If you’re either fastening or loosening a screw on your metal door, but you make a mistake, and the head of the screw comes off. You try to maneuver the stripped screw using your screwdriver, but it just won’t budge. How do you fix a stripped screw hole in a metal door?
To fix a stripped screw hole in a metal door, try to get your screwdriver to bite it so that you can turn it loose. You can also try to weld a nut into the stripped screw and remove it using a socket wrench. Alternatively, fill the hole and repaint the door.
Let’s look at what causes a stripped screw, and a few creative ways to fix it.
What Causes a Stripped Screw?
A stripped screw is a screw that has lost its head, making it difficult to remove with a screwdriver. A screwdriver is a device used to remove a screw, and it works by the tip of its shaft being fitted into the head of a screw and turning it loose. The screwdriver only works if it fits onto the head of a screw. If a screw loses its head, the screwdriver loses its function.
A stripped screw is a common encounter if you do a lot of do-it-yourself home improvements that involve a lot of screws. There are a few common errors that result in stripped screws.
One of the causes of stripped screws is the use of incorrect tools. If you use a proper screwdriver to loosen a screw, there should normally be no problem in removing the screw cleanly. Good screwdrivers are made of metal shafts resistant to bending, so they should turn easily once fitted securely into the head of the screw.
If you use a substandard screwdriver, or if the screws you use are not of good quality, an error might occur that results in a stripped screw. Stripped screws can also occur if you use screwdrivers that are too large or too small for the screw you are attempting to loosen. Using the screwdriver at an odd angle can also result in stripped screws.
Another cause of stripped screws is the over-tightening of a screw. The important thing to remember when fastening a screw into a hole using a screwdriver is that you should not continue to tighten it if it is already fastened securely.
Turning the screwdriver a few rounds more than necessary can result in the head breaking off. Likewise, attempting to tighten a screw when it is already stripped is likely to result in the problem getting worse.
Another source of stripped screws is improper drills to create a hole for the screw in the first place. If you use a poor quality drill to drill an ill-fitting hole onto a metal door, the screw would not be fastened properly. A screw that isn’t fastened onto the drilled hole well is more likely to be stripped once external pressure is applied.
How to Fix a Stripped Screw Hole in Metal Door
There are a few methods to fix a stripped screw hole in a metal door, and they all involve a bit of common sense. Let’s explore them in this section.
Drill Another Hole
This method involves using a driller to drill another hole in the existing stripped screw hole gently. Once you have drilled a small hole in the existing stripped screw hole, attempt to fit your screwdriver into the hole and see if it fits.
If your screwdriver still does not fit into the stripped screw hole, you may attempt to continue drilling again slightly. The goal is to see if the screwdriver can be fastened securely enough into the hole so that you get a good grip.
However, this method isn’t necessarily bound to work, so if this fails, do not continue drilling a hole into the stripped screw as you might accidentally drill too deeply and ruin your metal door.
Use a Hammer
This method, like the first, involves attempting to secure a strong grip of the screwdriver on the stripped screw so that it can be loosened manually.
Insert your screwdriver onto the stripped screw and try to position it to where its grip is the strongest. Next, use a hammer to tap your screwdriver onto the stripped screw gently. This is to see if the screwdriver can achieve a good grip onto the stripped screw with the help of some external pressure.
If the screwdriver is fastened onto the stripped screw by this method, all you need to do next is turn the screwdriver to remove the stripped screw.
However, like the first method, success if not guaranteed. Be careful not to tap on the screwdriver with too much force as you might end up damaging your metal door.
Use a Different Screwdriver
If you cannot get a good grip of the stripped screw using your current screwdriver, try switching it out. You might want to try using a smaller screwdriver and seeing if that works.
Alternatively, you can try to use a flathead screwdriver. A stripped screw usually has less surface area available for maneuvering, so using a smaller, flatter screwdriver might work better than a large one.
Fill The Hole With Another Screw
This method aims to get a new screw to bite into the stripped screw hole enough so that unscrewing the new screw would remove the stripped screw from its hole.
To do this, find a screw that is larger than the stripped screw. Next, using a screwdriver, gently maneuver the larger screw into the stripped screw hole. This might require some physical effort on your part. See if the larger screw can bite into the stripped screw hole and fit into it securely.
If the new screw does fit into the stripped screw hole securely so that it loosens when you turn the new screw, you have succeeded. However, you should abandon this method if you notice that you are just making a bigger hole on your metal door.
For this method, examine the stripped screw hole. Is there any part of the stripped screw that juts outwards so that a pair of pliers can manipulate it? If there is any part of the stripped screw that can be fixed upon by pliers, it is worth trying to loosen the stripped screw by turning it with the pliers.
However, this method only works if there is a part of the stripped screw held onto by the pliers. Do not attempt to pick on the stripped screw hole using your pliers if you can’t see any part of the stripped screw. It can be fastened onto because it will make the hole bigger and worsen the problem.
Weld a Nut Onto the Stripped Screw
The purpose of this method is to fasten a nut securely onto the stripped screw so that you can use a socket wrench to loosen the nut, which will, in turn, loosen the stripped screw.
If you have experience with welding, gently weld a nut onto the stripped screw. The keyword here is ‘gentle’ – you don’t want to damage your metal door and have to replace the whole thing.
Once the nut has been welded onto the stripped screw, wait for a little while until you are confident that the welding is secure. Next, all you need to do is to use a socket wrench to turn the nut loose. If the nut is welded to the stripped screw, it should turn and be loosened as well.
Fill the Stripped Screw Hole
If you don’t mind leaving the stripped screw in your metal door, you can always opt to fill the hole and paint it over.
You can purchase a metal filler, a substance you can use to fill a hole in a metal door. All you need to do is sand the area around the hole until you reach bare metal and clean the door from any dirt and oil. You can also apply a rust remover to any areas that you have noticed have rusted.
Next, fill the hole using the filler with a putty knife. Once the filler has completely dried, consider repainting the metal door so that the color looks uniform.
It takes a steady pair of hands to fill a hole successfully, so consider asking for help if you’re inexperienced. Remember, our primary goal is not to damage the metal door earlier. A wrong move and the door might be ruined.
Having a stripped screw is a common experience in do-it-yourself projects because we all make mistakes. However, mistakes are more likely to occur if you use the wrong tools or maneuver a screw using the wrong technique.
There are a few methods you can try to get your screwdriver to bite into the stripped screw so that you can turn it loose. Welding a nut into the stripped screw and removing it using a socket wrench is also an option. The last choice is to fill the hole and repaint the door.
Prevention is better than cure – make sure you use the right tools and technique to fasten or loosen your screws so that it does not become stripped in the first place.