Upvc Door Problems In Summer

12th May 2019

I had the radio on the other day and what should pop up but the Mungo Jerry song, beginning “In the summertime when the weather is hot; You can stretch right up and touch the sky”. Once I’d wrestled with the philosophical dilemma of whether you can really stretch up and touch the sky, and the scientific question of where indeed the sky begins, I then turned my attention to the first half of those lyrics, and began to feel really quite summery. Until I looked out the window at the hailstorm currently taking rattling down on the patio.

Following the unseasonably high temperatures over Easter, we’ve admittedly been a little deprived of hot weather over the last couple of weeks, but summer will soon be on its way and, so my sources tell me, the temperatures will be well on the rise again. And although we’re all meant to think this is excellent news, what with packing away the blankets for the summer, and letting the heating have a rest for a few months, I’m here as the Cassandra, telling you there are a few drawbacks about summer arriving. 

Firstly, I need to talk to you briefly about doors. Not The Doors, as my knowledge of the Jim Morrison fronted band is not all that extensive, but rather your regular UPVC or wooden doors that form the entrances to your property. When there are large variations in temperature – i.e. if the gloomy 10 degrees of May gives way to a 30 degree June, contraction and expansion of materials can occur. When this happens to doors it is not great news as can lead to the lock malfunctioning, or the whole door mechanism shifting out of alignment, leading to it being unable to be locked or unlocked. 

When this unwanted shrinkage or swelling occurs (no, not like that - behave there at the back!), you’ll want to get it sorted as soon as possible, without resorting to a GP. It’s debatable whether it’s worse having your door stuck in the locked position and being unable to unlock it or having it unlocked and being unable to lock it, but neither scenario is one that you want to continue for more than a few hours. This is where a phone call to your friendly neighbourhood locksmith is needed. I can diagnose the problem and usually provide a repair there and then on the one visit. Most importantly, I’ll be able to get you into your house and leave it secure so you can get started on that barbeque without any further worries. 

Summer also sees much more use of your front and back doors. When the sun comes out, we’ll often be nipping in and out of the garden, causing extra strain on door hinges and mechanisms. Even the hardiest of mechanisms will eventually give in from repeated use. Should this happen, give me a call and I’ll be there as soon as I can. I carry a wide variety of spare parts in my van so usually I’ll be able to fix it there and then on a first visit. If, for any reason I can’t, I’ll explain this and give you a timescale when the job will be done. No-one wants to be left with a non-working door, no matter what the season, and I’ll be sure not to leave you in the lurch. 

As well as potential problems with the physical locks and doors, the other danger in summer is ourselves. No, not the choice of Bermuda shorts with socks and sandals, (though arguably that’s the biggest danger of them all), but rather our behaviour in terms of how we treat our home security during the hot weather. Unattended windows and doors are a magnet to burglars – after all, why go to all the trouble of breaking in to somewhere when you can just slip through an open window or walk through an unlocked door? So if you’re out in the back garden, the golden rule is to behave as if you’ve left the house altogether. This means making sure the front door is locked and any unattended accessible windows are shut.  Summer days can be long, meaning you might not even realise you’ve been the victim of a burglary until late in the evening many hours later.

If a break-in does happen, then your second phone call (after the police) should be to a locksmith. Whenever I am called to the aftermath of a break-in, the first priority is to make the property safe from any return visits from the culprits. If keys have been stolen this may involve a change of locks, or it could just be that I can help with beefing up the security to make the occupant feel safer – a home owner’s confidence is often shattered after a break-in, and taking pro-active steps to provide reassurance that they have now done all they can to prevent a follow-up can begin to restore this confidence. 

On that note, I’m off to stare at the rain and see if I can see any sign of the resumption of summer. If you need any assistance at all with any lock or security-related matters, please call me on 07990573857



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