How to keep a door from slamming

by Jennifer Porterfield | Last Updated: April 21, 2021
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We’ve all been there. You take a step outside to take out the trash, but you don’t want to leave the door open. You don’t want to leave the door swinging wide open, so you grab the edge of the door with a free pinky finger or hook it with the back of your heel. You swing it closed behind you as you scoot out the door, then “Wham!” You’ve now managed to shake the foundations of the building, alerting everyone within earshot that there is imminent danger afoot. What started as a quick errand becomes a five-minute interrogation in which you have to convince your neighbors and housemates that you are not a psychopath.

Or another scenario. You get an automatic door closer to prevent the embarrassment of scenario A. It seems like a great idea until the wind picks up or the temperature drops significantly. You exit the door as usual, and then “Wham!” You’re once again enduring the sideways glare of your family and friends who are now convinced that you have lost your mind.

While these scenarios may be a little dramatized, the fact remains that door slamming can be annoying and troublesome, to say the least. Aside from the disturbance caused to neighbors and other occupants of the structure, door slamming can also be destructive.

Each time a door slams shut, it causes excess wear on the door hinges, the door frame, and the door hardware including the latch, lock, and door handle. In some extreme cases, glass door panels can be shattered and objects can be knocked off of walls and nearby tables suffering damage. We will answer the question you have about how to keep a door from slamming.  The good news is, there are a few simple and inexpensive methods you can start using today to prevent the doors in your home or business from slamming.

How to Stop a Door from Slamming: DIY Methods!

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While there are many sophisticated solutions to keep your door from slamming shut, some of the most convenient and effective methods are old-fashioned DIY techniques.

Easy methods to keep doors open

One of the easiest ways to solve the problem of door slamming is to keep the door open. Depending on your situation, it may be more convenient to simply keep a door open; especially if it is used frequently. Many interior hallway doors can be held open, allowing for increased air circulation, natural light diffusion, and better traffic flow. While this method may not typically be the best solution for exterior doors, when screen doors or covered porches are in play, it can be.

Doorstops

Doors can be kept open in a variety of ways. One of the simplest ways is to employ a doorstop. A doorstop is a device that is placed on the ground at the bottom edge of the door to stop the door from closing. Doorstops can be used to hold a door in a fully-opened position or to simply leave a small opening to prevent slamming upon closing.

A proper doorstop is the best way to keep a door open and prevent damage to the door as well as prevent injury from people passing through. A proper door stop is often made of soft rubber with either a fabric or soft foam pads on top to jam against the bottom edge of the door and stop it from opening. There are also eco-friendly doorstops made from recycled and compostable materials. These devices are very affordable and very easy to use.

While doorstops may be cheap and readily available, a doorstop can be made from anything heavy enough to prevent the door from moving. Items such as rocks, bricks, or even heavy boots can be used as improvised door stops. The important things to remember when making DIY doorstops are:

  1. Use materials that will not scratch your floor or damage the door.
  2. Place the DIY doorstop carefully to prevent the creation of a tripping hazard.
  3. Although it is not mandatory, it is best to utilize a wedge design to prevent sliding or bouncing of the door against the stop.

Rubber Bands

Another effective method to keep doors open is using a rubber band. A rubber band can be used to hold doors open by simply placing the rubber band around the outer doorknob, then looping the same band around an inner hinge post, wall-mount, doorstop, or another door or nearby object heavy enough to prevent the door from opening. This method requires a relatively large and strong rubber band, but it can quickly and easily get the job done.

Rubber band limitations

It is important to not let the band stretch beyond its elastic limit, as this could cause excessive rubbing on the painted finish of the door. This could also cause a safety issue, as an overstretched rubber band may break violently at any moment. For this application, it is best to use industrial bungee cords or heavy-duty purpose-built elastics.

It is also vital to make sure the item securing the rubber band is sturdy enough to keep the door open. Keep in mind that a gust of wind can apply a large amount of force on an open door, so the anchoring element must be well anchored to prevent property damage.

