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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

Ultimate Guide to Storm Door Lock Replacement

by Ralph February 20, 2023

Storm doors provide an added layer of protection for your home, but perhaps not in the way you think. Whether they stay closed or not ultimately affects the well-being of the door behind them. Storm door lock replacement is used to make sure this door remains closed in severe weather.

A storm door lock is exposed to the elements and can become worn or damaged over time. When it comes to storm door lock replacement, there are several factors to consider to ensure that this door remains secure so the door behind it can stay in the best condition possible.

You might not need storm door lock replacement from a residential locksmith. But you may need to consider more than you originally thought with your storm door lock replacement. Here is an overview of what you should know on the subject.


Can you replace a lock on a storm door?

Storm door lock replacement is always possible when the lock is a separate part of the door. Very few storm doors have built-in locks (where the lock or latch is molded into the door). Even storm doors that claim to have “built-in locks” simply have a lock or latch pre-installed but still removable.

What type of lock is used on a storm door?

Many storm doors use a mortise lock, which has a rectangular lock body that fits into a pocket cut or is pre-fabricated into the door. There are also storm door latches, which use an exterior handle with a push button that frees up the latch on the interior side of the door. Latches are often plastic, which makes them less secure and more likely to break as a result of normal use.

Are storm door locks secure?

When a storm door lock is described as “secure,” it is most likely referring to the ability to keep the door shut under stress. If a storm door opens with the wind, it can become rather loud as it slams closed only to open again and again. The security of these locks is not a concern because the doors they are attached to are not secure. A strong lock on a weak door only offers the illusion of security.

Can you rekey a storm door?

In most cases, no. In order to rekey a lock, you need to be able to take the lock apart and have access to internal components and a new key that will fit the lock. Storm door locks are rarely built to be disassembled and reassembled. Also, a broken lock must be replaced rather than rekeyed. It is often cheaper to rekey vs. replace a lock, but storm door lock replacement is likely a necessity.

Where can you buy a replacement storm door lock?

Online retailers are going to have the widest selection of replacement storm door locks. Hardware stores will likely only have replacement parts for the storm doors they sell (which is great if you recently purchased your door).

The main issue will be getting storm door lock replacement parts that correspond to your door. That is why a locksmith is usually the best place to buy door locks. They can advise you as to what you need.

What is the cheapest method for storm door lock replacement?

If you can handle your storm door lock replacement yourself, you will not incur any labor costs (which is the main cost consideration). If you would like a professional to carry out the storm door lock replacement, the cost of a locksmith is going to be the best bang for your buck. Offering both specialized knowledge and assurances that everything will be properly installed.

Types Of Storm Door Locks

Several different types of locks can be used on storm doors, including keyed locks, push-button locks, and slide bolts.

Keyed locks – The most versatile option for storm door locks. They require a key to unlock the door, which can be convenient for homeowners who want an additional barrier between the main door and the outside world. Though it offers little security, it can offer peace of mind.

Push-button locks – Typically used on lighter-duty storm doors, a push button retracts a latch that would be secured in a strike plate. It offers greater convenience, so you can quickly open your storm door. To replace push-button storm locks, you often have to replace the handle.

Slide bolts -Securing to either the inside or outside of the door, slide bolts are very effective at keeping the door from opening due to wind. But it can be inconvenient because you can only use it when inside or outside the home. Many people make their own lock with a hook or bar, but always be sure the bolt is properly aligned with the catch.

Storm Door Handle Repair

Many times the storm door lock is built into the handle. The handle on the lock can seem to be giving you trouble, but it might not need to be replaced. Before you go ahead with the storm door lock replacement, you might be able to save money and perhaps time with the repair.

When it comes to repair, the first thing that is worth a shot requires no understanding of your lock hardware. Let’s quickly go over how to use door lock lubricant:

  1. Choose a dry lubricant that uses graphite, silicon, or anything that is NOT oil-based.
  2. Apply the lubricant in gaps around anything that moves.
    1. Handles
    2. Latches
    3. Keyholes
  3. Turn the key, move the latch, push the latch release button on the handle, or otherwise open the door a few times to allow the lubricant to move into the lock assembly.

In many cases, this will fix the common problems that your storm door lock may be experiencing. As long as you can get the storm door latch back to moving correctly, then you have solved your issue. Usually, you are trying to fix an issue where the door won’t close or won’t stay closed, and this could solve those issues.

Another issue you might have is with the strike plate or catch of the lock. This can happen as the house shifts on the foundation. Or the wood expands due to moisture. You can adjust the strike plate by raising or lowering it. You might also pack the hinges to lift or lower the door.

If you are hoping to use a company for storm door handle lock repair, chances are they will do some door adjustments and/or lubrication. Disassembly of the lock, diagnoses, and replacement parts will likely be cost-prohibitive, as labor could end up costing as much as a new lock and installation.

Storm Door Lock Replacement

When repair is not an option to solve your issue, it is time to move on to storm door lock replacement. You will need a new lock that is compatible with your existing door. And you may be able to perform a partial replacement of the problematic piece or pieces. But you will likely have to completely replace your storm door lock.

1. Compatibility With Your Door

When choosing a new lock for your storm door, it is important to ensure the lock is compatible with your door. Some locks are designed for specific types of doors. Make sure to check the specifications of the lock before purchasing it to ensure that it will work with your door.

The most tricky replacement is mortise lock replacement because your new lock hardware will have to fit an existing cut in the storm door. Set screw location will also need to line up. It can be very helpful to have a locksmith there to provide a new storm door lock that will fit your needs.

2. Partial Replacement

If the lock on your storm door is damaged, you may only need to replace the lock cylinder. This part of the lock holds the key and is inserted into the door. Replacing the lock cylinder can be a relatively simple process, but it has similar concerns about compatibility.

You will need to measure the size of the lock cylinder and purchase a replacement that is the same size. A professional locksmith will be able to tell you what will fit your lock and if this will fix your broken lock. Because you do not always know if the lock cylinder or specific component is the issue.

You also have to consider whether or not the lock is designed to come apart. Many storm door locks are fabricated with the intention that they will never be opened. That means taking them apart will break them, with no way to put them back together again.

3. Replacing The Entire Lock

If the lock on your storm door is damaged beyond repair, you may need to replace the entire lock. This is a more involved process and typically requires the services of a professional locksmith. When choosing a new lock for your storm door, consider the features you need and the type of door you have.

For your storm door lock replacement, there is no need to consider the security features of the lock. Get what fits and something hardy enough that it won’t break. Consider the level of security you need for your home when it comes to the door behind your storm door. You just want the door lock not working to work again.

Storm Door Lock Installation

The cost of storm door lock replacement will vary depending on the type of lock that you choose and whether you hire a professional locksmith to do the work. Keyed locks are typically more expensive than push-button locks, but they offer something different.

If you need to replace the entire lock, the cost will be higher, but it may be your only option. You will need to pay for new parts, but you can say money on lock installation by doing the work yourself. Just remember that doing this work wrong might lead to the same issue you were trying to fix.

In Closing

Storm door lock replacement is an important consideration for homeowners who want to make sure doors are properly protected. It is not all that important to consider the security features. Similar to security for interior doors, the doors will undermine whatever you do to increase security with your locks.

Consider the type of lock that you need, and the compatibility with your door, when choosing a new lock for your storm door. With proper maintenance, your new lock will continue to function properly and provide added protection to the door it is covering.

After your storm door lock has been replaced, it is important to maintain it to ensure that it continues to function properly. Make sure to clean the lock regularly to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated, and lubricate it to keep it from becoming stiff or difficult to use.

Category: Buying Guides, Residential

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