Hot weather Causing Issues with UPVC doors?

Hot weather and the UK don’t normally go in the same sentence however we have been experiencing a spell of unusual, consistent heat. We have had an increase in calls from customers that have been having issues with their UPVC and wooden doors. The extreme heat is causing expansion and causing the doors to operate incorrectly. This is problematic to people as if you do nothing the catching will cause an increase in wear to the mechanism and likely bring on a serious failure to the lock mechanism.

If you find your door or lock suddenly stops working after previously showing no signs of difficulty, there are many simple tricks and hacks available on youtube.

Most of them an absolute waste of time and effort, if you have an older wooden door or UPVC door a good soaking down with cold water for five minutes can cure all the issues brought on by British summer heat.

We could go into the maths and science of expansion and retraction or warping but nobody cares about all that.

Just soak the door and door frame for 5 minutes and you’ve got yourself a good 50/50 chance of not needing to pay a locksmith for a call out.

Feel free to call the Chimaera “within office hours please” for lots of helpful and free advice for any occasion when you have trouble.

It’s just what we do.

What is smart home security?

From a simple doorbell to a fully automated in home security system incorporating video doorbells, cctv, and smart locks.

The vast array currently available is nearly non exhaustive.

From Ring video door bells to Yale smart locking handles, this brief opinion piece is an insight into an employees perspective at Express locks Cardiff.

We have so far been asked to install and remove many types of smart home security options, including surprising brands of video doorbells and smart locks, some of which have been plagued by technical difficulties and operational failures, and some which have exceeded all expectations.

The overall opinions within the locksmith and security communities, is that the consensus is still far out. Some particular smart door locks and video door bell systems are not fit for purpose, where as some with extortionate price tags also fit into this category, some with the much more reasonable price tags can exceed expectations.

That being said, it’s always best to get your own well informed opinion of a product before taking the plunge.

Be this from a professional, or a family member / friend with direct personal experience.

We personally discourage certain actions under certain conditions to help prevent disappointment, but will of course always do as our customer requests.

Calling the Chimaera will reward you with a frank, no up sell discussion, focussed purely on helping you to understand any pit falls or benefits from taking these decisions, because although we know first hand you only get what you pay for, we also know from personal experience a fool and there money are easily parted.

We urge all to benefit from both ours and some of the general publics expensive mistakes.

Door Handles, residential properties.

We’ll start here with the most common type of household handles, normally attached to the common place UPVC door, as well as composite and on some wooden doors.

Dependant on the age, backset of the lock and mechanism, or multi point locking mechanism, and type of mechanism on your door, will determine the sizes and types needed.

Upvc Door Handles

For instance older and fairly common UPVC door handles will likely be a 92pz with 122mm centres “screw under handle shaft and one under the euro escutcheon. But slightly newer types can be 92pz with 215mm handle centres. “Screw at top and a screw at bottom. We have noted these two for ease of reference, however you must understand that there is many dozens of sizes and then variations of type between those sizes.

Example variations between these handle types can be, locking snibs and pad handle sets, sometimes also with variation between spindle point on the interior and exterior handle involving split spindles being required also if a door is of a slam shut type.

This can become confusing with regard to which type of mechanism you have, and which type will be suited for a replacement depending your needs.

Getting in touch with us is the best way to find out more, however, there is many wholesalers and retailers who will be happy to discuss your exact requirements should you wish to take on this task yourself.

A good time to consider replacement is when you notice movement at the joining knuckle of the handle to its mounted body. This will be recognisable by additional float within that joint, and is the early sign of total failure pending.

There is another good reason to act on this issue too, because even that tiny amount of un natural float in the handle knuckle can cause alien spindle movement within the centre case of your multi point locking mechanism or even a single point locking body. This can and will eventually cause spindle failure which can then amount to a potentially expensive gearbox replacement, full strip replacement “pending type” or a locking body replacement.

Upvc Gearbox failure

The handle, is also a good litmus test to understand the condition of your multi point locking mechanism. If you notice the handle is sagging, we hope that it is just a handle wearing out, but this is also an early sign of gearbox failure too. To check this yourself, simply remove the handles, check that the spring cassettes “if fitted” are ok, and then inspect the spindle connection point within the gearbox visible through the hole in your door where the square bar pushes through.

Acting fast is paramount to saving money. Many people ignore these small issues until a catastrophic failure occurs then requiring locksmith attention for repair.

You can avoid this by doing it yourself, or calling the Chimaera for instant help or just advice.

Security Handles

Finally, we can touch on security handles, often referred too as 1,2 or 3 star. This can be seen visually with the simple * being used in reference to star rating. Star ratings are affixed most commonly as a testament to insurance approval rating, so a 1* euro lock with a 2** handle will for some reason provide a 3* rating approval on your property which can be useful with regard to home insurance.

Although we do recognise the need for this under some circumstances, the reality of star rating to a locksmith is just a potential reference to how difficult it is to open non destructively.

We never advise for these star ratings to be adhered too unless asked by our clients, as it is not testament in our opinion to the quality, and longevity you can see out of a particular product or brand. In fact, there is an extremely well known high security brand of lock that is 3* that we absolutely despise due to its poor quality and reputation for faulty goods amongst the locksmith community. We also recognise that when a thief wishes to break into your home, it is an extremely rare case that they attempt to pick your locks. They simply kick your door through, gain entry through an open door or window, or smash a window, and for this reason alone is why we only install * rated products upon request.

We will always automatically give you what we feel is the very best quality, for the very best price, under the correct requirements, while also adhering to common insurance standards, but we do stock all variations of products and will install whatever the customer wants upon request.

Boarding up services

Reactive repair is what we do, but if the unthinkable happens and an on site instant repair is an unfeasible task to carry out, we are equipped and ready to cover any emergency boarding up needs.

Call the Chimaera to find out more.