Topic: General Chatter
At certain times of the year a locksmith will expect to see an increase in seasonal door and lock problems.
I would define this as a lock problem caused or amplified by the change in weather.
In the colder weather leading to the winter season the most common problem I come across as a locksmith in Bridgnorth is upvc door contraction.
As the temperature falls the door shrinks a few millimeters and can throw the locking mechanism out of line.
Usually this problem can be cured by adjusting the hinges and/or keeps to match the warping in the door and is a fairly straightforward job for a locksmith in the majority of cases.
However the increasing stiffness of the lock is often ignored resulting in additional forces being applied to the lock in order to get the key to turn.
Eventaully something gives and you have a whole different problem to deal with. Unjamming a upvc door lock can be a complete nightmare and prices will reflect that!
Again in the Summertime the exact opposite can occur and you can find yourself with a door that seems too big for the hole with rollers catching on the frame when closing.
Some doors will swell so badly in the heat that they no longer open at all, particularly the darker brown colours that attract more heat.
A tip given to me by another local locksmith for this scenario is to run a cold hosepipe over the door to cool it. Sounds ridiculous to a customer but it works and saves using a door spreading tool.
Those two issues are rarely seen in the more solid composite doors however when choosing a new composite door I would always recommend a customer to choose a lighter colour.
Again with some of the darker shades of door a lot of heat is retained in direct sunlight which can cause the resin shell to blister and eventually crack, particularly in the cheaper range of composite doors.
Padlocks are prone to freezing in the frosty weather, furthermore when we are unfortunate enough to have a downpour beforehand.
In this situation you should NEVER try and force the key. Its not going to happen and you are likely to bend or snap the key making for a tricker opening.
There are a couple of methods I have used in the past from pouring hot water from a kettle onto the padlock, warming the key with a lighter and inserting, or heating lightly with a blow lamp on some of the more extreme frozen locks.
Unfreezing the locks to your car is pretty much the same process however i dont expect anyone to be silly enough to take a blowtorch to their vehicle... I will not be held liable for any burning cars :-D
This is probably my last post this side of Christmas so I hope you have a good one and thanks for reading. Merry Xmas