Fall, in my opinion, is one of the best seasons. It isn’t too cold, not too hot, you get a bunch of free candy, and then get to stuff your face with a Thanksgiving feast. What’s not to love? This fall has been a little bit different, though. As I am sure you’ve noticed, there have been a few days topping the charts at 80℉ and then the temperatures at night have been dipping down to around 35℉. While these drastic temperature changes pose a threat to your immune system, did you know that they can also affect the performance of your locks?
As your neighborhood Philadelphia locksmith, we here at Phila-Locksmith always strive to provide you with the most up to date information regarding your home, business, or automobile. We have a little science lesson for you to further explain what is happening to your locks. Thermal expansion is the movement of the molecules within any given object due to temperature change. Therefore if a metal object is heated up it will expand because the molecules are in motion and moving apart from each other. Inversely, when an object is exposed to colder temperatures the molecules within move closer together and become stationary causing the object to contract or get smaller.
Due to the expansion and contraction of molecules, your locks have been going through a lot lately, so you may have noticed them sometimes sticking or having a little bit of trouble to turn. In weather like this, that is perfectly normal. You may have even experienced your locks freezing already. Your lock can freeze overnight (or throughout the day depending on the temperature) simply because of any water or condensation that may be within the lock. When this water in the lock freezes to the tumbler, it can make it nearly impossible to use a key within the lock. The last thing you want to do is try to force the lock open, because most likely you’ll just end up breaking the key within the lock. And while a trusted Philadelphia locksmith like us is always around the corner to assist with a broken key extraction or lock change, it is still best to save both time and money. Here are some home repair tips for a frozen lock that we have gathered for you:
- Keep deicer or WD-40 accessible in numerous locations. It’s no help to you to keep deicer in the back seat of your car, because if your find the lock to be frozen you won’t be able to get to the deicer to melt the ice around the lock. Be sure to keep some in your home and vehicle that way no matter the situation you will always have it handy.
- Use a lighter to heat up your key before sliding it into the lock. You may have to repeat the process a few times, but eventually it will melt the ice around the tumblers within the lock.
- Dip your key in Vaseline and turn it in the lock. This process usually takes some time and has to be repeated as well, but it does usually show positive results. You can also use this as a preventative method against the cold, and lubricate your locks once a week during the frigid, winter months.
- You can pre-treat your locks as well as the frame of your vehicle door to prevent the lock from freezing as well as the door being frozen shut.
- NEVER POUR HOT WATER OVER A LOCK, it will only add more water to the internal mechanisms of the lock and lead to more freezing problems in the future.
We hope that you find these tips useful and you don’t find yourself in a predicament locked out of your home or vehicle due to frozen locks. In the event that you do find yourself locked out of your home, business, or vehicle never hesitate to give us a call for our emergency locksmith services. We have reliable Philadelphia locksmith technicians that are on call and ready to assist you. Even if you happen to break your home or vehicle key within a frozen lock our technicians here at Phila-Locksmith can extract your broken keys for you and even make you a new replacement car key or change your locks right there on the spot. Give us a call today at (215) 554-6109 to set up a service or even have a technician come out to inspect your locks and let you know what you can do to make sure you are winter ready.