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What to do if your lock is frozen

 

As Christmas approaches, we are well and truly in peak months for the cold, icy British weather. Whilst the cold chill might be unpleasant to be out and about in, it can also cause problems for your home and vehicles too, such as frozen locks. Our door and car locks, like humans, are not immune to the cold weather. The last thing you want as you finish a long day at work is to find you cannot enter your vehicle or your home because the lock has frozen, leaving you stuck outside, exposed to the bitter British weather and in need of shelter. This unwelcome, chilly scenario can be avoided by following our top tips for tackling a frozen lock.

What you can DO for frozen locks

Prevention

To avoid locks freezing in the first place, it is a good idea to think ahead, before we get truly stuck into the harsh winter months. One idea to prevent frozen locks is to oil them before the cold months begin. Warm temperatures in the summer months can cause a build-up of moisture inside the locks, which in the winter months, can freeze within the lock and cause problems. By oiling the locks, you can help prevent this as oil will help form a protective layer around the lock’s inner workings, thus making it less likely for your locks to freeze.

De-icing

De-icer is a simple way to help you defrost your frozen locks as it will quickly melt any ice around the locks, freeing the mechanism up so it can work as it should and you can gain access to your home or vehicle.

Frozen car door locks are often easier to resolve than frozen front door locks, simply because you will have more tools available in the house to help you unfreeze your car lock than you would in the reverse situation. However, this is a good reason, aside from de-icing your windscreen, to keep de-icer in your car in the winter months to ensure you’re always equipped to deal with a frozen front door lock.

 

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Hand-sanitizer

Using hand-sanitizer is another method through which to melt the ice around the lock. Hand-sanitizers have alcohol in them which lowers the freezing point of water and thus melts the ice inside the lock and allows the mechanism to work as normal. Simply coat the key in hand-sanitizer and wiggle the key in and out of the lock, allowing it to loosen up by melting the ice. Hand-sanitiser therefore has uses beyond germ-killing powers and is a good accessory to keep on you in the winter months, you never know when you might need it!

 

What NOT TO DO with a frozen lock:

Don’t use force

If you think your lock might be frozen, don’t continue trying to force the lock by jamming the key into the lock. Instead of helping, this could break the key, leading to more trouble, inconvenience and a pay-out to replace the key. Alternatively, it might damage the lock, again, meaning you will require a locksmith to replace it, costing you in both money and time.

Don’t use hot water

When something is frozen and we want to defrost it, hot water might be the first thought as to a solution. However, in this case, pouring hot water onto a frozen lock can actually be detrimental in the long-run. Boiling water can cause damage to the lock and when the water cools down and in the cold weather, possibly freezes, you will find yourself with the same problem, only perhaps worse.

 

Please feel free to contact us if you require more information.

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