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Swelling Wooden Doors: Causes and Prevention

Doors, particularly those made of wood, fit specific frame sizes. Once they stick and become difficult to open and close, however, it means that they are warped or have expanded and swollen. In today’s article, Renewal by Andersen® of Milwaukee, your local source of sliding and picture windows, discusses why this happens and how it can be prevented.

Door Expansion and Swelling

Remember that wood doors are porous and can contract in dry air and expand in humid conditions if not protected properly. This is one reason why entry and bathroom doors are often the tightest fits in the house.

This problem happens because of two things: excessive moisture and the lack of water-repellent finish on the doors’ surface. The doors’ placement and the home’s location also play a role in this occurrence. Doors located on the southern and western areas of the home are exposed to the sun, compromising their finish. Without the necessary protection against moisture and humidity, it won’t take long for them to start swelling.

Prevention Tips

Warping and swelling can occur because of a heat source too close to the door. Heaters must be placed as far away from the door as possible to prevent the door from expanding against the frame. Also, make sure that it isn’t sticking due to sealant or paint. If a warp does happen, you can fix it by sanding or planing off the affected sections.

Another way to prevent expanding and swelling wooden doors is to reduce indoor humidity. Open your windows or turn on exhaustvents when taking a shower or cooking food. In some instances, applying a new finish to the door helps fix the problem. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for doing so.

If you have warped or swollen doors that are beyond repair, it would make more sense to just replace them. At Renewal by Andersen of Milwaukee, we not only install Fibrex® replacement windows but also entry doors from ProVia®.

Our entry doors stand up to the high traffic use of the entryway. Using the latest and greatest in door manufacturing techniques, ProVia produces tough, durable doors without sacrificing beauty or color. Our offerings include Signet®, Embarq® and Heritage™ fiberglass doors as well as Legacy™ Steel doors.

To learn more about our entry doors and our casement and  double-hung window styles, give us a call at (262) 522-3034. You may also fill out our contact form for a virtual consultation. We serve residents of Waukesha and many other communities.


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