Experiencing a jammed front door can be a source of immense frustration. The inability to gain access to your home or business premises can be not only inconvenient but also costly, especially if you resort to calling a locksmith. Moreover, finding yourself trapped outside without a way back in, unless someone comes to your rescue, can be quite distressing.
However, the silver lining is that many of these issues are relatively straightforward to resolve. This guide will walk you through some common causes of door jamming and offer ways you can regain access to your house independently!
Why Won’t My Front Door Open from the Inside or Outside?
There are numerous reasons why a front door might refuse to open from either the inside or the outside. Let’s delve into these potential causes and provide advice on how to open a jammed door.
1. Inspect Your Door
The first step in troubleshooting a jammed door is to conduct a thorough inspection. This will help you identify the underlying issue causing the door to remain shut.
- Ensure the door is closed properly and that it is locked.
- Check for any obstructions preventing the door from closing, such as furniture or other items. You may need to move these objects out of the way.
- If you can open your door but encounter problems locking it once inside, this could indicate an issue preventing it from locking properly (e.g., an object stuck in the keyhole).
- If your door is not locking or unlocking, ensure the lock is in good working order. You may need to replace a worn-out lock or clean it thoroughly, ensuring nothing is blocking access to the keyhole (e.g., dirt buildup).
- If the above steps don’t work, try applying pressure to the part of the frame where your deadbolt is installed. If dirt or an object is preventing it from properly locking into place, removing this obstruction may allow you to unlock your door and open it manually.
2. Door Frame Warping
A warped entry door frame can cause the door not to close properly and can lead to lock problems. The frame holds the door in place, so when there’s a misalignment or split in the wood, it will be challenging for your lock to function correctly. Here are two things you need to check first:
- Inspect the door frame for dents. If it is slightly bent, you may be able to open it by bending it back into place.
- Ensure that your front door isn’t slightly bent, which can interfere with the locking mechanism on your lock.
Door Frame Warping can be caused by:
- Water damage: This can occur if your home has experienced water damage or if there was water damage in an area where you have recently removed drywall.
- A gap between the door and frame: A gap between the door and the frame can cause the door to warp.
To fix a warped door, follow these steps:
- Measure out how much wood needs replacing on each side of where it’s been damaged.
- Cut new pieces from any spare lumber.
- Ensure these fit snugly against each other and tight enough that no gaps exist between them when assembled back together after being painted or stained.
3. Broken Locking Mechanism
If the lock is broken, it will not be possible for you to open the door manually. The problem could be due to a variety of reasons. The latch, handle, and lock mortise could all be malfunctioning.
The handle on your front door may have become loose and detached from its fitting. Or maybe, if you have double-glazed doors, there could be some issue with the locking mechanism inside your property’s frame that prevents it from being closed properly after opening.
If this is likely thecase, we recommend contacting an experienced locksmith. They will be able to thoroughly inspect the external and internal mechanisms behind your front door and let you know what needs fixing so that everything can work as intended again!
Please note that Be-Tech Lock is just writing the lock troubleshooting article and providing possible handling suggestions, not offering after-sales service. If you can’t finally solve your lock problems with our article content, please contact the Official aftermarket.
And if you want to change your current home door lock, check out our TTlock smart lock to help you secure your door more safely and conveniently with your phone.
4. Incorrect Lock Installation
Now you need to check whether or not the door lock was installed correctly.
Sometimes, a bad installation will result in a door lock that won’t open from the inside or outside. To check this, you should take off the strike plate of your front door and ensure it is installed properly.
You can also check if any loose nails or screws around your door frame might have caused this problem. If something looks wrong, you must call a locksmith to come out and fix it.
Check the lock and ensure it’s installed correctly if you have a deadbolt. If you have a doorknob, check the door and ensure it is installed correctly.
Regardless of your type of lock, check the door frame for any damage or issues that may interfere with the proper locking/unlocking function.
5. Rotted Door Jam
If your door jam is rotted, likely, it won’t open. The door jam is the wood between the hinges and the lock. If this could be the issue, check for any rot in this area by pulling out some of the wood around it. If there are gaps or cracks, you know this needs replacing.
If there’s no rot on either side, but something jammed between the door and its frame, try removing whatever it is with pliers or tweezers. If this doesn’t work and you still can’t open your front door from the inside or outside, call an expert to get help.
To fix a rotted door jam:
- Remove old materials and replace them with new ones.
- Use a hammer and nails or screwdriver for fastening materials together.
- Fill holes with putty (a type of clay); sand down rough edges.
- Paint over the entire surface with primer first before applying the top coat.
- Replace the lock if necessary, and test your door to ensure it opens.
6. Swollen Door
A door may not open, close, lock, or latch properly if it has swollen. You can try to forcefully shut the door by pushing on it from the outside.
