I store a bunch of the "outside stuff" in the shed for the winter. Mainly things that I only use when the weather is warmer. It pretty much remains locked up for the winter. Occasionally though, I have to run out there to get something in mid winter, and the lock is always frozen shut. I can get in by warming the lock up, heating the key, or using that spray deicer stuff. But is there any way to prevent this? Are there locks that would not allow this to happen?

The lock is one that is built into the handle, where the handle is vertical with the key in the center. When unlocked, it twists to a horizontal position. It is not a separate lock.

5 Answers 5


The problem here of course is that snow/freezing rain gets into the lock and freezes. With a house, this isn't normally a problem for a few reasons. First, you use it often enough that it doesn't get that bad, and second the inside of the house is warm, which prevents water from freezing inside the lock (unless it gets really, really cold I suppose).

You might want to look for a lock that has a metal shield over the area where you insert the key to prevent water from getting inside. Similar to what you have on a car door lock (and for the same reason). Personally, I've never seen any home locks like that, but that's not to say they don't exist.

A simpler option, and the one I would suggest, would be to put a plastic baggie over the doorknob and secure it with a rubberband. Then just take the baggie off when you need to unlock it and put it back on after you are done. It's a bit inconvenient, but if you hardly ever use the shed in the winter anyways, it should keep the water out and is probably the most practical option.


you might be able to avoid this with graphite spray. By better lubricating the lock the water might not have time to collect and freeze in the tumblers.

  • wonder how long that would last, surely not not the whole winter?
    – mohlsen
    Jan 4, 2011 at 13:51
  • It might not, but if the lock is freezing now, that means there is water inside it. That water has to be replaced with something else, or it will just keep freezing, even if you cover it with a baggie or a metal plate (which might freeze to the lock-face). Jan 4, 2011 at 13:56

To keep water out of the door lock (knob type) in my gagrage, I split open a tennis ball ("x" cut) tied some twine to it, to attach it to the knob shaft, and put it over the knob. Works great.


Fill in between the handles with Vaseline to keep moisture from penetrating the lock. This method has worked for me.


Fill up a cup with hot tap water and dunk the lock into it for a few seconds. That's how I've always managed to open it with ease :)

  • 4
    ... so, you lift the shed up, hold it on its side, and then dunk the handle/lock into the cup which is sitting on a table? Jan 13, 2016 at 22:06
  • 4
    This will not help prevent a lock from freezing. In fact, it will make the problem worse, since now you've filled the lock with water.
    – Tester101
    Jan 15, 2016 at 13:32

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