If you're planning to use a lock outdoors this winter, you should take precautions to ensure that it doesn't freeze up. At 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below, water turns to ice. If there's any moisture inside your lock when this conversion occurs, it may cause the lock's internal components, such as the pins, to freeze up. As a result, you won't be able to open the lock until the ice has melted.
While you can't control the weather, there are ways to protect your lock from freezing this winter. When the temperature begins to drop and nears freezing, consider the following measures to safeguard your lock's functionality.
Choose a High-Quality Lock
High-quality locks are less likely to fail in freezing temperatures than their lower-quality counterparts. Low-quality locks are made of cheap materials and poor tolerances that allow the intrusion of moisture. Moisture may enter the lock's body through either the shackle or keyhole, at which point it settles and freezes around the security pins.
High-quality locks, such as Commando Lock padlocks, are made of high-grade materials and superior craftsmanship to minimize the intrusion of moisture. As a result, they are less likely to freeze up in cold weather.
Insulating your lock can lower the risk of freezing by keeping it warm. You don't have to use actual building insulation. Rather, try wrapping your lock in a thick towel or even a couple of socks. The fabric will create a barrier of insulation between the lock and the otherwise freezing-cold air. If it's mildly cold outside, a thick towel or a couple of socks may offer just enough protection to keep your lock from freezing.
Treat It With a Lubricant
Another way to protect your lock from freezing is to treat it with a lubricant. Lubricants can still freeze, but they typically have a lower freezing point than water, which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, lubricants may prove useful in protecting your lock from freezing in otherwise cold weather. Just spray a liquid-based lubricant product around the keyhole and shackle.
If your lock happens to freeze, wrap a warm washcloth around it. After a few minutes, any ice inside trapped inside the lock should melt. Of course, you can avoid scenarios such as this by following the tips listed here. Most importantly, choose a high-quality lock that's naturally protected against the intrusion of moisture.