How to Open a Locked Storm Door

You might have a storm door that is locked, and for whatever reason, you can’t get it open. It could be because the winter weather has caused the lock or latch to freeze and stick. Or perhaps your child locked the door while playing outside, and now you need to find a way in without breaking anything. It could also be that someone left it closed from inside, leaving you out on the porch until they decide to open it again.

How to Open a Locked Storm Door

Maybe even some burglar broke into your house through a front door window or basement window but was able to lock themselves out before making a run with all of your valuables. Today I a going to discuss a process on how to open a locked storm door.

What is a Storm Door?

A storm door is an exterior secondary door that is typically installed over the front door of a house. It serves as an extra layer of protection from harsh weather elements and can also provide additional insulation to your home. These doors are usually made of a combination of glass and metal or wood, allowing natural light to enter while keeping unwanted elements out.

It is also common for homeowners to leave their front doors open and the storm door closed, allowing fresh air into their home without compromising security. You can also use a storm door to let your pets enjoy the view without them running out.

Why is it Important to Know How to Open a Locked Storm Door?

There are many reasons why you might need to open a locked storm door, such as the ones mentioned earlier. Knowing this skill can save you from having to call a locksmith, which can be costly. It can also prevent damage to your property if you try to force open the door without knowing the proper method. Additionally, in the case of an emergency, being able to open a locked storm door can be crucial.

But before attempting to open a locked storm door, it’s essential to understand that some doors might have different mechanisms or locks. Therefore, the following methods may not work for all types of storm doors.

Needed Materials:

Flathead Screwdriver:

This tool is usually used to remove screws that secure the door handle or lock. You can also use a butter knife if you don’t have a flathead screwdriver on hand.

Plastic Card:

A plastic card, such as an old gift card or credit card, can be used to slide between the door and frame to release the latch.


If the lock or latch is frozen, using a lubricant can help loosen it up and make it easier to open. The most common lubricant for doors is WD-40.

12 Step-wise Guide on How to Open a Locked Storm Door:

Step 1:

 The first thing you need to do is determine if the door is locked from inside or outside. If it’s locked from the inside, then there are chances that the house’s occupant has pulled the sliding screen shut. Please take note, even when you pull back on the screen and discover that it’s unlocked, make sure to leave it down as this prevents any unnecessary drafts and makes use of your home heating system more efficient.

Step 2: 

Once you’ve confirmed that your door isn’t locked from within but rather by an external force (perhaps somebody else in your house has locked it from the outside), you will have to take a look at the bottom of your door and locate the locking mechanism. The handle or latch for this mechanism is normally located on the left side of your door, but there are times when it can also be found at the top on both sides as well. If you’re having difficulties finding it, push gently on those areas and see if that solves your problem.

Step 3: 

Once you’ve found out where the lock is located, all you need to do now is gain access to this section of your door by sliding back its screens gently so that you can reach inside without much trouble. If there isn’t a screen in front of this area, then make sure that you remove the screen in front of your door and move it to this location. If there are no screens, you will have to find a thin tool for you to reach inside and unlock the mechanism.

Step 4: 

Once all that has been taken care of, now you need to locate the locking device on your storm door. It can be tricky at times, but you will definitely get better at locating it after some practice. As a general guideline, try pulling gently on its handle while feeling around for any metallic or stick-like mechanisms (like an old wooden ruler) located near the latch/handle area. Also, see if you can feel another lock just above the latch area.

Lock Of Storm Door

Once you’ve managed to locate your lock, push on it gently and try moving it in either direction (up or down), which should unlock the mechanism. However, if that doesn’t work for you, then start pushing and turning on the stick-like mechanisms in a clockwise motion as well as any other locks located nearby, until this mechanism also starts sliding around by itself. If this still isn’t enough to open the door, keep trying different combinations of hooks, sticks, rods, and locks until you manage to figure out how to open a storm door.

Step 5: 

Once you feel like your lock is unlocking consistently with your various moves; then it’s time that you stop messing around with it altogether since any more tampering will cause it to malfunction eventually. If your lock does happen to get ruined somehow, then don’t be alarmed. You can contact a nearby locksmith and have them replace the mechanism for you in no time at all.

Step 6: 

Congratulations! You now know how to open a locked storm door without damaging it since all you had to use was some gentle force to pull off this feat. So whenever an unwanted guest is visiting your house, try out these steps on how to unlock your storm door and show them that nobody messes with the master of the house – especially those who are invited over! And if you see a storm door that’s locked, please remember to be respectful of others’ property and not try to open it without their knowledge or permission.

Step 7: 

If the method above doesn’t work, then there is probably an issue with the lock itself. In this case, you can try using a flathead screwdriver or butter knife to remove any screws securing the lock. Once you have removed the screws, you can then use a plastic card to slide between the door and frame to release the latch. The plastic card should be able to reach the latch from the outside and unlock it. You can also try using a lubricant to loosen up the lock if it’s frozen.

Step 8: 

Another reason why your storm door may be locked is that it’s frozen shut due to cold weather. In this case, using a lubricant like WD-40 can help loosen up the lock and make it easier to open. Apply the lubricant around the lock and wait a few minutes before attempting to unlock it again. The lubricant should help melt any ice or loosen up any frozen parts. You can also use a hairdryer to heat up the lock and door handle, but be careful not to overheat or damage the material.

