uPVC door won’t lock? – Common problems with uPVC Doors!
Depending on the weather you’re in, the locks in your home are far more likely to play up in extreme temperatures. Whether its a heatwave or a blizzard, uPVC doors can be affected by a range of climates. If the weather is fluctuating a lot the frame of your door can contract and expand. From stiff uPVC lock mechanisms to cylinders seizing up, there is a range of issues that you can run into when the temperatures drop. You may find that you’re unable to turn the key in your door or window lock, or you might have had a problematic lock that’s got worse in the winter. For more information about uPVC door mechanisms, read below!
We’ve written up a few common problems that we’ve seen that you may be experiencing. It’s helpful to know that you’re having the same problem as others and you’re not just the odd one out!
We see a lot of uPVC doors dropping over time, which is similar to a wooden door warping as the same issue applies to both doors. The door drops or moves over time and ends up moving the locking points to the point the door doesn’t lock anymore. In some cases, we’ve been unable to open a door because a door has dropped so much!
uPVC doors are slightly different in their process of repair as there is an entire mechanism that needs repair/replacing depending on what is wrong with it. Most modern uPVC door mechanisms have some adjustment within them so we can work on it without issue! (If your uPVC door works fine when it’s in the open position, then it’s most likely an adjustment issue. Can’t lock/unlock the door when it’s open? It’ll be a deeper issue & the mechanism/cylinder needs repair/replacing.
If your home has uPVC doors then you’re most likely using a larger Euro Cylinder. Euro cylinders can work multi-point locks which is why they’re used in uPVC doors. Euro cylinders can fail over time as parts will wear with general use. If your cylinder needs repair or replacing, then we’re happy to help you! Cylinder replacements are simple & easy to do, giving you an easy solution to fix your uPVC door.
Weather affects uPVC!
With the weather dropping so much in the winter, the fluctuation of temperature is enough to make uPVC doors expand and contract. This causes issues with the alignment of uPVC doors, making it harder to lock/unlock the door. This also speeds of the process of “uPVC Drop” as the door wears over time.
Sometimes when door problems are weather-related, you just have to wait the season out and deal with the issue. If it’s playing up in the summer, you may have to wait till the temperatures cool down for the uPVC door to not expand. There will be vital times however when having issues with your doors are not acceptable, which is when you need to call a locksmith! Leaving doors unlocked whilst you’re away from the house isn’t wise, especially with burglaries & other crimes on the rise in residential areas. If the issue with your lock is stopping you from securing your home, then it’s time to call a locksmith!
If you think the weather has affected your door, do not force it the next time you’re trying to open and close it. As long as you’re taking your time with shutting the door, You shouldn’t make the issue worse. If you’re forcing the door shut, you can cause damage to the internal locking mechanism which isn’t ideal. This mechanism can be replaced but if you can avoid it, you should!
uPVC Door Warping:
If you’re doing some research on common faults with uPVC doors, you might find a few articles about warped doors. If this is the case, the warping should be very apparent as you’ll see a clear bend where there shouldn’t be. Re-alignment won’t fix the issue with a warped door, so you’ll have to contact the supplier. Identifying if your door is bowed/warped should be fairly easy as you’ll see misalignment fairly obviously. Check the sides of the frame/door and see if it aligns properly. If not, you might have a warped door which can impede with the locking of the door. Warped uPVC doors can also be unsafe, as they are easier to pry away from the locking mechanism.
uPVC Door Cylinders:
uPVC door cylinders are generally universal as manufacturers will stick to a specific type. Euro cylinders are the most common in the UK which means you’ll most likely have one in your home. If you need to find out who produced your door, a good place to find the manufacturer is the metal strip down the edge of the door. Mechanisms are unique to its maker, so it’s vital that a door that is using a particular system stays that way, as mixing manufacturers & models may make the problem worse.
uPVC door mechanism:
The mechanism can also be to blame when it comes to your uPVC door not locking. The locking mechanism runs across the entire length of the inner face of the door. This means that there are a few points of failure when it comes to diagnosing the issue. This may mean that we have to replace the entire mechanism. Specific parts could be hard to source so it may be more cost-effective to replace the entire thing. In some cases, we can work to replace the “gearbox” of the mechanism which is a cheaper repair, however, still uses a mechanism that is wearing with age.
Mechanisms are vital to the function of any uPVC door as the interacts with the cylinder in order to lock the door. Depending on the setup, the mechanisms usually use multiple points of engagement to ensure maximum safety when locked.
Key related issues:
Like with any lock, your key could get stuck in the cylinder if you’re not careful. Sometimes you can be forgetful and jam the wrong key in, or you might be unlucky and have something break internally trapping the key in. Either way, it’s important to not force the key out as you may break the key off in the lock. Too much force will end up damaging more parts with the lock cylinder making a repair much harder.
Your key could also be difficult to turn. You may have to do a frustrating “jiggling” process you have to do every time you lock/unlock the door. This could be down to overall wear on the cylinder, as internal parts will wear over time. Your key could also be worn depending on its age. If you’ve had a new key cut for the lock, then it could be cut incorrectly by the previous supplier too! Our locksmiths ensure that we cut an exact replica of your key if yours breaks. We can replicate any style of domestic key as long as you have an existing copy!
Wooden Door Warping:
For homes that aren’t using uPVC doors, wooden doors are probably the second most common type. Wooden doors won’t use a sophisticated mechanism found in a uPVC door as they use deadlocks/sash locks. Wooden doors are simpler in their design but use much more rudimentary locking systems. uPVC doors although not perfect are ultimately the safer option as they are more secure. Your average wooden door will warp with extreme temperatures, especially in humid climates as the humidity will affect the door
Locks aren’t usually the problem with wooden doors as we see a lot of warped frames/doors. This is usually due to the weather, especially in hot/cold months. The colder temperatures usually mean there’s a lot of rain and this can cause wood to expand with moisture and contract as it dries out. It’s the warping that pushes the lock out of line and means that the locking points no longer match up.
What Can I Do If I’m Having Problems With My Door?
If you’re having problems closing or locking your uPVC door, a DIY fix might not be the best thing to do. Depending on the type of problem you’re experiencing, your issue may not be solvable without replacing parts. Replacing parts yourself is also not recommended because uPVC mechanisms are complex objects that need proper installation. DIY lock installations may also invalidate your home/contents insurance as your locks won’t be insured.
Employing the assistance of a professional locksmith is the best way to solve the issues with your door. Finding a professional locksmith that can offer an extensive and dependable service can be hard especially if you’re looking for a provider with expertise. Experience is hard to find nowadays so it’s good to choose those that have been in the industry for decades. The team at Millennium have decades of experience in the industry, re-assuring anyone who enquires with us that they’re in safe hands. Having a damaged door is very unsafe and puts your home at risk. It’s important that the point of call in this situation is a reliable locksmith who can make your home safe. Our locksmiths work to secure your home as soon as they can, fitting new locks & mechanisms where it is needed.
If you’re having issues with your locks or just need something looking at, give Millennium a ring! We’re available for any locksmith enquiries on 07966 233092 or check out our website for additional information uPVC Door Mechanisms