How to Stop Doors Swelling in Winter


Most doors, especially those around for a while, start to swell in the winter months. If you are like me and hate seeing your door stick or seem to close hard, it is important to understand why they do this so we can figure out ways to prevent it from happening. Today I will be discussing how to stop doors swelling in winter, So let us get started. As the temperature and humidity change, the wood in your door expands and contracts. Depending on the direction of the grain, the door will either swell or shrink.

 how to stop doors swelling in winter

Why Doors Swell in Winter?

Seen as a problem that only affects older homes, most people don’t ever think why their doors swell in winter. This is understandable since it really isn’t something they have control over. However, knowing why the doors and windows are subject to swelling could help you avoid expensive repairs. In addition, a little knowledge can go a long way when looking for ways to save some money on your energy bills.

There are two reasons why this happens: vacuum pressures inside and outside of the house and exterior temperature changes during the year. Depending upon how severe these factors get, doors will swell each time differently. Three main areas see door warpage: garage entries, kitchen entryways, and front or back entrances/exits from the home. When the garage door is warped, it can cause the roller hardware to become loose, which will result in a large opening at the bottom of the door. There may also be cracks near the bottom of the door, where the panels meet.

The doors in the garage are more likely to have warping problems than other areas simply because they are exposed to winds and weather extremes regularly, which can cause them to swell or shrink drastically from season to season depending upon how warm or cold it is outside. The problem with this is that the seal created by the door’s parts are broken, allowing moisture and insects to enter your home.

In most instances, parents will prevent their child from pulling open these doors to close if there is any chance that they may be too heavy for him to manage by himself. The fact of the matter is, however, even adults won’t always pull alongside the other side before opening up a door either. Many injuries result every year from this type of injury when coming face-to-face with an unexpectedly swollen doorframe.

Step-wise Guide on How to Stop Doors Swelling in Winter

Moisture Control:

It is important to keep your house warm and dry during the winter. Otherwise, woodwork will swell due to moisture content in the air.  To avoid this, you may take a few of these steps:

Using Weather Stripping

Storing Firewood Away From the Doorways:

Firewood contains a large amount of moisture and can cause damage to the doors if stored near or under them. So make it a point not to store them too close to the entrances (or entrances).

Choosing the Right Doors for the Right Location:

While choosing wooden doors, opt for ones that are made from hardwoods, such as oak or maple, which are less prone to swelling than hardwood like pine.

Treating the Wood With Preservatives:

There are a few ways to treat your wooden doors to protect them from swelling due to moisture content in the air like you take a half-gallon of water and dissolve 4 tbsp borax and 1/5th cup of salt into it then mix them well after that pour this solution over the swollen parts of the door to make them shrink so that they can be sealed properly.

Using Weather Stripping on Doors:

This is a way of protecting doors from moisture easily; just use weather stripping around the windows and other entrances.  

Investing in Automatic Door Openers:

If you are worried that your doors will get swollen in the winter, then install automatic door openers, which can be controlled wirelessly.  

Cleaning Wooden Doors:

After getting them swollen during the winter season, it is important to clean and polish them properly before storing them for the summer season, or else they may get damaged.   A little bit of advice though, take care of the finishes while using these methods.  

Using Storm Windows

Using Wooden Scrapes:

People generally opt for wooden doors because they are aesthetically pleasing and warmer than metal or fiberglass ones. However, one disadvantage of wooden doors is that they tend to swell in winter and shrink during summer, which eventually causes unevenness at the sides and top/bottom of the door (if not kept well). To avoid this, you can use wood lathe scraps placed on the sides and bottom of the doors to get destroyed due to seasonal changes.

Choosing the Right Kind of Paint:

Paint is an essential element required for saving your woodwork from various damages like termites, moisture, etc., but there is a type of paint that helps in protecting your doors from swelling.  

Using Storm Windows:

Installing storm windows over the existing wooden frames can help you save your doors from damage, especially if they are already swollen or tend to get swollen during winters.

Precautions While  Stoping Doors Swelling in Winter

It is not healthy if the doors swell during winters. To avoid this, you need to check the following precautions:

  • Don’t use a heater near the door. Heat expands and makes it water-tight. The warmer it gets, the more it will expand and make your door swell. It might get damaged too when it swells up. If possible, keep at least three feet distance from heaters to prevent your door from swelling in winter.
  • Keep away from moisture too as much as possible, such as washing or cooking areas, which usually create moisture to make floorboards damp and other wooden parts of homes like window frames, etc… This is also one of the reasons why houses are affected by wood rot during the winter months.
  • Use draperies and blinds to keep the cold out of your house, especially if there is a large glass area in your doors or walls. It will help you control the warmth inside the room without letting too much chilly air creep in through thick windows.
Using Wooden Scrapes
  • Well ventilated rooms are much better as compared to stuffy ones. Open windows during the day or keep the door open at least for a couple of hours each day so that fresh air can get inside and keep your house warm and less humid.
  • Add some weather-stripping on top of the doors if you want an extra layer of protection against cold drafts. Keep good quality weather stripping around the track area along with slides. It will help provide an extra barrier against the cold draft and water seepage, too, if there is any leakage from the shower or bathroom, etc.


I hope this article has provided you all the information on how to stop doors swelling in winter. Ensure proper precautions while performing the process. Thank you and have a nice day!

You may read also – How to Remove Fixed Panel of Sliding Glass Door

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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