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Sometimes, it’s the little things that trouble us when we least expect them to. Take a door jamb for instance. It may look insignificant, but if your door jamb gets damaged, it can make opening and closing doors a nightmare, and the door frame an eyesore. Let’s explore some easy DIY door jamb repair tips to help you tackle minor issues.
What is a door jamb?
A door jamb aka doorpost is the vertical part on either side of the door frame onto which the door is secured. A door jamb has an important role to play as it holds the weight of the door on the mounting hinges. Moreover, it determines the integrity of the door locking system.
Simply put, door jambs are like the legs of your doors. Interestingly, the name comes from the French word “jambe” which means leg. Since a doorpost bears the weight of the door through the installed hinges, it’s important to pay close attention when it’s time to renovate or install new door jambs.
Is a door jamb repair a DIY project?
If you have a door jamb that needs repair work, you can easily do the home improvement project on your own. However, before attempting any DIY project, ensure that you take the necessary safety precautions. Do use safety goggles and gloves. Especially, if it’s your first time working on a DIY job!
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How to begin repairing a door jamb
Minor damages to your door jamb can be fixed with a few simple tools and a little bit of carpentry skill. These small issues could include mildly warped door frames, nicks or dents, little wood rot, or a split jamb as a result of physical force.
Whichever minor door jamb repair it is, the first step is to remove the door from the door frame if you want to protect it. Make sure to mark the door trims for easy reinstallation later on.
Here’s how to remove your door before repairing it:
- Use a nail and hammer to tap the hinge pins loose and pull them out.
- Gently open the door and set it aside.
- Get to work on your door jamb repair.
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How to fix warped door jambs
- Use a hammer and chisel to pry off the door molding from its frame — starting at the bottom and working upwards.
- Remove the shims between the wall and the door frame.
- Gently hammer the door frame back into shape with the help of a mallet and a flat piece of wood. Make sure it’s leveled properly.
- Reinstall your door and the door shims.
- Put the door molding back.
- Fill the divot with some spackling compound to get a neat finish.
How to fix minor nicks and dents
- Identify the severity and extent of the damage.
- If the door jamb has just a scratch, you can sand it to get a smooth finish.
- For deeper dents, nicks, and gouges, use an epoxy filler to fill the dent. Let the area dry overnight.
- Sand the dried epoxy till smooth.
- Apply one coat of primer and two coats of paint.
How to fix minor wood rot
- Remove all the rotted portions using a chisel or straight oscillating tool. If the wood rot is deep — going right through the door frame — you should consider replacing the door jambs and door frame altogether.
- For shallow wood rot, fill it with a folded wire mesh of the right size — screwing it in place.
- Cover the wire mesh with epoxy filler and let it dry completely overnight.
- Sand the area till smooth.
- Apply a single coat of primer and two coats of paint.
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How to fix a split jamb
- Pry off the door molding from its frame using a hammer and chisel.
- Mark the area of damage — 6 inches above and 6 inches below.
- Cut the marked area with a small hand saw.
- Use a piece of the same type of timber, of the same size, and put it in place on the door frame using wood glue. Avoid pressure-treated wood as it may twist on drying out.
- Hammer nails to secure the new timber into place.
- Fill the divot with a little spackling compound to give the area a neat finish.
- Sand and cover the area with wood filler to fill the gaps.
- Sand again.
- Apply a coat of primer and two coats of paint.
- Reinstall the door molding, drive the nails in, and fill the divot with spackling compound.
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When your door jamb gets damaged, it will either need minor surface repairs or a complete door jamb replacement. Keep in mind that normal wear and tear, water damage, cracks, and other issues with your door jamb are inevitable — but thankfully treatable.
We’re sure armed with these simple steps, you can prevent future problems related to your door jamb. But, if you still find these steps a little overwhelming, don’t hesitate to hire a licensed professional. A little help can make your life easier and hassle-free.
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