Let's face it, in the pantheon of routine home maintenance, caring for your door hinges and hardware clearly isn't as high a priority as say, getting your annual furnace maintenance done or regularly testing your smoke detectors. So why worry about your door and hinge hardware? For most people, the answer is simply “I don't like hearing the squeaky hinges.
There are more reasons than just an annoying squeak to perform routine care for your door hinges and hardware. These reasons include:
energy savings and
preventing small problems from escalating into big problems
Regarding security, loose hardware and hinges on outside doors can allow easier access to your home and prevent optimum energy efficiency. And finally, something as simple as tightening a few screws on your door hinges can save you from having to have the entire door re-hung later on.
How To Do It
The first step is to assemble the tools that you will need. If you don’t have a small handy toolbox, then just get a bucket, and place the following items in it: a flathead screwdriver; a Phillips-head screwdriver; a can of light penetrating oil; a small hammer; a roll of weather-stripping; a sharp knife; and some clean rags. You will also want to bring a small bucket with mild soap and water.
As you go around your home you will want to tighten the screws on the hinges, and tighten the screws on doorknobs and related hardware. Next, add a drop or two of oil to the top of the hinge. Be careful not to over oil, otherwise the oil will drip.
Only clean your door hardware with mild soap and water. The chemicals that are used in most cleaners and polishes can be harmful to the clear-coat finish that is on nearly every brand of door hardware on the market.
When you get to your exterior doors or doors on closets that are on outside walls, you will want to inspect the weather-stripping on the bottom of the door and around the door frames. Gaps in these areas can increase your energy costs for heating and cooling your home.
If you find the screws will not tighten, it's possible that the wood has been stripped. Here's a trick that you can use: remove the screw and glue a wooden toothpick into the hole. This provides new wood for the screw to hold onto.
If you find one of your doors is not closing properly, you may want to consider hiring a handyman service to re-hang the door for you.