If you’ve ever gotten stuck at your door, you know how frustrating it can be. Luckily, there are inexpensive ways to open a jammed door from the outside.
First, examine the door closely. Look for gaps on the frame or any swollen wood or frozen hardware.
You Can Use a Hammer
There are several ways to open a jammed door from the outside, but one of the most effective and least damaging is using a hammer. While this method should be used only as a last resort, it can be a quick and effective way to get into your home without calling for professional help.
The first step is to determine the cause of the jamming. Whether it’s something as simple as an old hinge, a broken lock, or something more serious, there are many different reasons why your door might be stuck.
If the lock isn’t firmly in place, try lifting it by placing a screwdriver beneath it and then hitting the end of the screwdriver with a hammer to loosen it from the lock mechanism. Repeat this process until you can remove the lock from the door.
Once the lock is free from the door, you can try to remove it from the lock mechanism with a pliers or wrench. You might also want to clean out any dirt or grime that could be preventing the lock from properly functioning, as well as dissolving any rust or other material that may be blocking the lock.
Another way to break a door lock is to use vinegar, which is a strong acid that can easily dissolve any dirt or debris that might be blocking the door’s latch. Vinegar can also be used to help lubricate the latch, which can prevent it from becoming stuck.
In some cases, this can be as simple as spraying vinegar onto the latch, which will dissolve any dirt and rust that might be restricting it from working. Just make sure to rinse the latch thoroughly after cleaning it with vinegar.
You might also want to take the time to try to slam the lock with something heavy, like a hammer. If the lock is a metal one, this can be a good way to force the lock to slide out from its hole in the strike plate.
This technique can be particularly useful for people who live in shared living arrangements, since it can let them escape without alerting other residents. However, this method can be dangerous if the lock is very strong, and it’s best to call for help before you start slamming doors.
Get a credit card
If you’re desperate to get inside your home but can’t find the key, you can use a credit card to open a door from the outside. This trick works on most simple knob locks with spring latches or slanted latches, but won’t work on deadbolts.
The first step is to determine which lock is causing the problem. You can do this by checking the hinges on the outside of the door, or you can look at the inside of the door where you can see the hinges. If the hinges are on the opposite side, the slant of the latch must be facing towards you to work this credit card trick.
Next, wiggle the card into the gap between the door and the frame that is closest to the doorknob or handle. It may take a few attempts to slide the card in enough to contact the latch.
Once the card is in, push and wiggle it back and forth until the latch slides open. This is a time-consuming process because it may take up to five or ten minutes to get the card to the right position.
Another option is to wedge the card underneath the curved end of the latch bolt. This will force the bolt to slide back into the door and unlock it. This only works with certain types of locks, so it is important to make sure you choose a credit card that is laminated, strong and flexible.
You can also use a clothing hanger to force the bolt into the door. But this technique can be difficult on many doors because the hanger is often inserted into the crack of the door.
If you don’t have a credit card, you can try using a library or store loyalty card, or even an expired gift or insurance card. These cards will bend easily and may work better than credit cards. Just make sure that you don’t damage the card. It’s not as clean and simple as the movies show, so you’ll probably have to jiggle and bend it a lot before it gets into the right spot.
Use a lubricant
If you find yourself stuck outside with a jammed door, there are some simple tricks you can use to get back in. First, you can try to lubricate the lock and key so they can work properly again. This can be done with WD-40, a dry lubricant, silicon-based lubricant, or even graphite spray.
WD-40 is an excellent choice because it can be used to loosen up stubborn hinges, rusted latches on cars, and more. It also works well to lubricate nylon and plastic parts that require only a thin coating. It dries quickly so you won’t have to worry about getting your clothing greasy.
Silicone lubricant is another good option for lubricating nylon and plastic. It dries quickly so you won’t get your clothing greasy and it will work on metal.
A dry lubricant is the best option when trying to open a locked door from the outside because it won’t attract dirt like oil-based lubricants do. Dry lubricants are made from a mix of solid particles such as graphite, PTFE and MoS2 to reduce friction, increase oxidation resistance, and defoam.
You can apply a dry lubricant by spraying it or by spreading it on the surface of the lock with your hand. However, you should be careful not to overdo it because too much can cause the lubricant to evaporate too quickly and leave a sticky residue on the lock.
This can then become a sticky mess and trap dirt inside the lock. A better alternative is to apply powdered graphite instead, which you can find in small tubes.
Once you have applied the graphite, insert the key into the lock and turn it a few times. Doing this will distribute the lubricant or powder around the lock’s locking mechanism and make it easier to open.
If you have tried these tips and are still struggling to get the door unlocked, it may be time to call a locksmith. They will be able to fix the issue and give you back your keys.
WD-40 is an inexpensive product that can be used to free up a number of different problems. It’s a great way to keep yourself from spending too much money on repairs.
Fix a doorknob assembly
If you have a jammed door that’s stuck in the open position, you might want to fix your doorknob assembly. This is a relatively easy task that you can do yourself at home.
The first step is to determine the type of lock mechanism that’s malfunctioning. There are a variety of types of locks, from knobs to tubular latches. The type you have will determine what the repair process is going to be like.
A common doorknob mechanism includes a spindle that runs through the door and connects both knobs together. Some knobs use exposed set-screws to secure them to the spindle, while others have a spring-activated pin that’s hidden behind the knob mount.
Some have a slot, or a small hole, through which you can insert a firm wire or a straightened-out paper clip to press on a lever called a detent. A flat-head screwdriver works best to reach these detents, which allow you to release the knob from the spindle and latch assembly.
Another type of doorknob mechanism features a square or small rectangular hole, which you can insert an object into to rotate the latch. This is useful for locking and unlocking a door, especially when the spindle is blocked or dented by wear.
Once you have found the correct type of lock mechanism, take out the old doorknob and examine it for signs of damage or a loose screw. If the screw is shattered or stripped, replace it with a new one.
Next, you’ll need to find the two long machine bolts (called mounting bolts) that hold both doorknob assemblies in place. They extend far into the door before meeting up with the female threads on the inside of the strike plate, which holds the strike on the jamb.
To reassemble the lock, you’ll need to add one mounting bolt on the outside and the other on the inside. You can use a power drill to do this, but it’s better to do it by hand, alternating between the screws to ensure that you’re tightening them evenly.
To reinstall the lock, you’ll need to clean and lubricate it so that it will work again. If you’re not sure how to do this, consult a professional locksmith for assistance.