hinge.
  4. Check and straighten the removed pin. If it isn’t straight, lay it on the edge of a sturdy table and tap it with the hammer until it is restored.
  5. Put the pin back. Use a hammer to tap the pin gently into place. Test the door. If it still opens on its own, do the same with the bottom hinge and pin. If there is still a problem, move on to adjusting the hinges.
  6. Slide a shim between the door frame and the bottom hinge. First, you have to loosen the screws, until there is enough room to slide the shim. The gap underneath the hinge should be wider than above the hinge. Then, you slide the shim.
  7. Tighten the screws. Use a screwdriver to tighten the screws of the hinges. Turn the screwdriver clockwise to finish the job.
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Your job is done, so just tighten the screws and test to see if the door opens by itself again. If it does, repeat this process with the bottom hinge. If despite all your efforts, the problem persists, you might be dealing with a more serious issue. Might need to get in touch with a professional repairman.

Rely on the professional handymen from Fantastic Services

Doors aren’t hard to handle. Just a few pointers are enough and you’d be able to fix most problems. However, if you need to completely replace your door, or you have trouble with the lock, you might need a little assistance.

The professional London locksmiths from Fantastic Services are always here to help you with any large-scale problem you may have. Or maybe you need a minor repair, but you don’t have the time to deal with it. Get in touch with us and tell us about your problem!

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  • If your door opens on its own, due to draft or pressure waves, then you have a problem that will persist and needs to be checked as soon as you can;
  • The most common reason for a door opening on its own is a problem with the hinges;
  • It’s not difficult to fix this problem by yourself. But if the cause lies in an improperly installed door, you would have to call a professional to do this for you.

A door that opens by itself can easily spook people when they least expect it. It’s later a source of laughs, but after some time, it gets annoying. But, as you’ve seen, fixing this problem is not a hard task even for an amateur handyman. And, if your door needs a replacement, you could always rely on the professional handyman from Fantastic Services.


Has your door opened on its own for no reason? How did you fix it? Tell us in the comments!

Image source: shutterstock / Tunatura

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