Storm Door Screws Stripped, Now What?

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  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
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What You'll Need
Wood glue
Wooden or paper matches
Strip of sheet metal, tin, or aluminum if applicable.
New wood or sheet metal screws
Screwdriver
What You'll Need
Wood glue
Wooden or paper matches
Strip of sheet metal, tin, or aluminum if applicable.
New wood or sheet metal screws
Screwdriver

The front door to your home is typically the largest entrance, and together with your storm door, it's all that stands between you and Mother Nature's fury, so it has to be at its best. If there are any stripped screws holding it to the door frame then it could spell trouble the next time a storm blows through your neighborhood. It can cause the storm door to hang out of plumb and not want to close all the way or it could even fall off if the wind were to catch it and fling it open at gale force.

In the following article, we shall go over several quick and inexpensive repairs that you can do yourself to restore the grip those screws once had and resecure your storm door. You can reuse the screws you have as long as the heads aren't also stripped out and hard to tighten correctly but from the standpoint of a bolt Inspector, you're better off buying new ones if you can.

Remove Each Stripped Screw

The first order of business is to identify and remove every striped screw in the frame of the storm door one at a time. This is not always as easy as it sounds because people have a tendency to try harder whenever a screw doesn't want to go in and the slotted head gets reamed out to the point that it is nearly impossible to urn out again. Your local hardware dealer or home improvement store has solutions for just such an event called an EasyOut. If the screw will come out or you get it out eventually then by all means replace it.

pliers removing stripped screw

Fixing Stripped Metal Screws

This is the easiest one, but the term can be deceiving as they're all very easy to fix. For a metal screw where the frame of the storm door and exterior wall are metal, you'll need to cut a thin strip of suitable metal that will not react with the other metals in play. The strip should be thin enough to slip into the hole the screw goes back in, and no less than the length of the screw.

Bend one end of the strip over at a 90-degree angle. This tang will keep the metal strip from slipping down into the hole and bunging it all up. Insert the metal strip into the screw hole with the tab overhanging the lip of it and run a new screw in until it's snug. Give it another quarter turn past snug and it's torqued and should not come loose. If you have concerns that it might still come loose, you can put a small amount of lock tight or a similar product on the shank of the screw before you screw it back in place again.

This hack also works on metal roofing screws but the tab has to be small enough to be covered by the rubber washer on the screws or it is probably going to leak the next time it rains.

thin strips of metal

Fixing Stripped Wood Screws

These are a bit more complicated than fixing a metal screw because you'll need a wooden kitchen match with the head removed, and some carpenter's glue. This works the same way in any instance where the screw is fastened into a wooden member, no matter where it might be located in your home. A paper match will also work if wooden matches are unavailable but you may need more than one match per screw.

Lay a thin bead of carpenter's glue down the length of the wooden matchstick and place it carefully into the screw hole so as not to wipe all of the glue off of it at the top of the hole, and run the new screw into the frame after allowing the glue enough time to set per the manufacturer's instructions.

The purpose of this is to add more wood to the hole and give the screw something it can bite into. In some instances, you can use a screw but this is not always feasible if it's even advisable because you may find that the larger screw's head is too big and is now blocking the storm door from closing all the way. Meaning you still have to fix it.

For aluminum door frames you will have to cut the strip from an aluminum soda can so that the metals don't react and rust away around the shaft of the screw

Notes And Warnings

While you are at it you should inspect the storm door's alignment to make sure that it hasn't moved out of plumb due to improperly attached hinges that can allow the door to move enough to cause it to malfunction eventually. If it needs adjusting, now's the time to do it.