Not just the door locks, sometimes the door itself got frozen and that is very dangerous. You can’t open the door from the inside. Of course, the situation will vary depending on where you live. But if the weather is always cold and it’s freezing, you are not the only one wondering how to keep house door locks from freezing.
The frozen door lock can be disastrous and you should learn how to deal with this problem. Don’t just blame the lock, I have faced the same problem with my expensive Weiser, but the problem did not go away. But I figured it out anyhow and I will explain exactly how I did it.
Freezing Moisture: Reason Behind Frozen Door Lock
If you don’t know the true reason, you can’t come up with a great solution. A lot of outsides and inside factors contribute to this problem and you need to figure out the reasons first. Understanding the reason will help you to take preventive measures to avoid this in the future.
If the front door lock freezes every winter, the reason is internal and it’s safe to say the main culprit is the freezing moisture. But most likely the moisture is no coming from the outside. Sounds like a mystery, right?
Well, there is a perfectly scientific explanation behind this. It’s maybe a little bit hard to swallow but the water vapor generated within the house is responsible for the ice. If the air can move through the exterior door, you have just found why this happens in the first place!
Only too much moisture will cause the problem. When such water vapor leaks through the exterior door when it is too cold outside, it will cause the ice to build upon the door lock. Two important factors to note here. One, there has to be too much moisture and two, the moisture is allowed to cool.
There is a term called Relative Humidity (RH) and it simply means the amount of moisture in the air (expressed in percentage). More RH percentage means it will take less temperature drop for the ice to build up.
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 fix the problem automatically but you have to measure the RH level first. To do so, get a hygrometer from your local store and place it in your main living space to get the accurate RH data. If the normal indoor temperature is 20-degree C and the RH level measures more than 40%, you should take steps to lower the RH percentage.
The most effective way to lower the RH percentage is by running the exhaust fan all the time. If you can’t keep running the central exhaust system or the HRV, make sure to keep it running for a longer period of time at least.
- Other Measures To Keep Humidity Level Lower
In addition, to keep running the exhaust fan, there are other things you should ensure to keep the indoor humidity level lower. For example, while cooking, make sure to keep the lids on the pots.
Also, stop drying wet clothes inside. While taking a hot shower, make sure to keep running the bathroom exhaust fan. As the final trick, put a mitten on the door know using any elastic band if you know it’s gonna be a very cold night. It is proven to keep the doorknob warm during the cold night.
Ninja Techniques To Keep House Door Locks From Freezing
Still wondering how to keep padlocks from freezing? Well, apart from the previous preventive measures I just discussed, have a closer look at the following quick to implement fixes:
- Spray lock lubricant like WD-40 on the door lock before it gets freezes. Spray inside the keyhole as well.
- If you can’t tolerate the smell of WD-40, you can try graphite as well.
- If the lock is already iced, try any good de-icer. Keep a can of it within your reach always.
- To prevent the moisture condensation inside the keyhole, cover it with putty. You can always take off the putty when you need to unlock it.
- Use a match or lighter to heat up the key and insert it inside the lock to unfreeze it.
- Never try to use hot water inside the keyhole. Hot water refreezes faster than you think.
And here is another technique to achieve the same using hand sanitizer.
Cold weather door locks issue has become a serious thing for a lot of people. And I just described everything to deal with the frozen door lock. Apply the technique the best suits you and let me know the result in the comment box.