Dealing with a locked screen door can be a stressful experience. However, breaking the glass or resorting to costly methods isn’t the only solution. There are safe and inexpensive methods you can try instead.
For example, you can use tools like a credit card, hand pressure, pry bar, thin shim, hammer, or bent spring steel to open a sliding screen door. For hinged screen doors, you can use your hand to unlock it, cut the screen, or detach the hinge.
In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn various methods on how to unlock a screen door from the outside depending on its type. Let’s get started.
The Right Way To Unlock A Screen Door Without a Key
Based on the types, unlocking the screen door will be diverse. It comes in 2 types in general which are –
- Sliding screen door.
- Hinged screen door.
To open a locked screen door without a key, here’s the procedure:
Open A Locked Sliding Screen Door
If you have a sliding screen door that seems locked from the inside, then just move the lock tab to unlock it. However, if it gets locked from the outside, use these methods:
1. Use A Credit Card
Hold the credit card in a vertical position and simply slip it inside the small gap below the door latch. Grip the handle and push it back while lifting at the same time.
Then, slide the credit card from the down-to-upward or up-to-downward based on the latch hook. Keep on pushing the door backward. That’s how you can open sliding door with credit card!
2. Pull The Door Through Hand Lifting
- Hold the door using your hand.
- Put the pressure on the upward motion so that the entire door can go from the track.
- Next, push the door from left to right motion. You need to use force each time pushing it from the left to right direction.
- Keep on doing it until the door gets unlocked.
3. Pry The Door From The Frame
- Get a solid, scratchproof, and quality tool like the Tresalto Trim Set.
- Hold the door handle to slide it even if the door is locked.
- You’ll find a small gap in the door frame. Insert the pry bar inside the gap.
- Lift it from down to upward motion near the latch area so that the tool would stick inside the hook and gets unlocked.
4. Unlock The Door With A Thin Shim
Move the door handle in a rocking (slow to fast) motion from left to right. Then, insert the thin shim on the gap of the sliding screen door frame. Slightly shift the thin shim in an upward motion so that the door is unlocked.
5. Open The Door Using A Hammer
- Take a hammer and wrap its sharp edge using paper tape.
- Use it on the gap of the door frame below the latch area.
- While holding the door upward, push the door to the side using the hammer. You need to do it until the door opens.
6. Insert The Thin Bent Spring Steel
- Lift the outer sliding screen door so that it comes out of the bottom track.
- Ask your friend to insert the thin bent spring steel underneath.
- Wait for the door to unlock.
- If that doesn’t work, then push it to the side to open the door.
Pro Tip: As an alternative way, you can use the air blast from the compressed air tank on the bottom edge to lift the door.
Open The Locked Hinged Screen Door
In case your hinged screen door is in the locked position, then, here are some ways how to unlock it without breaking the glass:
1. Using Hand Pressure
Pull the door using your hand in an upward motion. After that, shake the door to the up-down and in-out motion so that the door can wreck out of the latch. As almost all screen door locks are fragile, you can unlock them easily.
2. Cut The Screen Area With A Knife
- Take a utility or kitchen knife.
- Use the knife to cut the screen area near the door latch. Just be sure to cut a little so that your hand can reach.
- Hold the door lock area and open the hinged screen door.
- After cutting the area and unlocking the door, use a good-quality adhesive screen like the by.RHO Window Screen Repair Kit to cover it perfectly.
3. Remove The Hinges
Grab a screwdriver or screw gun. Take out the 3 screws in each hinge that you’ll find in all exterior hinge screen doors. Just be sure to remove it properly to loosen up the door on one side.
Lift the door upward and shake it so that hinge pins come out from the outside. You’ll find the door unlocked. Now, set the hinge pins rightly so that the door and frame get along. Reinstall all the screws in each hinge.
To unlock a screen door, focus on the lock type and understand which direction you should use the tool. In most cases, the screen door contains a mortice lock.
The above methods will take not more than 5 minutes and the unlocking should be get done easily. Make sure to use some lubricant or oil on the locks if the screen door seems stuck or won’t unlock easily.
I will see you again in my next guide!
This is Autem Decker. Main Author of ‘TheHomeDigs‘. You may not find her on the list of top 10 contemporary Canadian interior designers, but everyone who knows her says she was born to be an interior designer.
She makes her plan in her head and draws them in her years-old diary with a note in the corner. The way she plays with color and shape amazes us.
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