Precautions While Opening a Locked Storm Door

Step 9: 

If you have tried all these methods and are still unable to open your locked storm door, then it’s best to call a professional locksmith. They will have the necessary tools and expertise to unlock your door without causing any damage. Attempting to forcefully open the door can result in permanent damage, which may be more expensive to fix. A locksmith will also be able to repair or replace the lock if needed.

Step 10: 

To prevent your storm door from getting locked in the future, make sure to regularly check and maintain its locking mechanism. Clean any debris or dirt that may have accumulated on the latch and handles. You can also lubricate the lock with graphite powder or silicone-based lubricant to keep it functioning smoothly. You can also install a storm door closer to prevent it from slamming shut and possibly causing the lock to get jammed or damaged.

Step 11: 

If your storm door’s locking mechanism is damaged beyond repair, consider upgrading to a modern and more secure lock system. There are various options available in the market, such as keyless locks, deadbolts, and smart locks, which offer better security and convenience. Remember to always choose a reputable brand and have the lock installed by a professional for maximum safety.

Step 12: 

In conclusion, knowing how to open a locked storm door can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run. By following these steps and taking proper care of your locking mechanism, you can ensure that your storm door remains functional and secure. Remember to always respect others’ property and seek professional help if needed.

Following these steps and taking proper care of your storm door will not only ensure that you can easily enter and exit your home but also keep unwanted visitors out. It is important to remember that forcefully opening a locked door can cause damage and inconvenience, so it’s best to try gentle methods first before seeking professional help. Regular maintenance and upgrades can also improve the security of your storm door, giving you peace of mind while at home. So, next time you encounter a locked storm door, remember these tips and unlock it like a pro. Happy unlocking!

Precautions While Opening a Locked Storm Door:

Before opening a locked storm door, make sure there is proper lighting on it. Sometimes, the sun or the streetlight may be flashing through the closed slats of your storm door and making it almost impossible to see. Before you begin working with your keys, try to remember if they are for a single-cylinder lock or a double-cylinder lock. If you have forgotten, then take just enough time to look at each key to see which number (1-2) lines up on both sides of the keyhole. This will tell you whether you need one or two keys to unlock the deadbolt attached to your front storm door. Look at all possible ways in which the locks can be engaged before proceeding further. Never force anything into any part of the closing mechanism.

Otherwise, you would end up jamming it further and making things even more difficult for yourself. So the first thing you need to do is get a good grip on your keys in one hand while you use the other hand as leverage to pry open your door. If multiple locks have been engaged with each other, then use both hands – otherwise, keep the primary key in one hand and use the thumb of your other hand to press against the door near its main lock.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What if My Storm Door Lock is Broken or Damaged?

A: If the lock itself is damaged, it’s best to call a professional locksmith for repair or replacement. Attempting to forcefully open the door may cause further damage. You can also consider upgrading to a modern and more secure lock system. The cost of the repair or upgrade will depend on the type of lock and your location. You can also check with your storm door manufacturer for any warranties or coverage for lock repair or replacement.

Q: Can I Use Any Type of Lubricant to Loosen a Frozen Lock?

A: Not all lubricants are suitable for locks. It’s best to use graphite powder or silicone-based lubricant, as they won’t damage the lock mechanism. Avoid using oil-based lubricants, as they can attract dirt and grime, making the lock even more difficult to operate. It’s also important to make sure the lubricant is safe for outdoor use.

Q: Can I Install a Storm Door Closer Myself?

A: While it is possible to install a storm door closer yourself, it’s recommended to hire a professional. Installing it incorrectly can cause damage or affect the functionality of your storm door. A professional will ensure that the closer is properly installed and adjusted for smooth operation. You can also consult with a professional for advice on choosing the right type and brand of door closer for your storm door.

Q: Is It Safe to Use a Hairdryer on My Storm Door Lock?

A: Yes, you can use a hairdryer to heat up a frozen lock. However, be careful not to overheat or damage the material of your storm door. Keep the hairdryer at a safe distance and use the lowest heat setting. You can also try using a hot water bottle or heating pad to warm up the lock. If these methods don’t work, it’s best to call a professional locksmith for assistance. You can also prevent your lock from freezing by regularly cleaning and lubricating it. 

Q: Are There Any Extra Precautions I Should Take When Opening a Locked Storm Door?

A: Yes, always be mindful of the surroundings and potential hazards while attempting to open a locked storm door. Avoid using excessive force or damaging the door handle or lock mechanism. If possible, have someone else present to assist you in case of any accidents or difficulties. And remember, it’s always best to seek professional help if needed.  Overall, taking proper precautions and using gentle methods can save you time, money, and hassle when dealing with a locked storm door.

Overall, it’s important to be cautious and gentle when trying to open a locked storm door to avoid causing damage or injury. Seeking professional help is always recommended if you are unsure of how to proceed or if the lock is damaged. With proper maintenance and care, your storm door’s locking mechanism should remain functional and secure for years to come. Remember to always prioritize safety and respect others’ property when dealing with a locked storm door. So be patient, take your time, and follow these tips to successfully open a locked storm door.  Happy unlocking!


It is effortless to open a locked storm door. You can follow the steps mentioned in this article for this purpose. I hope you have obtained a clear conception of how to open a locked storm door. You must ensure proper safety while conducting the process and you must remember to take necessary professional advice to reduce the chance of injury. Thank you and have a nice day!

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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