First, gather the necessary tools. A good pair of safety glasses is absolutely required. You'll be removing metal and making sparks. Wear a long sleeved shirt if you don't like to have small bits of hot metal impinge upon your forearms. Get a ladder that is tall enough to give you stable access to the top of your door. Refer to yesterday's post (link here) about how to easily block your door open. And finally, you'll need a metal file, or Dremel tool, or whatever tool you prefer to easily and conveniently remove sheet metal without hurting yourself or the door.
Next, Identify WHERE the door is sticking. Look for bare, shiny metal where the door meets the door frame. Low grade, unpainted steel loves to rust, even in low humidity like Arizona has, it can hardly resist forming a dull brown ferrous oxide. If you find rusted surfaces, and you use that door often, that is not where the door is sticking. If you find bright, shiny surfaces that look like rubs, then Bingo, you've found the culprit. Our door was easily found at the top corner of the door and frame. Note the shiny triangle.
|Inside looking Out, and Up, to the corner of door and door frame|
|Inside, looking Out and Down at the door jamb. Note the think rubberized black seal that runs along the bottom of the door. Try not to cut into, deform, destroy, or damage that.|
I checked the progress of metal removal frequently, to make sure I was taking off nearly equal amounts of metal all along the edge. Use the "offending" door frame - it is still nearly linear, and much harder to evenly chamfer - to gauge how much it is still binding, by closing the door - try not to lock yourself out of the how and avoid embarrassment.
So your door closes easily now (we hope), but perhaps your dead bolt may be sticking? You can use your Dremel tool or metal file to carefully vertically elongate the hole in the door jamb (the strike,or gâche or Placa Hembra), Be careful not to grind against the forward or rearward portions of the strike as that's the part that actually LOCKS your door. To the left here is a picture of using the Dremel tool with a mild sanding disk that pretty much just disintegrated as minimally buffed and polished the strike's hole. See below for the "cut off disk" that had to be wielded with much more care and precision to avoid DIGGING INTO the metal of the strike. Keep the RPMs low on your Dremel tool to minimize the risk of DIGGING IN or Catching the disk on the sheet metal of the strike. And, as always when grinding on metal, wear safety glasses - or, be happy becoming blind or severely optically injured / impaired.
You can use a manual hand file of course, but you'll need a great deal of hand strength, and more patience and time than I had (or have). Good luck with that. it'll work.. it'll just take a very long time.
Again, if you hurt yourself doing this, or damage your door, it's not my fault. This advice is free, and worth what you have paid for it, so don't try and sue me if you're not smart enough to do it yourself or to hire a competent contractor to do it for you if you're naturally accident prone, clumsily, or mechanically disinclined.
May your doors close smoothly, and your home be secure!