How to Make Perfect-Closing Screen Doors

Turn the adjusting screw on storm door closers to make them close smoothly and securely.

Adjust the storm door

If your storm door slams shut or won't close hard enough to latch, try a few simple adjustments to make it close just right.

First, change the mounting position of the closer's connecting pin (Photo 1). To remove the pin, you have to first lock the door open with the hold-open washer to release the tension on the pin. But there's a good chance that your hold-open washer won't work. In that case, open the door and snap a locking pliers (such as a Vise-Grip pliers) onto the closer shaft to hold the door open.

To repair the washer, slip it off the shaft, put it in a vise and make a sharper bend in it using a hammer. Or you can take the entire closer to a home center or hardware store and find a similar replacement. Some closers mount a little differently from the one we show. For example, you may find that the door bracket, rather than the closer, has two pinholes.

If moving the pin makes matters worse, return it to its original position and try the adjustment screw (Photo 2). Turn it clockwise for a softer close, counterclockwise for harder. If your door has two closers, treat them exactly alike. Adjust both screws equally and make sure their pins are in the same position.

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