Seasonal changes are often exciting. After a long winter, many look forward to the time spent outdoors in warmer weather brought in by spring. As summer comes to a close, cooler temperatures are appreciated as many prepare for the upcoming holiday seasons. However, as homeowners prepare for the change in seasons themselves, they also must be aware of the potential effects of these changes on external locks and entrances to their home.
Many do not realize that the change of seasons can have a major impact on their home. When the temperature dramatically increases or decreases in a short span of time, there is a higher chance that you will experience issues with your doors and locking mechanisms. A lot of the time, seemingly random problems that arise with your locks can be explained by seasonal changes.
Cold Weather Effects
As the fall and winter seasons arrive, the change in temperature affects your doors and locking mechanisms in a variety of ways. Doors that are made of wood are especially prone to problems during seasonal changes, as lower levels of humidity affect the material. Freezing temperatures and the absence of moisture in the air can cause your door frame to contract, leading to a poor fit between the door and the lock itself. This contraction means the door will begin to warp around your locks, and may lead to your deadbolt suddenly not being able to lock or unlock properly.
Aside from contractions with the door and door frame, if there is existing moisture in the lock, you may experience issues with your key not being able to turn. Moisture in the mechanisms of the lock may freeze over, causing your key to become stuck or much harder than usual to put into the lock.
Hot Weather Effects
Just as colder weather causes your door and door frame to contract, warmer weather can cause these mechanisms to expand. Higher levels of moisture in the air cause wooden doors to warp around the lock and press rigidly against the door frame. This expansion can lead to problems with your locks, as they suddenly start to “jam” more often. This means it becomes more difficult for the key to turn in the lock properly, or that the key can become stuck in the lock itself.
Homeowners must also be aware of the effects of warm temperatures on keys themselves. When left in a hot car for too long, or left in direct sunlight for extended periods of time, the keys can begin to distort. Distorted keys can cause problems with the lock, as they do not properly fit in the mechanism anymore.
How Do I Fix My Lock?
If you have noticed that your locking mechanisms have been affected by a recent change in temperature or weather, the best option is to call a reputable locksmith. These technicians will evaluate your circumstances and advise you on the best plan of action. Depending on the degree that your door or door frame has warped, they may decide to simply fix your lock or rekey it. In some cases, the home may benefit from the installation of a new lock entirely if it has become too incompatible with the door’s changes over time.
If you have found that your wooden door continually becomes warped, it may be time to consider installing a door of an alternative material. Weatherproof materials such as fiberglass, steel or aluminum are good choices, and will withstand changes in temperature and humidity without affecting your locks.
Contact Pop-A-Lock Today!
If you have arrived home to find that your door is jammed, or the key will not turn in the lock, do not panic! Your first step should be to contact a reputable locksmith, such as Pop-A-Lock, to help you gain entry to the home, staying away from online “DIY” methods that may lead to more damage on your system. Pop-A-Lock provides a 24/7 emergency lockout service, that will get you back into your home quickly and efficiently, without damage.
Pop-A-Lock was founded in Lafayette, Louisiana, and has quickly become the largest professional locksmithing franchise in the United States. All of our technicians are certified, experienced, and ready to help you find the best solution for your individual needs. You can call (800) POP-A-LOCK or contact us online for a quote today!