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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Doors and Components Category


Screws of a door closer unit, particularly that of a screen or storm door, are too loose.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Screwdriver

  • Handful of wood slivers or toothpicks

  • Power drill and appropriate bit



If you see that the screws of your storm or screen door's door closer unit are loose, some service is necessary.  The door, under the circumstances, has obviously been through a lot of wear-and-tear by now and proper re-securing of the door closer brackets is necessary.

Caution: When dealing with sharp objects, such as a power drill, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions.

Depending on the extent of the wear-and-tear that has caused the door closer unit to become loose, either one of the three (3) following solutions, sorted incrementally to match the severity of the wear-and-tear, may be applicable:

Solution 1

The door closer unit's screw(s) seem to be loose, and in fact the screw(s) seem to be wobbly while in the door frame or otherwise have lost their "teeth" to stay tightly in place, then do the following: 

  1. Unscrew/remove each affected screw one at a time and subsequently place wood slivers (tip: an alternative to these slivers, if tight on cash, toothpicks can work just as well) into each screw hole.

  2. Screw the screws back into place with a screwdriver, expecting some resistance while you screw, which means the sliver/toothpick fillers are doing their job (tip: you can also add screw glue or any general glue to the groves of the screws or in the screw holes for a tighter hold if you so desire before screwing back the screws).

Solution 2

If the above wood-filler technique does not solve the screw's wobbly state and otherwise loss of screwing "teeth," then cautiously consider the use of bigger screws and their compatibility with the door closer unit holes and door width dimension (so as to avoid the screw's going through the other side of the door) before proceeding to do the following:

  1. Remove the existing screws.

  2. Use a power drill to drill in the screw holes so as to lengthen their depth (about the depth of about 3/4 the size of the bigger screw) in order to act as pilot holes for the bigger screws.

  3. Screw the new bigger screws into the holes previously lengthened in depth with the drill, expecting to feel some resistance towards the end of screwing each screw as your own screwdriver turns will make the final boring of the holes with the groves of the screws, themselves.

Solution 3

If the two options above won't work (because of the very bad, worn-out condition of the door closer location on the door and door frame itself), short of replacing the door or the whole door frame, do the following:

  1. Unscrew the existing screws so as to free the door closer unit.

  2. Shift the door closer unit brackets to other locations of the door and corresponding door frame, if choosing make new holes to secure the door closer.

  3. Mount the door closer unit brackets at the new locations found to be acceptable by drilling new appropriate holes and screwing the existing screws into such new holes as you normally would. Caution: This option is the least desirable if the mounting door closer screws are designed to be visible, as in such cases the previous holes may cause an eyesore, which will need to be patched and possibly refinished to match the existing appearance of the whole door scheme.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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