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Home Maintenance TipsReplacement WindowsRoofingVinyl Siding

The Darn Door Won’t Open!

By February 11, 2016 No Comments

We recently came across this blog that we thought was appropriate to share with you. Let’s hope this dilemma doesn’t happen to you!

frozen door handle

Last year when “ice dams” were all the rage, aside from getting roof and siding damage, some of us also faced the prospect of frozen door locks and handles from the dripping/draining water. I found this out the hard way, and without the benefit of doing an internet search for a solution (I couldn’t get into the house after all!), I had to try several methods before being able to re-enter my castle.

First I tried holding a lighter under the handle, but the ice was too embedded, with the only result being a scorched doorknob. Time for a new door handle, and door for that matter, once, I get into the house!

Next, thanks to a neighbor, we tried pouring a pot of boiling water on it … did a great job of warming my hands, but that was about all.

Finally, as a last resort of home-made remedies, I got hold of a can of WD40 … after many a squirt and pushing and pulling the key back and forth, I was able to open the door! This method isn’t for the faint of heart, as with each stroke, I was terrified that the key was going to break! But it eventually worked.

Since that time, I’ve learned some other methods, many through common sense, to fix this problem. And, even more obvious, these methods can be used if your car lock is frozen.

The key is key! While I was focusing my energies on getting the lock warmed up, I really should have thought of getting the key warm, and not the lock. One method I read about was on how to heat up the key, either by holding it over a lighter, or placing it over your engine block. Your car is probably still warm from driving home, and popping open the hood offers a plethora of hot areas to “toast” your key. These methods are great options, but beware not to walk away with scorched fingers! The other “key” option is coating the key with hand sanitizer … its melting properties will also do the trick with some patience and tlc.

Luckily a frozen lock is all the damage I suffered last year during the very long winter. My RIHI windows, siding, and roofing stood up well to the elements, and continue to do so at the start of yet another messy winter.

Of course, this would have never been an issue if I had trained my cat to unlock the door for me. She seemed more interested and entertained watching the “show” from a nice cozy and warm window, mocking me with her cuteness.

MM, Johnston

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