Locks and Winter Weather

February 5, 2019 11:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

We’re right in the middle of the coldest time of the year. As locksmiths in Fairfax, VA, one of the most common issues we have to deal with during the winter months is people who have locks around their home that have frozen up during cold weather. This is a problem that can happen to locks both old and new.

Sometimes the cold weather causes locks to start sticking. This problem can actually become worse if you try to lubricate them with WD-40. While WD-40 is a useful product to have on hand for most of the rest of the year, it can actually make matters worse during especially cold weather, because the cold can cause the oil to separate, which can make it easier for the locks to gum up even more.

Therefore, if you’re having issues with your locks during the winter months, be sure to reach out to a professional locksmith in Fairfax, VA. We’ll be able to come out, check your locks and perform the necessary repairs and maintenance to make sure you won’t have to deal with the issue for the rest of the winter.

There are also some steps you can take yourself to make sure your locks will work as needed all winter long. Here are a few examples:

  • Check your keys: The problem with your lock might actually have been caused by your key if you’re using a key that is worn or damaged. The teeth of the key should be sharp, not rounded. Rounded edges will not open the lock well enough and will likely result in sticky locks and potential interior damage to the locking mechanisms.
  • Look at the lock: Check to see if the lock hangs up or catches the key when the key is inserted and removed. If it does, you can lubricate. Otherwise you might need to reset the lock or door jamb.
  • Check the deadbolt: The deadbolt shouldn’t be difficult to turn—it should work smoothly. There are some circumstances in which the deadbolt does turn, but then gets harder to turn as it moves progressively one way or the other. That’s not how it should work. Also keep in mind that you should never have a thumb-turn deadbolt if you’re close to a window. This is a big safety issue, as a potential burglar could easily smash the window and turn the deadbolt to let themselves in.
  • Tighten knobs: Knobs in your door should not wiggle a lot, either up and down or side to side. You should make sure you check all screws and tighten them if loose. A loose doorknob could be one of the reasons why your lock isn’t working as desired.

If you’re having any issues with your locks freezing up or not operating properly this winter, be sure to call the locksmiths in Fairfax, VA at Artie’s Lock and Key. We have over 40 years of experience assisting local residents, and we’ll be happy to come out and make the necessary adjustments for you!

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