French doors will not close

French doors will not close

French doors will not close

French doors are a popular choice as a secondary entrance point invariably to a garden. As a result, they get lower usage, sometimes remaining unopened in the winter months but when spring comes issues with water ingress, material expansion and low maintenance can result in them becoming difficult to open or close. Issues with French doors tend to arise when one of the doors moves slightly which puts it out of true with the other causing both doors to become difficult to open. Isolating which door is the culprit is always a good starting point.

Some of the reasons why French Doors can become difficult to operate

  • Heat or cold can make them expand or contract. Direct sunlight on a hot summers day especially causes this for composite. Timber products can be prone to natural shrinkage or expansion.
  • Slight movement in the frame or the door adjustment can result in one leaf moving out of true with the other.
  • Low use over winter can result in the moving parts corroding slightly or reduced lubrication due to no movement.
  • Issues with the lock becoming stiff to operate due to water ingress or light use.

Isolating the issue

Firstly isolate the issue. There is a good chance that your issue is caused by the movement of one of the doors. First with the doors both closed, check the gap running down between both sets of doors is equal all the way, without the top or bottom of the doors being closer from one end to the other. Check also all the moving parts and that some small piece of grit is not clogging up any of the running gear or stopping the doors from closing together

  1. Does it look like the door has expanded as the gaps around the door are not equal? Many customers are surprised how much expansion or shrinkage can impact their doors. But as the tolerances are set within a fine degree to reduce draughts only a one or two mm expansion can make the door stick. Both timber and uPVC will expand to a small degree and we recommend that any attempt to isolate your issue is carried out on an average weather day. If its not expansion it could be the doors are no longer.
  2. Are the gaps unequal at certain points or the doors catching on each other due to moving closer? This could be the issue that one of the doors has moved slightly. This is possible to fix with some simple small adjustments to the hinges and you can find out more by reading our door adjustment guide.
  3. Is it the locking mechanism or moving parts such as hinges at fault? As above our doors do require light maintenance, and French doors especially which have low use will require a light oil to be applied. Also, ensure that there is no grit in the running gear. If it feels like the lock you can read more on our reducing stiffness in the tab above.