The doors are some of the highly used fixtures in your home. This high usage subjects them to some form of wear and tear with time. One of the issues you may experience with your doors is their inability to latch. Having a door that could simply be pushed open without even the need to turn the knob can be risky. For this reason, here are a few things you can do to fix the door that won't latch.
Check The Hinge and Strike Plate Screws
Start by checking the hinge screws as well as those inside your door's strike plate. They should be tight. You can easily tighten any loose screws. Before tightening the hinge screws, check to see whether the door sags. If it does, propping it up first with a book or newspaper should help align it perfectly. Sometimes the wood may fail to hold the screws tight. In such a situation, you need to use toothpicks to fill the hole. Dip the toothpicks in wood glue and stick them inside the screw holes. Let the glue dry and try tightening the screws again. The wood should hold them perfectly.
Check That the Door Latch Slides In and Out Smoothly
For a properly functioning door latch, it should easily slide in and out. If this is not the case, you may have to perform some tasks to try fix the problem. First, try lubricating the latch. If it doesn't work, check your door knobs and try loosening them. If they had been installed too tightly against the door, it could be the cause of this problem. If all these don't work, consider replacing your entire door latch mechanism.
Reposition or Adjust the Strike Plate
If your door's strike plate and latch are misaligned, your door won't latch. To determine the misalignment, you will need to perform the lipstick test. Start by sticking a piece of masking tape to your door's strike plate and smearing lipstick on the door latch's edge. Close your door carefully and check to see whether there's a gap between the smudge and the strike plate hole. If there is, you need to reposition the strike plate. To do this, remove the plate, which is often held by screws. You can then chisel out or drill the wood for the door latch to fit. Last, you will reposition the strike plate carefully to allow the door latch to fit correctly into your newly chiselled out or drilled strike plate hole.
If your door issues seem too complicated for you to fix, considering bringing in door repair specialists as they may be able to spare you the trouble of investing in a completely new door.