Last night I got a call at home from a local customer that just knew how to track me down; so?rather than call and talk with someone in our office she called me directly.?She has had issues with her door locks on her garage/home door and her garage to the outside door. Both were failing and keeping her locked in or out. I thought about it quite a bit last night wondering what could have been her problem. I could only think of one probable solution to the problem. My suspicions were confirmed when I spoke with her husband today.
This is a common problem in cold climates especially – i have found. What happened is the customer’s door was letting some cool air in throught the crack between the edge of the door and the weatherstrip (cushy stuff that the door hits when it closes).So they called their home builder that installed the doors and hardware and asked them to fix the issue. The home builder went and found some thicker weatherstrip to create a tighter fit. Then he adjusted the strike in the door so that the door had to be pushed tight to close to create a tight seal. The problem with this is it creates constant pressure on the latch when closed. The door latch it not meant to have pressure on it when closed, so over time this stress can cause the latch to bind up, break or just quit working. This is what happened in their case. The latch failed and they were no longer able to open the door as the mechanizm inside the latch was busted.
The answer to the solution: Since the doors are steel, i think the best solution is to remove the thick weatherstrip and apply some magnetic weatherstrip that is available these days. The magnetic strip si thinner and will allow the door to close without stress on the latch, and it will create a tight seal as the magnetic strip suctions to the door. I actually had a home with this same issue and switching from a deadlatch to a regular interior latch on that door fixed the problem (without having to go to a magnetic strip). Still in our cold climate, i would recommend the magnetic strip. We haven’t tried it yet with this customer, but I think it will fix the problem they are having.