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Fix a Storm Door Closer

Create a rock-solid, crack-proof door frame for your storm door closer

FH03OCT_STODOO_01-2Family Handyman
Strong winds or heavy use can crack the door jamb that holds the storm door closer in place. A jamb reinforcer can repair the cracked jamb, or stop the problem from happening in the first place.

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Reinforce the door jamb

Photo 1: Remove the closer

Lock the storm door all the way open. Remove the old closer bracket screws and bracket. Pull out the piston pin and discard the old bracket.

Photo 2: Position the plate

Slide small finish nails through the new steel plate and into the old screw holes to align it. Mark the eight mounting holes.

Photo 3: Drill mounting holes

Drill the upper and lower mounting holes with a 3/32-in. drill bit.

Photo 4: Mount the plate

Screw the steel plate to the door frame with wood screws. Mount the closer bracket to the steel plate with machine screws. Make sure the angled edge of the bracket faces the storm door.

A heavy wind can catch a storm door and whip it open like a sail, tearing out the closer mounting bracket and cracking the door frame. And often the mounting screws strip and loosen from heavy wear.

Fixing the problem used to involve the tricky job of patching the old holes or even splicing in new trim. However, storm door jamb reinforcers (we used a type called the “Ultra Jamb Reinforcer” from ultrajamb.com) eliminate all that hassle. You can find them at some home centers, or search online for storm door jamb reinforcers. Jamb reinforcers are basically a heavy-duty steel plate that strengthens the door frame. The steel plate can be mounted anywhere on the door frame, accommodating virtually any type of closer bracket.

To begin, remove the old bracket as shown in Photo 1. Pop the pin to release the piston arm and discard the old bracket. To install the reinforcer, mark and drill the eight mounting holes for the steel plate (Photos 2 and 3). Make sure to mount the plate parallel to the frame edges. This plate will allow you to drill new mounting holes in sound wood, and should cover most trim damage caused by the old bracket. Fill and paint any cracks not covered by the steel plate. Mount the steel plate to the door frame with the eight No. 6 wood screws enclosed in the package.

The new closer bracket is mounted to the steel plate with four No. 10 machine screws (Photo 4). Be sure to position the closer bracket so the angled edge faces the storm door. This provides the required spacing between the door jamb and storm door, allowing the closer to function properly. Connect the piston arm to the new bracket with the piston pin and test the door.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Corded drill
  • Drill bit set

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Finish nails
  • Paint
  • Storm door jamb reinforcer
  • Wood putty