How To Protect Your Locks From Freezing In This Cold Weather
With the cold weather recently occurring in the UK, now is the right time to consider extra measures in order to up-keep your locks and security on your home and car, more so what to do to stop any issues with your locks and how to address the issues if they do occur.
The quicker you are to understand the impact that the cold weather has on your locks the quicker you are able to input better measures in order to stop this from happening. If you don’t take precautions you may find yourself out of your house in the cold, wet weather with no entry to your property other than to break-in yourself and who wants to pay for the damage of a self-break-in when you could have taken small precautions to prevent this from happening?
What Effect Does The Cold Weather Have On Locks?
There are a few issues that can be caused by weather which can compromise your security and the ability successfully use your locks. The first one being a very obvious one
- Seizing of Locks. Seizing of Locks happens during cold weather due to the drop in temperature and cold air which causes the contraction of locks. If the locks contract this then results in the keys no longer being able to engage the way they should be able to resulting in you being unable to use the lock.
- Locks Freezing. Door locks, car locks and window locks all may experience this throughout their lifetime. This is a more common occurrence with external locks but this does not restrict internal locks from being able to be effected by this. With locks being exposed to the cold air this can cause moisture in the locks which can later on freeze and then create a layer of ice which blocks the key slit, resulting in the key not being able to engage correctly once again.
- Door Frame Contraction. Now often, when it comes to locks a lot of people do not take into consideration the door frame itself. In cold weather the door frame have the potential to contract which can lead to a poor fit between the lock and the door itself. This results in the lock not engaging correctly and for doors to not be able to be locked, compromising security or/and a possibility that you will not be able to enter through this door.
What To Do In These Situations?
When it comes to resolving these situations there are a few methods of which we at Train Locksmiths can suggest.
- If you find that your door locks have ‘frozen over’ the first approach would be to try with a WARM KEY. Sometimes simply rubbing your key between your hands and getting it warm before trying can make the world of a difference. When trying with a warm key, gently turn the key back and forth in the lock and this can sometimes melt away the thin layer of ice that forms inside.
- If this does not work, if you can keep an ALCOHOL BASED HAND SANITISER on your person this can be great for getting rid of unwanted ice in your locks. Put a small amount of the hand sanitizer on your key and once again as the method before, turn your key back and forth in the lock. Hand sanitizers work because the alcohol in them melts the ice that has made the lock seize up (or freeze over!).
- Purpose bought LUBRICANT SPRAYS or DECONGESTION SPRAYS are made specifically to deal with these sorts of issues. These can be purchased in many reputable stores at a low price, some starting as low as £1.99. This is one of the most commonly known methods to solve a frozen or seized lock.
These are all easy solutions that can be tried before you need to ring out a professional. If you have no luck from any of these methods, we highly advise you call out someone to have a look at your doors before attempting any DIY entry work causing any further damage.
How to Prevent These Occurrences?
In order to prevent these situations happening both in the present and future, here are our top tips for prevention of seized and frozen locks. By following these you will minimize your chance of having your locks encounter these issues if the weather gets cold and also save yourself time and money.
- Regularly oil your locks – Lock maintenance is key! Make sure you’re regularly oiling all your locks in order to prevent freezing. All of our engineers stock oil on their vans, if you don’t know what the best oil to get for preventing seizing and freezing. Inquire in store or with one of our engineers, we will be glad to advise you on this. Note: Remember! You can oil ALL types of locks including car locks, window locks, out building locks and shed/garage locks. Take precautions on ALL of your locks, not only your house doors!
- Prevent your locks from getting moisture/water – If possible try to restrict the locks coming in contact with water. A lot of people when the weather gets cold grab straight for the BOILING WATER TO MELT THE ICE IN THE LOCKS. We highly advise you do not do this! Water can build up in the locks and freeze within minutes even seconds… This can effectively cause you more damage. Stick to high alcohol based products such as hand sanitizer as suggests as these have a lower freezing point and will not freeze up in your locks.
- Service your padlocks – if you find yourself using padlocks to secure your valuables take time every now and again to remove these and remove all moisture from the locks by keeping them in a warm place. This way not only do you extend the life of your locks but you minimize the chance of water build up resulting in damage to your padlocks.
If you find yourself experiencing weather-related lock issues, be sure to contact us HERE or alternatively visit us in-store:
Prospect House, 32 Bolton Road, Atherton. M46 9JY.