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How to Keep Doors From Closing by Themselves

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Tom Lohr is an avid home improvement enthusiast. He prefers to spend the money he saves on new tools and gardening supplies.

The cause of all of your trouble.

The cause of all of your trouble.

Why Do Doors Open and Close by Themselves?

It is a widespread problem: household doors opening and closing without your assistance. Closing doors are especially problematic, as they can keep your home from heating or cooling evenly, trap pets, or cause a midnight ruckus when you walk into one on your way to the bathroom in the darkness.

It could be that your property is built on an old cemetery, there were brutal murders in your home in the past, some or all of your house is possessed, or some spirit is having a hard time crossing over and wants to pester you with its free time. Or, your house could be settling and the change is unnoticeable to everyone except your doors. If it is a supernatural thing, consult a medium or exorcist. Otherwise, there is a simple way to keep your doors in place until you are ready to close them.

The hinges on your doors are made to keep them hanging on their door frames so that they can open and close with as little effort possible. This works great until something happens that shifts the doors slightly off-kilter—then they just follow the force of gravity. The easiest solution to keep doors in place is to add more friction in the hinges. Here is how you do it.

4 Easy Steps to Fix a Door That Closes by Itself

  1. Remove the hinge pin.
  2. Put a slight bend in the hinge pin.
  3. Replace the hinge pin.
  4. Repeat as necessary.

Tools Needed

  • Hammer
  • Skinny screwdriver or punch
  • Small block of wood
Tap the pin out.

Tap the pin out.

1. Remove the Hinge Pin

Using a skinny punch or screwdriver, place the tip on the bottom of the hinge pin. Tap as hard as needed to free the pin. Remove the pin.

Setting the pin up.

Setting the pin up.

2. Put a Slight Bend in the Hinge Pin

The key to adding more friction in your door hinges is to make the hinge rotation around the pin a little more difficult. Place the one end of the hinge pin on a small block of wood and the other on a hard (preferably the garage floor or driveway) surface. Strike the middle of the pin lightly with a hammer. Repeat as often as necessary to produce a slight bend in the hinge pin. It should be slight enough that it is barely noticeable

Hinge pin before adjusting.

Hinge pin before adjusting.

Hinge pin after adjusting.

Hinge pin after adjusting.

3. Replace the Hinge Pin

Installing the hinge pin is the reverse of taking it out. It may take a little more effort to pound it back into the hinge since it is now bent.

4. Repeat as Necessary

Depending on how much gravity is pulling your door open or closed, you may need to repeat the process for one or all of the other hinges. If the door still has a mind of its own. Repeat on each hinge, adding a bit more of a bend in the hinge pin.

Ghost Door No More!

That is how you correct one of the most common and annoying problems in your home—it's both simple and effective. However, if after repeating the process on all of the hinges several times and the door still opens and/or closes by itself, it is definitely a ghost.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


RTalloni on May 17, 2019:

So useful! Taking a break from the final finishing of an addition we just finished refinishing doors in an old section of our home. Reinstalled, one of those doors opens slowly all by itself if it is not shut into the frame. It creeps me out if I'm not paying attention. Thankfully, my partner in crime knows the info you've provided. If not for him I would have to follow these instructions.