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Attic Door Won’t Close All The Way

Although you may not often use the attic, many homeowners do. Either way, your only way up is through your attic door. Most often, there are no issues, and it often happens that the attic door hinge appears faulty, and now the weather stripping doesn’t meet the door, and you have an opening.

Cold air can get in from the attic, or your AC runs more because it can’t cool. While you know how to close attic ladder door, what happens when attic ladder arm bent? In our guide, you can learn enough about how to fix attic door, from warped wood to needing replacement parts such as faulty coil springs.

By the end, you’ll see it’s a straightforward job in a tricky area, and you may need some assistance. However, it won’t be long before you fix the attic pull, and the door sits snugly in the door frame on well-oiled hinges. (Read Why Does My Fan Speed Up And Slow Down)

attic door

Why Do Pull-Down Attic Stairs Fail?

Before looking at this, don’t think your attic door is any different from any other door. It fills a gap; however, it is in the floor rather than an opening or hole in a wall. The significant difference is the stair mechanism on the door’s rear, which causes issues rather than the door itself.

Pull-down attic stairs have coil springs on both sides of the unit. The springs connect to power arms toward the upper end of your attic stair to keep the door closed and supposedly flush with your ceiling. With many older stairs, spring tension weakens, and now the stair system won’t push up onto the brackets properly and won’t close completely.

To fix the stair so it will fill the gap correctly, you will need to start adjusting the springs while the door is closed. It is worth noting that adjusting stair springs is the final step if installing new stairs, and adjusting springs on attic stairs is much easier when you have help.

How to Adjust Springs on Attic Stairs

  1. Pull the stairway down.
  2. Activate the attic light or take a flashlight up with you there.
  3. Have a helper raise and close the stairs for you.
  4. Find the J-hooks metal arms that connect the inner end of each spring to the corresponding power arms; these are the ones with the adjustment nuts on their threaded stems.
  5. Using an open-end wrench, loosen each locking nut, holding the adjustment nuts in place on each threaded stem.
  6. While keeping a position on where the door’s face is about the door frame, rotate the adjustment nuts clockwise in equal amounts.
  7. The initial adjustment is complete when there is no space between the open end of the door’s interior face and the frame where the hinges sit.
  8. Having someone else pull the door down and then raise it back into the closed position can be a huge help.
  9. You can now rotate the gap by turning the adjusting nuts.
  10. Locking nuts should be tightened until they touch the outer edges of the corresponding adjustment nuts. (Learn How Do You Stop Doors From Sticking With Fresh Paint)

How do you adjust the springs on the attic door?

  1. Once you and your helper are up in the attic, close the door behind you.
  2. Don a pair of work gloves and grab hold of one of the springs in the middle.
  3. Insert the new spring(s) into the ring at the end of the bracket and pull it so you can fasten it to the other bracket.

Pull-down attic stairs have coil springs at each side of the unit you can adjust. The springs connect to corresponding power arms and j hooks at the upper end of the final step of the stair and keep the door closed and even with the ceiling.

With older stairs, spring tension can lessen, the stairs do not close completely, and you have no movement left on the inner end of the adjustment nuts and threaded stems. You correct this by adjusting the springs with the door in the closed position.

How to install and replace attic door springs?

You’ll need to remove the springs from the attic stairs if you want to replace them. First, unscrew the ladder side, then fold the spring back so it is level and not threatening to snap down. (Learn How To Fill Gap Between Baseboard And Floor)

attic stair

Installing and Replacing Attic Door Springs

Attic door springs aid in maintaining the ladder’s position in the attic and stop it from swinging out too far after it has been opened. The ladder is secured to the attic door by the springs.

Attic door springs may typically be purchased from nearby home improvement stores. If you use these helpful suggestions and take precautions, installing or replacing them is not too difficult. Then, once you turn on your attic light, you can get moving.

1. Remove Old Hinges

  1. Remove the hinge that is now attached to your attic door, regardless of whether you have installed an attic door spring.
  2. This may be seen at the front of the attic door, which connects it to the upper floor.
  3. With your right hand, turn the hinge while holding the door in your left.
  4. Keep your hinge because you’ll need to reinstall it when the project is finished. The door should be pushed aside and left open.

2. Remove Old Springs

  1. Insert your steps after removing the door. For example, remove the springs if you’re replacing the attic stairs.
  2. To accomplish this, remove the screws from the ladder side and then fold the spring back until it is level and not on the verge of collapsing.
  3. The spring on the attic floor joist should then be removed. Bring up the new spring after cleaning the place where it will be installed.


3. Add New Springs

  1. Pulling the attic floor all the way down will pull you to place the spring along the path of the steps, where it will be joined to the attic floor.
  2. Calculate the location where the spring has to be attached to the opening. The spring should be extended to fold, unfold the ladder, and reach downward.
  3. Next, mark the spring’s location on the attic door opening in the ceiling.
  4. Usually, it will fasten to a section of the floor above the opening. Where the other end should be fixed should be marked on the ladder.

4. Install and Adjust Springs

  1. Ensure the spring is installed correctly (it should extend outwards over the top, as a book does, being opened, rather than from beneath the body of the spring).
  2. Take your screws and firmly secure them where you made your marks in the attic flooring.
  3. When finished, fold the ladder up and attach the spring where you marked it on the ladder.
  4. For the other side of the ladder, repeat this process. Make sure your ladder works appropriately by giving it a test run.

5. Add Your Hinge

  1. Reinstall the door using the hinges you previously removed while the ladder is in position.
  2. Fix the ladder to the door on the side facing the attic after the door has been installed.
  3. You won’t need to stretch or use a pole to get the ladder to descend, making it possible for you to access it. (Learn How To Fix Low Spot In Concrete)