When choosing a lock to use outdoors – or in any other harsh environment for that matter – you should consider its ability to withstand the weather. Even if a lock functions perfectly indoors, it may fail when used outdoors for a prolonged period. By choosing a weather-resistant lock, however, you can rest assured knowing it will offer long-term protection for your property.
How Weather Can Affect a Lock’s Performance
It’s not uncommon for locks to rust when exposed to rain and moisture. Steel locks, for example, are especially prone to rusting because they contain iron. Steel itself is an alloy consisting mostly of iron and a small amount of carbon. When iron is exposed to moisture, it undergoes a chemical reaction in which its electrons are replaced with atoms.
Scientific jargon aside, steel locks can rust when used outdoors. As the iron within the steel lock oxidizes, it creates rust while simultaneously eating through the lock itself. Over time, rust can jeopardize the security and performance of a steel lock.
Should I Choose a Non-Steel Lock?
You may assume that non-steel locks are naturally weather resistant since they don’t contain iron. Even if a lock is made of brass, copper, aluminum or any other metal, though, it may still corrode. Corrosion is similar to rusting. Both are chemical processes that result in the degradation of metal from moisture. The only difference is that rusting is limited to iron and iron alloys, whereas corrosion can occur with all metals.
Steel is actually better protected against rusting than other metals are protected against corrosion. Furthermore, steel has a very high tensile strength. Research shows steel is about 2.5 times stronger than aluminum, making it an excellent choice of material for locks.
Choose a Coated Steel Lock
If you’re looking for a weather-resistant lock to use outdoors, choose a coated steel lock. For a steel lock to rust or corrode, it must be directly exposed to moisture. If there’s a barrier covering a steel lock’s surface, such as a protective coating, it won’t rust or corrode.
Commando Locks are the perfect solution for outdoor usage. Not only are they made of 15% more steel or brass than traditional locks; they feature a weather-resistant coating. All our Commando Locks are treated with automotive-grade finishing to provide a superior level of weather resistance. While other locks are only designed to resist up to 12 hours of salt spray, Commando Locks are tested to withstand up to 600 hours of salt spray.