Weather Changes Affect Door Locks
Weather can affect many things; our moods, our clothing, our habits and even our locks! Here in Hialeah, FL we are used to weather changes. We can have pleasant, temperate climate one day and howling wind or intense humidity the next. It’s important that we realize how weather changes can affect our locks at home, in our car or at our place of business. Usually, when we think about our locks, we hope that they work and we might wonder if it’s time for maintenance but most hardly consider that our local weather may play a part in how our locks work and interact with us.
We live in Florida – the Sunshine State! That being said, we are used to having warm weather for most of the year. There are times though, that switching from cooler weather to warm will make our doors frames swell just a bit. This action can sometimes cause our locks to become stuck. This often occurs when the bolt of a lock is inserted into a wood door frame that has slightly swollen due to a warmer change in temperature.
What about winter?
Our Hialeah, FL winters are very mild and we don’t often get freezing or below freezing temperatures. Many of our residents have moved here from other parts of the globe and have experienced ultra-cold temperatures that can and do affect how their locks work. In colder weather, door frames contract instead of expand and this can surely affect your locks. Door frame contraction makes it very difficult for you to turn the key in your lock and this often results in key breakage and the need for emergency extraction service. There is a short term remedy for this and that is to pull the handle of the door knob somewhat harder. What this does is to re-center the lock with the door frame and make it easier for the key to turn.
Car locks in winter
As stated earlier, it hardly freezes here in Hialeah, Florida but once in a while it does, and in case you are visiting other locales that do freeze in winter season, it pays to know what to expect in the way of cold lock behavior. We mention car locks because these particular ones are affected most due to the constant exposure of the elements. What happens is that moisture can get inside the lock and freeze. This prevents the key from working as it can’t enter and it also jams up the remote opener as well. We’ve heard of some people pouring boiling water over their winter exposed locks in order to “unfreeze” them but Hialeah Locksmith does NOT recommend doing this as freezing cold locks suddenly doused in boiling hot liquid can do more damage than the temperature extremes!
Cold weather tips
Here in Hialeah we are so used to warm, humid weather that when we don’t get it, our locks can suffer. This is why they must be installed right and maintained regularly. If you have locks now that need repair or replacement, it’s a good idea to use a licensed, bonded and insured locksmith to do the work. Not only will your locks work better and last longer due to proper installation and selection, but your locksmith will be able to recommend proper all-weather protection for them that includes the hottest summers and the most frigid winter climates.
Another idea to help with lock and key troubles during winter months is to replace troublesome door frames with non-wood ones. This is one smart way to avoid door frame contraction that can negatively affect your key use. Alternate materials include fiberglass, steel and aluminum.
Lubricating your locks
Lubricating your locks is not just for colder climates. All locks deserve to be maintained all year long and lubricating yours should be done at least once a year. Ideally, the locks should be disassembled and the insides should be sprayed with a quality lubricant. If you have experience doing this; more power to you. If you don’t have experience or the inclination to learn lock maintenance, hire a local Hialeah locksmith to do the work for you. Why lubricate your locks? Simple; well lubed and maintained locks react better to weather changes and extremes, both hot and cold. If you use a professional locksmith to maintain and lubricate your locks, be sure to ask him or her about regular maintenance service and you just might get a discount on this for signing up for multiple visits.
Old locks = trouble!
Weather changes can affect older locks, especially ones that are worn out or damaged. The back and forth of hot and cold and in-between temperatures can render these locks difficult to work with or even useless, given enough time and wear. If you are experiencing lock problems like key sticking or difficult to turn deadbolts, then seriously consider lock replacement. We encourage you to call our shop or your favorite local full service locksmith firm and have new locks installed in place of these older, worn ones.
Call a locksmith anyway!
You should always have access to quality locksmith service, no matter what the weather is like. Even if your locks seem fine and you are not locked out, you should always have near-immediate access to a licensed, bonded and insured team of 24-hour professionals. If you wait until you actually need the help of a lock and key technician, you will not have the time to pre-select a well-established, skilled professional. Why not make some calls and ask some questions now, while you are not under stress from having a broken off-key or a non-responsive lock? Look for a locksmith shop that offers free price quotes, affordable prices and responsive, 24-hour emergency service. Weather can affect locks both outdoors and indoors so be sure to find a shop that offers not only emergency service but also residential, commercial and automotive help, as well. As a last step, be sure to add their phone number to your smart phone for easy and fast access to them, anytime!