Help! My Door Is Stuck Closed (4 Solutions)

Being the owner or an adult in a household is fun. You run things your way and add a character to them.

But, it also comes with a huge responsibility. When things go wrong, you have to fix it yourself or call professionals to help.

When speaking about stuck doors, it may seem like a minor problem.

However, it’s only when you have a jammed door that you know that you were mistaken.

Given that you are here, we assume you have been in this situation. Or, probably you are stuck behind a jammed door right now?

In either case, this page will help you fix and solve the trouble!

Four solutions to seek when your door is stuck closed

How to open a stuck door

For starters, you must examine the door when looking for cheap ways to open a jammed door.

Find any gaps in the door frame or swollen wood at the edges. Sometimes, you may have to open a jammed door from the outside.

The key is to determine what causes it to stick there. Some factors you should be looking into are:

  • The internals and bolts often get rusted in their position if the lock is old
  • The lock cylinder may break, making it impossible for the key to twist within
  • The keys get damaged or worn out, so it doesn’t turn in the cylinder
  • The door is misaligned

Before you decide how to open the door, you must begin at the source. Once you have spotted the problem area, it is time to move to the next stage. 

Following are some troubleshooting steps to aid you to fix a stuck door:

1. The misalignment of the strike plate

If the latch gets stuck when you try opening the door, not when you close it, this means that you have the problem of a misaligned plate.

This occurs due to moisture in the wood or when your house foundations are not strong enough.

How to resolve it?

If the issue occurs because of the expansion of the wood, you should redo the door finish. This keeps all kinds of effects from affecting the door shape.

In contrast, you must opt for repairs if the problem happens because of the foundation. This may involve extracting the tree whose roots keep pushing beneath the house.

2. The jammed latch

The problem occurs when there is a minimal difference in the movement of a latch when pressed inwards and when you turn the handle.

It occurs due to a material pile-up in the components, making the latch retract or extend due to hindered tension within the springs.

How to resolve it?

If the problem is of a jammed latch, the easiest solution is to disassemble the lock and clean it from the inside.

To remove the metal gunk, you can submerge the components in vinegar (with 5% acidic properties).

Along with this, you should also scrub the nooks and crannies using a small brush.

The lock polish will affect how it rusts again. It would help if you used a car wax or a solution with similar properties to seal the minor imperfections.

Also, before you apply the polish, ensure that the lock components are completely dried. Put on the polish and remove excess amounts to avoid sticking on the latch.

3. The broken internal structure

This happens when there is more than one thing wrong inside the lock. The simplest sign to check if the lock is broken is when the latch gets stuck only when you try moving its handle.

If moving the handle becomes tough, you can claim that my door is stuck closed.

In such cases, you can press the latch, and it slides in or out smoothly.

How to resolve it?

When the lock is broken, the cheapest solution is to replace it with a new one.

You can check out the local locksmiths for the alternate parts. The prices may vary, and you need to know precisely which part needs a switch.

Take such scenarios as a perfect opportunity to enhance your home security. You can purchase a safe lock that doesn’t break often and requires low maintenance.

4. A key stuck in the lock

How to fix jammed doors

This issue usually happens when the keys are new and they have burrs sticking on the pins.

How to resolve it?

The spring will push the pins on the key and bind them together. All it needs is a few drops of lubricant to release the hooks.

On the other hand, the keys also get stuck when the lock is rusty and old. If this is the case, you have to:

  • Push the rim cylinder: If it is loose, you can stop it from twisting the key, and you can easily extract the key
  • Spray lubricant: Lubricant in the keyhole helps to release the pressure and makes the internal structure smooth

We recommend that you use a plastic tube to spray along the key. Use it on both sides of the key and then pull it outwards.

You can also use graphite powder if lubricant is unavailable.


Why is my door not opening?

In most cases, the handle or the knob doesn’t interact well with the spring or latch. This causes the knob to spin without opening.

There could be several connection issues inside the lock. You must remove the handle to check the problem.

What is the most common reason when my door is stuck closed?

The common issue with most stuck doors is the strike plate. It loosens over time and keeps the door from a smooth movement.

You have to perform some reconfiguration tightening and sanding.

Final Thoughts

Having a stuck door could be a nuisance. But you could solve the trouble by using the tactics listed above.

Once the door is open, remember to fix the problems that caused it in the first place. Otherwise, your home could be an unsafe space, and you may get stuck indoors or outdoors any day.

Identifying the issues is the first step when opening a stuck door. If you aren’t handy enough, we suggest that you call for help from the professional locksmiths in town.