The first morning you wake up to see the ground blanketed with snow you probably are patting yourself on the back for having cleaned the leaves from your home gutters, stored the patio furniture for the winter and moved the ice scraper to the backseat of your car. You are prepared for whatever winter has in store! There may be one thing you overlooked, however, and that is your exterior doors and locks. Winter can be harsh on them.
A little preventative maintenance can ensure that when it’s 15 degrees you don’t need to call for emergency locksmith services.
Tip #1 – Check the seals on your exterior doors
Most exteriors doors have a weather seal, called weather stripping, around the perimeter of the door. If you can feel air coming in between the door and the door frame, you need to replace your weather stripping. A suggestion to determine air infiltration is to slowly move a flame from a lighter or candle around the inside perimeter of the door on a windy day. If the flame dances, you have an air leak. You can also have a helper shine a flashlight around the perimeter of your door at night. On the inside of the door, if you see the light, you have an air leak issue.
Finally, some experts recommend taking a crisp dollar bill and trying to slide it between the door and the frame.1 If you can do so, you have an air gap that needs to be fixed with new weather stripping. Online videos and articles can lead you step-by-step through the process of installing new weather stripping.2
Tip #2 – Maintain the locks on your exterior doors
Door locks are pretty tough. Some situations, though, require lock lubrication as a preventive maintenance measure. These situations include doors that are used frequently and those that are not used frequently, as these locks on exterior doors and sheds tend to more readily gum up with dirt and grime which make the smooth operation of a key more difficult. If you live on a dirt road or near a construction site where dust is frequently airborne, that is another situation where your lock may need to be lubricated.
A lock near a high moisture area, such as a pool or a body of water, is also one which may require lubrication. But beware, it is best to follow your lock manufacturer’s guidelines for lock maintenance and lubrication. For example, Schlage recommends a dry graphite lube for door deadbolt locks and door handle mechanisms.3 They cite dry graphite lube’s ability to adhere to most surfaces with minimum surface preparation and its rapid drying properties at room temperature as advantageous to providing clean, long wearing lubrication.
Dry graphite is also effective in extreme temperatures so if you have a problem with your key sticking in the lock when it is below freezing, graphite would still work effectively. Under normal conditions, Schlage recommends lubricating your door locks every five years, however if you find that your key is difficult to insert or withdraw from the lock, lubricating more frequently may extend the life of the locking mechanism.
If you are having trouble with your exterior door not closing properly or you are unsure how to maintain you exterior door locks, consult your local locksmith. They can provide advice and assistance in keeping all your exterior doors in proper working order.
Thinking about replacing doors and locks in your home or business? Or they need repair? Action Locksmith can help! We are a family owned and operated locksmith business proudly serving Michigan residents for over 25 years.
We can replace doors and frames or repair damaged doors and frames as well as correct many door closings, latching, bolting and sagging issues. Door and lock maintenance and replacement keep the elements out and provide security. Our experience, expertise and dedication has made us a preferred Michigan Locksmith. Contact us today to learn more about our locksmith services!
1 Weather-Stripping Tips
2 How to Replace Weatherstripping on an Exterior Door by Emrah Oruc
3 Lock Lubrication