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Hey everyone! I noticed that some of my interior doors are kind of warped. I would say quite a few and have been for a number of years. It seems that they start to bend inward toward the interior of a room from about the top to about 6 inches down.  Some doors, when you shut them, they bend above and below where the mortise lock is located.  I am not sure if heat or moisture caused this to happen. But, is there anyway I could "fix" it? A few were bad enough that the center horiz. brace in the door is starting to split, along with some of the panels.

 

Any info would be great. If I can't fix it, I will just have to live with it. Thanks in advance!

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Sometimes it's not the door. The jam gets out of whack when the house settles over the years.

If both the hinge-side and the latch-side of the jam are plumb with respect to the plane of the door... OR out of plumb by the same amount in the same direction, then your door is warped.

It's going to require removal of the doors into your shop, lots of steam, very long pony clamps, and some wood blocks... lots of work and lots of patience and you may get them improved depending on how warped.

On the other hand, slightly warped doors are part of every old house. Shimming under the hinge plates or adjusting the door stop strips can get your latches to line up again without having to cut into any wood.
I read your original post again and I'm concerned. All wood, doors, furniture, etc will move a little over the years. Older stuff is so old and dried out that it hardly moves that much until something bad happens like flooding or if you lose a roof and the wood is exposed to the hot sun.

But inside a house, how can your doors warp that much? Are these constantly exposed to very high humidity? Exposed to rain or mist? Exposed to outdoor temperature & humidity swings? Does the sun beat on these?

I'm at a loss, I'd expect old doors to be fairly stable.

I have 110-year-old two-panel doors; some are pine and some are oak. Some are warped.... but nothing has gotten worse in the 20 years I've owned it. Half of my doors are in a part of the house without A/C or heat... but they stay dry; even those are not moving.
I am not sure what kind of conditions the house was really subjected to before I bought it. I know on the worse warped door, that room is the warmest room, since it has 2 heat vents in it, and also 3 windows. But I also know there was some roof leaks a long time ago, and I just fixed the leaking box gutters.

I could tell the doors in question are warped since you can see it if you look at them from the side. Now that you mention it, the rooms that have the worst doors also get the most sun. I do have leaky windows too. I figured old doors would be pretty stable too..unless they have been warped for a LONG time..They are made from yellow pine I believe. I could post a pict of what I am talking about if that will help.

If it is possible to fix them, I could give it a try sometime. Other than that, I could just replace the crossmembers that are starting to split, along with the panels.. though it just wouldn't be the same. Thanks for the input!!
Un-warping wood is a huge project and results will be mixed. I'd avoid it.

If these were damaged by water as you suspect, they will move as they dry out and then stabilize for good.

If it were me, I'd make the adjustments to the jam stops, jams, latches, and hinges to get them to function properly.
It could just be the humidity too. They all latch ok...just some you know of need to "slam" a bit. But I was thinking of just moving the striker plate out a bit so they close easier. Other than that they are ok. I don't think they will ever go back to how they were though. It could have been a number of reasons why they warped in the first place. The whole area flooded back in 1913, and I actually found an old picture of my house during the flood. The whole basement was flooded up to the first floor. lol..


Yeah, I was thinking my plan to fix the doors would be to just glue/fill the crack in the panel.. I wouldn't dare try to glue the panel to the frame itself. I could see that they floated around over the years. Thanks for the info though. I guess that makes trying to fix them, but not unwarp them, seems like the way to go.
You could fill in the splits and glue the panels back together with something strong like a polyurethane glue. Just don't get glue in the panel slots... they are supposed to "float".
I had a really warped bathroom door in my previous house from 1907. I'm sure it was due to the humidity. We took it off the hinges and clamped it down to straighten it out - it was a temporary fix, though. Good luck!
Yeah, I am thinking humidity prob did this to my doors. The front door is warped but just at the very top, so it isn't flush..It causes some air leakage. I am trying to fix that problem the best I can.

I guess I can just live with the warped door(s) then. They all latch and everything. Just trying to make something inperfect closer to perfect :) I could just get a center section of the worst door made when I get my missing doors made. That door warped so bad that the routed edge just split and came off, and it is facing the upstairs hallway. It happend a long before I owned the house though. Another door is starting to do the same thing, so I will see what I can do to help it not get as bad.

Thanks for the info!

In the old house I recently bought, it was on the market for over a year and all that time the heat was off. Closet and cabinet doors refused to open when I inspected the house prior to purchase, Since I moved in and turned the heat on, all doors open quite easily.

I am assuming that your house may have been left unheated for quite some time to have warped doors.

That is very possible. It seems that the problem existed before the last owners had the house too though. It is hard to say what was going on lol. Water leaks seemed to be everywhere at one time due to the box gutters, or the orig shake roof, or the hatch..etc etc. But I have been able to correct a lot of the old problems that were just "covered up".  But the heat that existed after the original coal furnace must have been kind of crappy.. My father in law and I have been fixing the botched duct work jobs so the heat flow is much better now :)

I doubt lack of heat had much to do with anything.  I'd expect freezing cold (dry air) to keep the wood very stable if not just shrink a bit.

 

Changes in seasons cause doors to stick.  This is from varying levels of humidty making wood simply expand & contract.  This is not warping.

 

Warping is a more permanent condition caused by a whole lot of moisture... more moisture than you'd see normally in a house regardless of heat...  flooding, exposure to elements, constant steam, condensation or dew, splashing, etc.

Yes I know sticking doors is not the same thing as warping but I was making the point that humidity can play a role. I have pine boards in my unheated garage and every one of them is warped. The type of wood makes a difference too. Pine is more susceptible to warping.

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