It’s alarming when you first hear it. Why is there a sudden loud popping sound that comes from the door? It can be scary, or just annoying, but more importantly, is it permanent? Surely there’s a way to fix that noise. The good news is that most doors can be repaired or replaced. I’ll walk you through two likely scenarios that could be causing the problem. Plus, I’ll teach you how to fix the issue, so your doors don’t pop anymore. Fortunately, you don’t need to live with it. You can typically DIY a fix for that sound issue in a day or less, and you don’t need very many tools to accomplish the task.
Why does my front door make a popping sound? Your door makes a popping sound because there’s too much of the wrong kind of paint. Both the door and frame have probably been layered too often by lazy repair people who don’t want to bother with sanding. Luckily, with some sandpaper and a little enamel paint, you’ll be pop-free in no time.
Locate The Source of Popping Door Sounds
There are two main reasons doors tend to make popping sounds. The first is a paint problem. Meanwhile, the second reason has to do with heat. Fortunately, both issues are simple to solve, but you have to figure out which one is causing the problem before you can fix it.
Certain materials are more susceptible to temperature. Fiberglass, for example, tends to absorb heat very quickly. You can also look to see if the door fits the frame properly. Sometimes the problem is so simple you see it every day without ever looking at it. If you can’t fit a piece of thick paper in the seams, the frame is too tight, and the door is the wrong size.
It’s not hard to find out which issue you’re having. Asking a few simple questions will help you to figure it out in a flash. Check the following list off, and you’ll have your answer.
What to Ask When Your Door Pops
You only need three serious questions to determine the source of your popping. When it happens every time, it’s different from a door that makes noise at the same time every day.
- Have you painted the door too many times? Or can you see layers of paint? It’s easier when they’re different colors, but most paint layers are only about as thick as a couple of sheets of paper. Check the door and frame.
- Does the door face the sun during the time of day it does the most popping? Doors with southern exposure (in North America) get more sunshine. However, an east-facing entry can expand from the heat in the morning. Likewise, a west-facing door will heat up in the afternoon and evening.
- Do you know what your door is made from? Composite material doors tend to be most susceptible to heat expansion. Plastics and fiberglass expand quickly. However, they aren’t the only doors that can have this issue. Wood tends to creak when damp, but metal doors can also stick in the frame and pop.
Overpainted Doors Make Popping Sounds
It may surprise you to realize that the horrible popping sound your door makes when you open it is just too much paint. Happily, it’s an easy problem to fix. You need a sander, a paintbrush, and some enamel indoor/outdoor paint. Fixing a paint problem is the perfect time to pick a new decorative paint color for your front door.
Other than the drying time, this project won’t take very long. Moreover, you can simply sand the door frame and sides of the door where it touches the frame. Doors aren’t supposed to sit against their painted frames. The paint is sticking to itself and causing a crackle or pop whenever you force it apart.
Fix the Paint Pop Problem
Adding another coat of paint is never the right way to fix a paint problem. What you need is to sand it down and use the correct type of paint. If you’re not comfortable with a powered sander, you can use sandpaper, but it will add several hours to your time.
Regardless, you should never sand and paint without proper protection. You need a mask to keep the dust out of your lungs. Although modern paints don’t use lead, paint-dust is still not something you want to breathe. I always recommend the best quality mask and safety glasses you can afford to protect your face and lungs.
The good news is that you don’t need a medical-grade N95 mask to keep you safe. A traditional bandana and a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes are enough when the supplies are running low at the local hardware shop.
For those of you who don’t already have a high-quality mouse sander, I recommend the BLACK+DECKER BDEMS600. This particular model does a fantastic job on tight corners and thin edges. Plus, it has the finger attachment that lets you sand even the most delicate details, like those pesky ridges around door frames. Find out more on Amazon, click here.
The process of sanding is straightforward. You want to start with rougher sandpaper, like 100. From there, you can move up the line to finer grades until you reach about 220 to smooth out your surface. The sander will scratch the paint off for you, and then prepare the stripped surface for new paint.
Be very careful not to sand the frame or door too much once the paint is gone. Unfortunately, doing this could change the way your door fits in its frame. You should be able to see when the color is gone. Try to work evenly from top to bottom. If you start at the base, you’ll pour paint dust on your head continuously.
Also, you’ll want to remove the door from its hinges and set it on a pair of saw horses for sanding and painting. Make sure you dust off the surface with a soft cloth, or can of spray air before you apply paint.
To repaint your door, you can use a simple brush or small roller. Especially if you’re not familiar with paint sprayers, stick to the basics. You’ll have brush stroke lines, but it’s a whole lot simpler. Plus, it doesn’t take too long to paint a door.
You can paint the door more easily on sawhorses. Unfortunately, the frame will have to stay where it is. There you want to work from the top down to avoid dripping on an already painted surface. Take the time to put down a drop cloth and use painters tape around your doorframe to keep the color where you want it. Additionally, make sure you have indoor/outdoor enamel paint. This will help prevent the popping problem.
I prefer Majic Paints 8-1500-2 Diamond Hard acrylic enamel paint from Amazon. It’s the ideal semigloss, and the soap and water cleanup makes it easy to fix any mistakes or drips. Plus, Majic is scratch resistant. You’ll love how easy it is to apply and the smooth finish. Get your Majic delivered ASAP by clicking here.
Composite Doors Also Make Popping Sounds
Many popping doors are fiberglass composites. The material they’re made from is especially temperature-sensitive. Hence the noise comes from expansion and contraction throughout the day. When your door only makes noise around the same time every day, then the door itself is the problem.
Naturally, the easiest solution to this sort of noisy door is to replace it. There are plenty of alternatives out there. Moreover, replacing a composite door isn’t difficult if it’s a standard size. You measure, get a replacement, and then you just need a drill to pull the old door off its hinges and add in the new door.
However, there’s a second option for savvy DIYers who want to add some value and visual appeal to their home. Creating a small porch for shade, or adding a screen door to block out those rays takes a little longer than a basic fix, but the results are stunning.
Create Shade Over Your Popping Door
Building a porch for shade is an extensive project. Unless you have the skills already, you may want to opt for putting in a screen instead. The process is very simple.
Make sure you choose a screen door that will block the light from hitting your door. An all-glass screen isn’t a good option for this purpose. However, if you want excellent visibility and easy access, a magnetic screen door may be just the thing to cut down some of the light.
For a simple solution that you can install in moments, go with a Flux Phenom Reinforced Magnetic Screen Door. They fit on most standard doors and keep the bugs out. More importantly, you have smooth hands free entry for people and pets. You can read reviews on Amazon by clicking here.
Whatever the cause of your doors’ popping sound, you can solve the problem quickly. However, keep in mind that paint needs time to dry before you can put the door back in place. Also, never start a painting project if the weather is rainy or wet.
You can also use a temporary fix for doors that are sticking because of a swollen frame. Although you find this more often in bathroom doors, any environment with a lot of moisture can cause this problem. Check out this video for a fast, simple fix. However, you still want to make a more permanent adjustment as soon as possible.