When dealing with a swollen door, your first step is identifying the problem. There could be several issues if your front door doesn’t open or close.
The most common reason for this is weather-related: when it rains or snows, moisture seeps into cracks in the door and causes swelling between the lock and casing where they meet (or along any other joints). This can sometimes lead to doors that become difficult to open even if they aren’t swollen—but luckily, you can usually fix them yourself.
In some cases, doors might swell up due to an internal issue, like damage from an animal trying to enter your home or being forced open by someone outside. In this case, you may need further assistance from professionals like locksmiths who specialize in repairing damage caused by intruders on residential properties.
7. Faulty Door Hardware
Door hardware is part of the door that holds it in place. It can be broken, loose, misaligned, or stripped. Door hardware may also be worn out and rusted or corroded.
The solution requires the application of a lubricant (WD40 is a suitable choice) to all moving parts, including hinges and latch mechanisms. While this process might sound intricate, it is, in fact, quite elementary:
- Apply the lubricant to the metal parts and repeat until they regain their smooth movement.
- Remove any surplus lubricant with a rag or paper towel.
- Test your repair by pulling on both sides of the door.
- If the door opens with ease, then congratulations! You’ve remedied your issue without any financial expenditure.
However, if your door continues to present issues, there is one final solution. You can either enlist the help of a professional or attempt to fix it yourself, provided you have the necessary tools and knowledge.
To learn how to solve a Frozen Door Hardware issue, refer to this video: “Door Stuck Closed with a Frozen Latch.”
8. Torn Weatherstripping Materials
The weatherstripping around your door serves to keep external elements out of your home. It is available in two basic types: rubber and plastic.
Rubber weatherstripping is more durable than its plastic counterpart, but both are effective in keeping cold air and wind out of your house. However, both types can be torn or damaged by pests, weather, and even normal wear and tear. If your front door frame has torn or damaged weatherstripping, it might not protect your home as effectively as it should, leading to air leaks through the opening!
The most common causes of torn or damaged doors are woodpeckers (those birds with the long bills) who peck at holes in the wood siding where they nest; storms that damage exterior walls; termites that eat away at wooden frames, and even regular wear-and-tear over time causing cracks in interior doorsills (also known as thresholds).
If you wish to avoid these problems – especially during those cold winter months when everything seems more drafty – then it’s time to repair those doorways ASAP!
9. The Key is Stuck in the Lock
If you’ve been unable to open your door, the key is likely stuck in the lock. There are a few things you can try.
First, ensure it is your house key and not just any old one lying around. If so, try another one or two keys from your house keys.
If none of those work, try sliding a thin object (like a credit card) between the door and frame to push the stuck part of the key out. If none help, even after multiple attempts and different people trying them independently, you may need some WD-40 or another lubricant to loosen up whatever is causing this issue.
10. Check the Inside of Your Door for a Bolt Locking the Door from the Inside
Having checked the outside of your door, it’s time to review the inside.
Check for a bolt locking the door from the inside. Some older entries have this feature built into them, but it can be easily removed. If you have one, turn it 90 degrees clockwise until it’s flush with the hinge side of your window frame (you’ll feel a satisfying click when it does). The bolt will prevent anyone on either side of your door from opening or closing unless they know how to disengage it.
Check for broken parts like latches, handles,and locks—these may require repairs or replacement depending on their age and condition. You might also be unable to use your key because it’s stuck in the lock (this happens more frequently than you might think). Your latch might be broken altogether—the knob won’t turn when locked unless you’re using some tool with enough force applied against its mechanism (even then, risks are involved). Your lock might be rusted or dirty and won’t turn. Your handle might be loose (and sometimes, this can be fixed with a hammer).
Try lubricating any problem areas and see if it affects your problem.
If You’ve Tried Everything Else, Lubricate Any Problem Areas
You can try lubricating the hinges, lock, door frame, and door jam:
- Lubricate the hinges with WD-40 or a similar oil spray. Let it sit for a minute before you test the door again. If this fixes your issue, great! If not, move on to another step in this process.
- Spray silicone spray inside your lock mechanism (the cylinder). Let it sit for a few minutes, then try opening the door again by turning the knob or using the key fob if applicable. Suppose this fixes your issue; great! If not, move on to another step in this process.
- Spray silicone spray onto all visible parts of your frame where there would be friction between them (usually at doors where they meet other structures like walls). Let it sit for a few minutes, then try opening it again by turning either knob or using the key fob if applicable.
Get Help from a Professional
If you can’t open your front door from the inside or outside, it’s time to call a locksmith. Locksmiths are trained to help with all kinds of door-related problems and will have the tools necessary to fix any issue that may arise.
Getting in touch with a professional is also important if you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn lock or an emergency where breaking down the door is the only option.