Sound of main apartment door slamming akin to small earthquake
June 10, 2008 3:12 PM   Subscribe

I've just moved into a new apartment a couple of weeks ago and after dealing with several issues (cockroach infestation, not cleaned, dirty), etc., the apartment seems to be almost the way I want it. But now there's another issue that is seriously affecting my life at the apartment.

The landlord has had the place sprayed, carpets cleaned etc., and the bug problem seems to now be under control. I know this is completely unacceptable to be moving into a new place and dealing with these issues, but it's a cheap apartment and I want to stay now that everything has been cleaned up. However, I doubt this wouldn't have happened so quickly if I hadn't been putting the pressure on the landlord to fix all of the problems.

But now the big issue is the slamming door at all hours of the day. The apartment is next to the main entry and exit hall and the door shutting is probably the loudest door closing I have EVER heard ... in fact the whole apartment shakes. It's so loud that I can hear it with earplugs in.. it's actually waking me up at all hours of the night. Yes, it's so bad I have resorted to earplugs AND a fan. Stuff attached to the wall shakes like a small earthquake. I can handle a bit of noise but this is unacceptable.

It's not that the tension bar thing at the top of the door is wound so tight to shut the door (it's not) I think it's because there is metal flashing around the door (to prevent someone from prying it open) that is hitting the door frame really hard.

I have yet to mention this to the apartment manager, mostly because I have had so many things fixed lately, but it's driving me insane.

Do you think that this qualifies as something they have to fix? I wish I had a decibel meter because it is *that* loud.

I am in a one-year lease unfortunately... but I keep wondering in the back of mind that because of how dirty of condition the apartment was in/cockroach infestation! (I have photos), I have justification to break the lease anyway, especially if they don't fix the door issue.

Any thoughts?

I am in Vancouver, Canada... and I know the tenant protection legislation here SUCKS.
posted by ninefour to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
The tension bar should probably be tightened to allow the door to close more _slowly._ If it's a really heavy door with a lot of metal-metal contact, make it close at a glacial pace. It should click shut softly. You could do it yourself with a step ladder and a screwdriver. That's what I'd do.
posted by autojack at 3:21 PM on June 10, 2008

I'm not sure that this would qualify as something that the landlord is legally obligated to fix, but I would certainly be bothered by that too. I imagine that it is disturbing other tenants as well if it as loud as you have described.

Here is what I would suggest: Before you bring it up to the landlord, come up with a few possible solutions. Maybe there is some sort of rubber doodad that can be stuck somewhere in the door frame to absorb some of the shock from the slamming. Maybe, as autojack suggests, the tension bar just needs to be fiddled with (or replaced). Do a bit of research and see what you can find out. When you think you have found one or two things that will solve the problem, bring the issue to the attention of the landlord and offer to help implement the solution. If the solution is inexpensive, offer to pay for it.
posted by kitty teeth at 3:36 PM on June 10, 2008

With a lot these door closers there are two adjustment screws, one controls the speed at which the door closes behind you (sweep), the other controls how much force is applied against the closing spring in the last couple of inches to slow the door so it doesn't bang (latch). If it is one of these - it can definitely be adjusted without a lot of bother, you will need an allen key - you need to adjust to get a fine balance between enough force that it closes vs. not too much so it bangs.

Is it one of these?
posted by clarkie666 at 4:25 PM on June 10, 2008

We had a problem with this at my apartment building. It didn't really bother me that much, but other people apparently complained, and the manager put a simple laminated sign on the inside of the door. It pretty much solved the problem. Why not ask the manager if he or you can put a sign up.

The ones on our doors say something like "Please refrain from running on the stairs and letting the door slam shut. It's very loud in the nearby apartments." Hmmm, surely it's less awkward than that. Oh yeah, we had two problems.
posted by sevenless at 4:33 PM on June 10, 2008

it doesn't really shut quickly, it's more of the slamming of the door, which I believe is caused by the metal flashing around the door hitting the frame. it kind of bounces back a couple of times after it initially makes contact.

I am going to get some large felt stoppers to stick to the door frame to see if it makes a difference.
posted by ninefour at 4:55 PM on June 10, 2008

For what it's worth... you'll eventually get used to it. I am in the exact same situation, and after 4 months, I barely notice anymore. I've pondered putting those little clear peal and stick rubber bumps (they come with some furniture and cabinets) on the corners of the door frame to see if it helps with the volume without preventing the door from latching.
posted by kimdog at 5:33 PM on June 10, 2008

...or what you said.
posted by kimdog at 5:34 PM on June 10, 2008

Put rubber all over it. If that fails then contact the landlord in writing and claim that the apartment is "inhabitable" due to the extreme noise of the door. There are soft close door closers that can fix this problem and even though they are expensive they are cheaper than a lawsuit. I would offer to split the cost of the device (not installation) with the landlord. Get receipts and check the price with an appropriate supplier.
posted by caddis at 5:44 PM on June 10, 2008

If that fails then contact the landlord in writing and claim that the apartment is "inhabitable" due to the extreme noise of the door.

If it gets to that point and you contact them in writing, you should probably note that the apartment is uninhabitable.
posted by limeonaire at 6:00 PM on June 10, 2008

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