SMR Locksmiths Ltd - Norbury and Streatham local locksmiths
South West London despatch point: 10 Cranbourne Close, Norbury, London, SW16 4NG

March 26, 2024

The impact of weather and temperature changes on your house locks

Temperature fluctuations affect many aspects of our daily lives, including elements we might not always consider, such as the locks on our doors. 

In this article, we’ll explore how temperature changes can influence the performance and reliability of your house locks, and what steps you can take to maintain their functionality.

weather and locks feature

The lock mechanisms and cold weather

House locks are intricate mechanisms comprising various components that work together seamlessly to provide security. Temperature changes can disrupt this delicate balance, causing materials to expand or contract. 

For example, one of the primary effects of cold weather on house locks is the contraction of metal components. As temperatures drop, metals such as steel, brass, and nickel used in lock mechanisms tend to contract. This contraction can lead to tighter tolerances within the lock, causing keyways to become narrower and potentially making it more difficult to insert or turn the key smoothly.

The contraction of metal parts in cold weather can also result in increased stiffness and resistance when operating the lock. This stiffness may manifest as difficulty in turning the key, particularly if the lock hasn’t been adequately lubricated or maintained. In extreme cases, the lock mechanism may seize up entirely, leaving you unable to unlock or lock your door.

Cold weather can exacerbate wear and tear on lock components. The contraction and expansion of metal parts due to temperature fluctuations put additional stress on the lock mechanism, potentially leading to accelerated wear over time. This wear can result in diminished performance and increased susceptibility to malfunctions.

Impact of heat

Just as cold weather causes metal components to contract, hot weather causes them to expand. As temperatures rise, metals such as steel, brass, and nickel used in lock mechanisms expand. This expansion can lead to changes in the dimensions of the lock components, potentially causing misalignment or interference between moving parts.

The expansion of metal parts in hot weather can also result in the loosening of components within the lock mechanism. As parts expand, they may become less securely fastened, leading to increased play or wiggle in the lock mechanism. This loosening can compromise the overall integrity of the lock and affect its ability to operate smoothly.

Hot weather can cause lubricants used in the lock mechanism to dry out or evaporate more quickly than usual. Without proper lubrication, the moving parts of the lock may experience increased friction and wear, leading to decreased performance and potential malfunctions. Regular inspection and reapplication of lubricants may be necessary to maintain optimal operation of the lock during hot weather.

Prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV radiation can also degrade the materials used in the construction of the lock, such as plastic components or rubber gaskets. Over time, UV exposure may cause these materials to become brittle or deteriorate, compromising the overall durability and effectiveness of the lock.

Preventive measures

To minimise the impact of temperature changes on your house locks, consider implementing the following preventive measures:

Regular locks maintenance: Schedule periodic inspections and maintenance checks for your locks, especially before extreme weather conditions.

Lubrication: Use high-quality lubricants recommended by locksmith professionals and adjust the lubrication regimen as needed based on temperature fluctuations.

Effects on Lubrication

Temperature fluctuations can also impact the lubricants used within the lock mechanism. In colder temperatures, lubricants may thicken, impeding smooth operation. On the other hand, in hotter temperatures, lubricants may become too thin, reducing their effectiveness. Regular maintenance, including adjusting lubrication based on temperature changes, can help mitigate these issues.

Regardless of the weather conditions, it’s essential to use lubricants sparingly and avoid over-application, as excess lubricant can attract dirt and debris, leading to potential issues with lock operation. Additionally, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for lubrication and maintenance of your specific type of lock to ensure optimal performance and longevity.


Temperature changes can significantly affect the performance and longevity of your house locks. By understanding these effects and taking appropriate preventive measures, you can ensure that your locks remain reliable and functional, providing you with the security and peace of mind you need for your home.

Remember, a little maintenance and foresight can go a long way in safeguarding your property. Regular maintenance, including lubrication adjustment based on temperature changes, can help mitigate the impact of weather on your house locks and keep them operating smoothly for years to come.

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