 

Ways To Stop A Door From Slamming

In addition to the DIY methods, there are several ways to stop doors from slamming. Some of these methods include:

  1. Active Dampening
  2. Automatic Closing
  3. Passive Dampening
  4. Integrated Stopper
  5. Door lock
  6. Hinge lock

 

Dampening to prevent the door from slamming shut

Dampening involves controlling the speed of a door closing. With active dampening, this is accomplished through the use of pneumatic cylinders attached to the door that allow air to move through, but at a limited rate. This rate can be adjusted to fine-tune the speed at which the door may close.

While highly effective, the performance of dampening cylinder systems may vary depending on the outside temperature. Colder air causes the pressure in the cylinder to be lower, resulting in less resistance to slamming.

Anti slam hinges are also an active dampening solution that does not allow a door to slam when you close the door. These hinges have a cushion stopper that prevents the door from slamming. These door hinges can be expensive and may not fit all door types, but they are an effective slam guard.

Active dampening solutions are typically incorporated with automatic door closer systems. These door closer systems include a spring-loaded mechanism that applies a variable pressure to the side of the door to close the door and keep it closed in windy areas. An automatic door closer is one of the most commonly used anti-door slam products.

 

Passive anti door slam

Passive dampening does not control the movement of the door, but instead absorbs the bulk of the energy on closing, preventing the door from slamming shut. Passive dampening systems stop a door just before it reaches the door frame and latching assembly with energy-absorbing materials.

Foam weatherstripping is commonly used as a dampener, as it prevents slamming in addition to providing insulating and sound deadening properties. These products are easy to install and usually attach to the door frame with self-adhesive tape.

Another form of passive anti-door slam product is the door skirt. A door skirt is a strip of material that may attach to the bottom of the door with screws or adhesive. The strip is positioned low enough to drag the ground or the floor, providing enough friction to slow and prevent the door from closing too fast. These skirts are often made from foam rubber, but can also be made from fabric or nylon bristles. Door skirts also help to keep out sound and debris without preventing airflow.

 

Integrated stoppers and hinge locks

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As discussed earlier, sometimes the best solution to stop a door from slamming is to hold the door open. Integrated door stoppers are a low-tech, but highly effective solution for holding open doors. More commonly used on exterior doors, integrated door stoppers consist of a hinged metal rod with a rubber or foam padded foot attached to the bottom of the door. The stopper is designed to swing up and out of the way for normal door use, but then swung down when needed to press into the ground and hold the door open.

 

Why do doors slam shut?

Aside from the obvious causes of anger and carelessness, a slamming door can be caused by a few different things. The best solution to preventing slamming doors may depend on the cause of the slamming at your property.

Unleveled door frames are a major cause of slamming. If a door frame is not perfectly level with the ground, it can cause the door to either swing open or slam shut. In this case, the door will consistently exhibit the same behavior each time it is used. Unlevel door frames can be caused by poor workmanship during construction or, more commonly, by uneven settling of the foundation of the structure.

A more common phenomenon that causes doors to slam shut is a balance of air pressure. Within a closed building, airflow can vary widely from one room to the next. Even the atmospheric pressure outside the structure plays an important role in the overall pressure balance of a building. When there is an imbalance of pressure, air wants to move from the area of higher pressure towards the area of lower pressure. This moving of air can push or suck a door closed quite easily, often with a great amount of force.

While a properly designed HVAC system can mitigate this issue, it can be unavoidable in certain situations. In these cases, automatic door closing systems are very effective. However, these are not always practical in a residential setting. For home use, passive dampening can help save your ears and wall hangings from the occasional door slam.

 

Final thoughts on how to stop a door from slamming

If you think about it, doors have a pretty challenging job to do. They are expected to keep out the people, animals, sounds, and environmental elements we don’t want, but should be able to quickly and effortlessly provide us with access when requested. These simple structures handle a multitude of tasks simultaneously. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that doors aren’t foolproof. Many people have no problem simply living with the inconvenience of the occasional door slam. However, for some with extreme circumstances, this is simply not acceptable. The good news is that with a little ingenuity and a few simple modifications and advancements, our doors can be perfected into even better silent guardians and become even more effective at securing our peace of mind.

 

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