If you live anywhere that is not close to the equator; you will know the struggle of a frozen lock. In freezing days of winter, the strength of the locks gets compromised. However, there are ways to unfreeze them that can be learnt without much hassle.
Which locks are in Danger of Freezing in Winter?
Be it a bike lock, combination locker locks, padlocks, or even your master lock, regardless of the material it is made of, it can freeze.
As long as the lock is made of metal and is exposed to freezing temperatures, you will have to stay careful so that you can avoid the chaos of fixing or changing the lock.
How to Prevent House Locks from Freezing
If your place of residence has experienced a winter storm, you will have to learn how to unfreeze a lock. However, in general, in cold weather, there are a couple of things you can do to prevent encountering frozen lock mechanisms in the first place.
- Store in Warm Place
This method is suggested keeping in mind that you have some locks that are tucked away in your house for future use. Even if they are inside, the cold temperatures might still get to them and freeze them. Thus, it is essential to select a storage space that is warm enough to protect the locks.
- Cover Padlocks with Socks
If the winter months in your area are comparatively harsh, you’ll constantly see padlocks being covered with socks on practically every door. Here’s why: The presence of a sock automatically keeps the locks away from frost and minimizes the possibility of freezing!
- Put a Coat of Petroleum Jelly
Applying petroleum jelly as a protective shield against the cold winters is a typical winter preparation practice. Locks freeze because the water settling on them is frozen due to the colder temperatures. Applying petroleum jelly on your lock 1-2 times creates a waterproof layer that will not allow water to settle in the first place.
- Spray The Lock with WD-40
WD-40 is a lock lubricant that can prevent any water on the lock from settling and hence, freezing. You do not have to use the spray 50k times; therefore, a single can of lubricant spray can last your a while.
- Use Graphite
Dry graphite lubricant or graphite powder works the same way as WD-40. The only difference is that graphite powder does not have a peculiar smell.
- Use Weatherproof Locks
Locks come in all quality types, and therefore it is essential to read the description before you finalize a single product for your purchase. Weatherproof locks can be expensive, but a sure way of never having to deal with common winter weather woes for entry doors.
Dealing With a Frozen Door Lock
Suppose you have done everything in your control to prevent your locks from freezing in the dead of winter. However, the locks still might freeze, adding to your problems. Here’s what you can do:-
- Clear Ice from Lock Cylinder
If you cannot insert a key, how will you unlock the door? Therefore, you need to clear the ice from the lock cylinder so the key can be inserted without a hitch.
- De-ice the Keyhole
This one is pretty straightforward – Use a de-icing spray or a lock de-icer such as WD-40 to create more space for the key in the cylinder.
- Heat the Key
You could either dip the key in warm water or blowtorch on it gently for the same. Experts suggest dropping it in hot water rather than using a blow torch as it reduces the risk of deforming the key through thermal shock. Inserting a hot key will definitely allow the lock to de-freeze.
Dealing With a Frozen Car Lock
What do you do when you are outside, and your car lock is somehow frozen? The first thing to do is – don’t panic. Second, follow the below-mentioned steps to unfreeze your car lock:
- Start the Engine: If only one side of your car’s locks is frozen, enter it from the other side and rev the engine to warm the entire vehicle. This practice might unfreeze the lock if the damage is not severe.
- Use WD-40 or Hand Sanitizer: Dab some WD-40 or sanitizer on the key and try to get it into the lock. In most cases, you will see the ice melting away!
Always be Careful of DIY De-Icing Methods
The first aim of everyone living in icy conditions is to somehow prevent locks from freezing in the first place.
However, since the occurrence is too common and too possible, you should know the correct methods of de-freezing a frozen lock.
Always make sure that you follow suitable safety measures while using any tools or heat. While staying out in the cold can be uncomfortable, please try and avoid dangerous situations such as burning your hand with the hot key.