When it comes to soundproofing doors, most suggestions assume that the doors will be kept closed. But some doors may require soundproofing even when they’re open; especially those that have a tendency to unexpectedly slam shut.
For example, a door that’s left open catches a breeze – perhaps from an open window, an HVAC vent, a draft that comes in from underneath another door, or even just the faint amount of wind that occurs when someone walks past it – and suddenly slams closed.
When doors unintentionally slam closed, it can be an extremely jarring experience. The unexpected slamming sound can be quit startling. If it keeps happening, you may have become desensitized to surprise, and instead, find that slamming sound rather irritating.
Apart from removing the door from its hinges, lets take a look at ways to prevent a door from slamming shut.
Why do Doors Slam Shut?
Most people associate a slamming door with someone applying too much force when closing a door. While heavy-handedness can certainly cause slamming, what if the door is gently closed and it still slams, or what if it just slams shut when nobody is there?
There are a few reasons why a door may be inadvertently slamming closed:
- The door is out of plumb; that is, it isn’t perfectly vertical. As such, the unevenness can lead to a swing as a result of the weight of the door or a current on air, which can cause the door to slam shut.
- Changes in pressure could also cause a door to slam closed. If another door or a window is open, air moving from an area of high pressure could pass to an area of low pressure, creating movement in the air. While the movement may not be strong enough for you to feel, it could be powerful enough to slam a door closed.
- There could be a problem with the hinges. They may be mounted incorrectly or they may be warped, which could cause an imbalance and cause it to slam shut.
How to Stop a Door from Slamming
So, how do you stop a door from unexpectedly slamming closed? There are a number of simple strategies that you can try.
Inspect the Hinges
First, check the hinges. As mentioned, if the hinges aren’t properly installed or if they’re worn, the door may be imbalanced, and that imbalance could result in slamming.
To inspect the hinges, open up the door to a 90-degree angle and place a level on the top of the door. If the door isn’t level, try tightening up the hinges.
If that doesn’t work, the hinges could be worn and replacing them may solve the problem. You don’t need to completely remove the door to change the hinges. Replace the top hinge first. Using a level, tighten the screws in the hinge until the door is completely vertical. Once the new top hinge is installed, replace the bottom one, again, using a level and tightening the screws until the door is completely level.
Install an Automatic Door Closer
Another option is to install an automatic door closer. These devices are designed to close a door automatically after it has been opened. There are several different types available, but we recommend surface-mounted, as they tend to be the easiest to install. We also suggest using one that’s constructed of steel or aluminum instead of plastic for enhanced durability and reliability.
The speed and pressure of an automatic door closer can be adjusted, which means that you can control the rate at which the door will close, thus preventing it from slamming shut.
To counteract the slamming problem, adjust the device to a speed and pressure setting that’s appropriate for your specific needs.
Try Felt Pads
This method is really simple and affordable, and it’s also quite effective. Place self-adhesive felt pads along the edges of the door frame. We also suggest placing a few smaller pads on the door’s strike plates.
The felt pads act as cushions. They slow down the rate of speed at which the door closes, thereby preventing it from slamming. They also absorb the sound that the door makes when it slams shut.
Apply Weather Stripping
While traditionally used to seal up gaps around doors and windows to prevent air from blowing through, weather stripping can also be used to stop a door from slamming shut.
Like the felt pads mentioned above, weather stripping provides cushioning, which helps to slow the speed at which the door impacts with the frame, thus minimizing slamming. It also helps to absorb sound when the door comes in contact with the frame.
To use this method, apply weather stripping along the interior of the door frame. Make sure to wipe down the door frame first to ensure that you have a clean surface to apply the material to.
Remove the backing from the adhesive and apply the weather stripping along the inside of the door’s frame.
Try a Pinch Guard
A pinch guard can also help to prevent a door from slamming. This device is designed to be positioned over the door hinges, preventing the door from closing. While it’s intended to protect fingers from getting pinched if they’re in the way of the frame when the door closes, it can help with a slamming problem, too.
Place the pinch guard on the top of the door so that it’s a minimum of six inches from the exterior edge. The nice thing about this option is that it can be easily removed when you don’t want to use it.
Doors that suddenly slam shut are more than just a nuisance; they have the potential to be dangerous. By using one of the strategies listed above, you can put a halt to your door slamming problems.