If you live in a city or town that gets extremely cold weather, you would be all too familiar with frozen door locks.
Winter may bring with it a festive time and a general air of holidays and happiness, but it also brings several inconveniences. In areas that get heavy snowfall, winter can bring bad driving conditions, slush, ice dams, and other annoying additions. These, however, are unpreventable. We have to deal with these unpredictable inconveniences every time winter comes around. There is no getting rid of the natural weather cycle. Of course, frozen door locks can also be a problem in non-winter months when there is simply moisture in the atmosphere.
Trying to open a frozen door can prove to be very strenuous and tedious. Unless you’re looking to invest in high-quality door handles that will completely prevent frozen door locks. Otherwise, you will need to think about other solutions. Frozen door locks are a very common problem for people who live in cold climates. It is something that most people in northern areas can relate to. While the internet is abuzz with suggestions on how to open frozen door locks, this article will also give you tips on how to do so.
Why do locks get frozen in the first place?
Doors and door locks, specifically, have mechanisms inside the locks that shift and align with keys which enable them to open. When the outside temperature decreases to something below 10 degrees Celsius, the door mechanisms freeze up. This happens from any sort of moisture in the atmosphere which causes the metal to freeze. It then prevents the key from aligning the locks and shifting them into place in order to open them. Sometimes, the locks get so frozen, that the keys cannot even fit inside. Now, do you get the inconvenient part of winter?
The door locks that are more likely to freeze are those that are located in parts of the house that have a colder temperature than other rooms. For example, garage doors are most likely to get frozen, as well as front doors and balcony or terrace doors. If you have a frozen door lock that you are trying to open, do not fret. This article is about to tell you just what you can do to open a frozen door lock.
What can you do to open a frozen door lock?
- Try heating up the key. This may sound ridiculous and quite frankly difficult, especially if you are just coming home and don’t have a hairdryer or stove available to you, but it is quite helpful. Heating the key and then inserting it into the lock will enable it to melt away any excess ice. This can also help in warming the lock enough so that the key can unlock it. If you are facing a frozen door lock problem mostly when entering your house, try carrying a lighter with you. This will give you an easily accessible heating method to warm your key.
- Make use of your hand sanitizer. One of the most surprising cures for a frozen door lock is hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers contain alcohol, which has been known to melt away ice that seizes the lock. All you need to do is squeeze some hand sanitizer on your key (make sure you get a good amount on it) and then slide the key into the lock. It should open up quickly. This method is one of the most common ways used to open a frozen door lock. If you aren’t in the habit of carrying around hand sanitizer, this would be a good reason to start. Hand sanitizers are also usually cheap and easily available at the most outlet and grocery stores and can even be ordered online.
- Try a de-icing aerosol spray. Because this is a very common problem for cold climates, aerosol de-icing sprays are also an option for you. These de-icing sprays are an instant tool for melting ice and are something carpenters and mechanics use in winter months to de-freeze their tools. These are available at most hardware and utility stores.
- Use items from your house. An interesting way that people have taken to protecting their door locks from the cold is the use of cling wraps and duct tape. Cling foil wraps are thick plastic coats that prevent wind from affecting the food wrapped in. This is what people use to cover their locks to protect from the weather outside. Other methods to protect the locks are duct tape, which is also a thick sticky tape that prevents wind from breaking through. This method could stop the wind from creating moisture inside the lock without freezing or breaking off.
- Try a hairdryer or blower. Some people also use hairdryers to warm or heat up keyholes. This unfreezes the door lock and allows you to unlock your door quickly. However, hairdryers are not always at hand and can take a few seconds or minutes to warm up the door lock. Despite that, this is a safe and easy method of opening a frozen door lock. If you are trying to unlock the door from the outside, portable mini heat blowers can do the trick. These gadgets are becoming more and more popular in northern areas and colder climates.
With these easy, (mostly) quick methods you can open a frozen door lock. However, the best thing for you to do would be to get cold-proof doors installed which do not require unnecessary precautions. It would be an investment that benefits you on a long-term basis. Besides that, the above-mentioned tips will although help you with your struggle on opening a frozen door lock.