Locks and Weather: How Do Temperature Changes Affect Your Locks?
As we move into autumn, Capital Locksmith is thinking about the change in weather and how it might affect your locks. We typically only stop to think about or notice how important our locks are when they have a problem. Season changes can sometimes cause locks to jam or not work properly. So, what exactly happens when to them when the temperature changes? When weather patterns cause increased moisture/dryness? That’s what we’ll discuss today on our blog. Here is what you should know about weather changes and their effect on locks!
When Temperature Drops
In areas like Washington, temperatures will drop as we move into autumn and winter. This may cause potential problems to manifest in your locks. As we said, Colder temperatures suck moisture out of the air and out of materials, causing wood doors or frames to contract slightly. As such, this may cause a bad fit between the lock and door.
Problems are more likely to occur in the following situations:
- For wooden doors and frames that are affected by humidity levels
- For wooden door frames that tend to contract in colder temperatures
When Temperature Rises
As the weather warms up, many people may experience jammed locks. This mostly affects exterior doors, causing them to expand slightly. In turn, this may make locks difficult to turn or may get stuck in a position.
Problems are more likely to occur in the following situations
- For closed deadbolts, which are compressed into the door as the frame expands and swells around it
- For wooden outdoor doors and frames with wood that’s prone to contract and expand
Are Car Locks Affected?
Cold weather can affect your car door locks too. Moisture inside the locks (common due to Seattle’s rainy weather) can freeze if it gets cold enough. In this case, you may not be able to turn your key in your lock, or even insert it. The easiest way around this problem is to heat your key (with a flame) before inserting it into the lock. This will safely melt away the frozen moisture. If your car has a remote-start function, you can turn your car on and let the engine run for a few minutes. The locks will eventually thaw.
Locks and Weather Changes: Preventing Damage
- Whenever you have new locks installed, make sure you’re working with an experienced locksmith. They can ensure that the locks are fitted properly to the door frame, reducing the likelihood of problems arising from contracting and expanding wooden doors/frames.
- Consider replacing wooden doors with those of more durable material, resistant to weather changes.
- Maintain your locks from time to time by lubricating them. This will keep them easy to turn.
- Keep your locks dry. Make sure overhangs, eaves, and gutters keep rain and snow away from your door.
Locks And Weather Changes: Call a Professional Locksmith
If you’re experiencing a problem with a stuck lock or jammed key, you should contact a locksmith right away. They know locks well and will be able to safely extract a key, repair, or replace a lock when necessary.