Other than Mother Nature, a bad driver on a lawn tractor, or a 4 wheeler out of control, wooden shed doors pose the most frustrating problem for shed owners.
Improperly caulked doors, the shed sinking in it’s foot-print moving out of level and swollen wood from moisture cause most of the trouble and are fairly easy to fix.
If the doors aren’t caulked properly, moisture gets trapped behind the trim and in time will rot the trim and the door sheeting. 2 remedies are available to solve the problem of trapped moisture from improperly caulked doors.
The first thing one can do is add a painted 2″x 2″ with a 45 degree angle cut into it that slant from the shed face to the doors above the doors. You’ll have to remove the door style (trim above door) to add this. This will drain all the water coming from the face of the shed out past the doors preventing it from running down the face of the doors.
The second remedy is to caulk only the tops of all trim pieces on the shed doors. By leaving the bottoms un-caulked, any water that does get behind the trim will be able to drain out through the bottom of the trim. If the bottom is caulked, the water will get trapped and cause problems.
If the shed becomes un-level, it has sunk into its own footprint throwing it off level. When this happens, the door frame gets out of plumb causing hard to open and close doors. Because of this, more force is used which weakens all the joints in the door as well as all the fasteners used to hold the door together.
To fix this problem, use a scissors type car jack (you can use a fulcrum too) to re-level your shed. Place something underneath the jack so it doesn’t sink into the ground. For shims, use thin pieces of pressure treated wood or 6″ x 6″ pieces of shingle. Place a level on the floor of the shed, jack up the shed to level, then shim it.
Do this across the front and rear in three places. Once your shed is level, the doors should swing easily and opening and closing them should be no problem. If the nails, screws and/or staples that hold the door together have loosened, take some time to tighten them and if needed, add some more, especially screws, to strengthen the door.
If your doors are becoming hard to open or close and the shed floor is level, the wood pieces on the doors may be swelling due to moisture. It’s imperative to paint your doors inside and out especially making sure all edges are painted. Wait until the doors shrink and start to open and close normally before painting. The bottom edges are really important because rain water hits the ground and bounces up. If the bottom edges of the doors are not painted, they will wick the water and not only start to swell but will rot too.
Most shed doors consist of wood sheeting, trim, back of the door-door frame and hardware. The hardware is easy to replace if needed so if you follow these suggestions and take care of the wood, your doors will last a very long time..