If you live in a northern state, like Pennsylvania, there’s no question that you’re already accustomed to the cold temperatures, snow and ice that the winter season brings with it. But winter brings other inconveniences – like poor driving conditions, ice dams, slush, and frozen locks.
There’s arguably nothing more frustrating than going to start your car in the morning only to realize that your door locks are frozen shut. Or maybe you arrive home in the evening to find your front door iced over and inaccessible.
How To Keep House Door Locks From Freezing?
Now that you know why you are having this problem, you already know what you should do. We can only control the variables that are within our control but we can’t do anything about the outside cold.
So, we have to lower the RH level or increase the temperature inside the house. And we have to prevent the air leakage through the exterior door to solve the problem. Having said that, have a look at the following solutions:
Install Storm Door
This is a great way to warm up the exterior of the steel-encased door during the great winter. The door gets warmed up slightly during the winter but during the coldest winter, you may not have much success to prevent the ice formation.
Prevent Air Leakage
You need to address the air leakage issue immediately. You may think your door is well-sealed which probably every modern door should be, but sometimes that is not the case. The weather-stripping around the door can wear out or tear over time. If this is the case, you need to replace it.
For further prevention leakage, check whether the backset of the door lock is loose or not. Adjusting the striker plate may help the lock seal better. And you are not done yet. There may be other leakage sources through the door.
At night when everything is dark, shine a flashlight at the door lock from the exterior. Check whether the lights can penetrate through the door. If so, make necessary adjustments or replacement to prevent the frozen door lock issue. To get the best output, I would recommend installing a foam gasket where the door and lock touch each other.
Control Relative Humidity (RH) Level
Lower RH level will solve the problem immediately but you have to calculate the RH level first. To do so, get a hygrometer from your local store and position it in your main living space to get the accurate RH results. If the standard indoor temperature is 20-degree C and the RH level measures more than 40 percent , you can take action to lower the RH percentage.
Running the exhaust fan all of the time is the most effective way to lower the RH percentage. If you can’t keep the central exhaust system or the HRV running indefinitely, at the very least keep it running for a longer period of time.
Other Measures to Maintain a Lower Humidity Level
There are other things you can do in addition to running the exhaust fan to keep the indoor humidity level down. Be sure to keep the lids on the pots when cooking, for example.
Also, refrain from putting wet clothes inside to dry. Make sure to keep the bathroom exhaust fan going when taking a hot shower. Put a mitten on the door using some elastic band as a final trick if you know it’ll be a very cold night. It has been shown to keep the doorknob warm on a cold night.
7 Things That Will Help You Defrost Your Frozen Locks
Winter brings a slew of annoyances. The severe cold will cause your home’s and car’s locks to freeze shut. You will waste a lot of time trying to open your doors in the cold. If you push frozen locks open, they will break, leaving you trapped in the cold as you wait for a locksmith. If you live in an area where frozen locks are normal, here are some tips to keep your locks from freezing or to defrost them if they have already frozen.
Magnets are objects that attract each other.
Magnets are drawn to doorknobs. Any magnet that can attach to your fridge can also stick to your car or home door locks. Look for magnets that can be used to cover your locks. It will suffice if you use a flat one that is roughly the same size. Lock the door and stick the magnet on the lock when you get out of your car. Simply grab the magnet and place it in your glove box when you return. In the winter, keep a magnet on your front door lock at all times. It will protect your locks while also providing some warmth.
WD-40 is a lubricant that can be
WD-40 is another way to prevent the locks from freezing. It isn’t enough to use it on a daily basis. Throughout the season, squirt a dab of it on your home and car locks once or twice a week.
Sanitizer for the hands
Alcohol has a lower freezing point than water, as you probably already know. The majority of high-proof alcoholic beverages can be stored in the freezer without ever freezing. If your lock is frozen, squirt some hand sanitizer on your key before inserting it into the lock. It will take a minute, but the lock should defrost and you should be able to turn it. If it still won’t transform, try rubbing it with hand sanitizer a couple more times.
Jelly made of petroleum
You should be able to unfreeze your lock with a tub of petroleum jelly. If you don’t have any hand sanitizer, simply put your key in the jelly tub and then into the lock. Do not attempt to push the lock open. You don’t want to crack the key or the lock mechanisms. Enable the key to rest for a minute before slowly turning it.
A Less Heavy
Heat, of course, is a good way to melt ice. To warm up your key, take a lighter and light it. Place your key in the lock until it has warmed up. You can need to heat up your key a few times if your lock is extremely frozen. The lighter trick, on the other hand, should always work.
De-Icing Spray is a spray that is used to remove ice from surfaces
De-icing spray is, of course, an excellent way to de-ice your locks. When the weather starts to cool off, you can get it from almost any shop. Keep one bottle in your home and another in your vehicle. You may want to keep a bottle at work as well, just in case your locks get frozen when you leave.
Take a deep breath.
You still have warm breath on hand, and you can use it to defrost your locks with it. Simply cup your hands around the lock and blow hot air on it for about a minute. Check to see if your key works. If that doesn’t work, give it another minute of hot air. Continue until your key no longer needs to be pressed.
- To defrost the bolt, do not use hot water! While you will temporarily melt the ice, all of the water you just poured into your lock will freeze solid before long.
- Don’t try to pry a frozen lock open by yanking on the ring. You could break the key off, creating an even bigger problem for yourself.
For many people, the problem of cold weather door locks has become a major concern. And I just went over what you need to know about dealing with a frozen door lock. Use the approach that works best for you and let me know how it goes in the comments section.