If you are thinking about installing a smart lock in an area prone to intense storms, it is really good to know if they are waterproof.
Smart Locks are water-resistant enough to withstand normal rainfall but are not able to be submerged. If there is an additional concern of water damage, measures can be taken in order to even better seal the lock. Smart locks are only water-resistant to rain on the outside section of the door, not the inside.
Let’s get into just how water-resistant smart locks are as well as things you can do to make them even more resistant to mother nature.
How Waterproof Are Smart Locks?
Chances are that your smart lock can handle more water than you think, but let’s not test it okay?
Many electronic devices are becoming more and more water-resistant, including cell phones. This water resistance is more of a convenience thing than an actual need.
Unless you are talking about smart locks.
Your smart lock needs waterproofing. If it wasn’t water-resistant enough to handle rain, it really wouldn’t be worth the 200 dollars that you spend getting one. Smart locks are really awesome devices, and they do some really great things, but they wouldn’t be worth replacing every time it rains.
Almost every smart lock is going to come equipped with waterproofing built-in. In fact, if it doesn’t have waterproofing then you are looking at quite the anomaly. As a general rule, you pretty much never have to worry about your smart lock breaking from the outside of your door because of water.
That being said, any smart lock could break from too much rain. If you live somewhere that it hails, your smart lock might get damaged and eventually lose its outdoor waterproofing.
Are Smart locks waterproof on both sides?
This question only applies to people that are putting a smart lock on some sort of outdoor entryway that is exposed on both sides. While this kind of set up is rare, you will need waterproofing on both ends of the lock in order for it to work.
Smart locks are not waterproof on the inside portion of the lock, meaning the side with the deadbolt lever will break if it is rained on.
These locks are designed to resist weather that hits the part of the door that has the keyhole or some kind of numeral pad, not the side that is used to store the batteries and wireless connectivity. Unfortunately, there isn’t a really large need for waterproof locks on both sides. Smart Lock manufacturers will make products that appeal to the masses, and waterproofing on both sides is a rare need.
Why waterproofing is expensive and rare
Making anything waterproof can be hard, especially devices that have replaceable batteries. Smart locks are especially difficult to make waterproof because they are mounted on something.
Many cell phone manufacturers are quick to advertise some sort of water resistance but in reality, they are not perfect. Most waterproof devices are waterproof for the simple reason that it is hard to get anything into the components. Since most phones these days have a built-in rechargeable battery, there isn’t any sort of access panel that is needed for the phone to be used.
These access panels were the main reason that many devices failed because the water had really easy access to sensitive innards. Those that manufacture smartphones are inclined to make their devices strong enough to handle a drop in the toilet or swimming pool, but smart locks never leave your front door. (well, they shouldn’t leave your front door anyway)
Smart locks need to be full of access ports and need to be fully modular. People don’t want to charge something that is mounted on their wall, that wouldn’t make sense. They need to have the option of replaceable batteries. Replaceable batteries mean that your lock has an access port. An access port allows water to come in and corrode the batteries and destroy electronics.
The outside of a lock is waterproof, but it is generally much easier to waterproof than its more pregnable counterpart. all the outside of even the fanciest locks need are a touchpad which is really easy to waterproof, in fact, they are mostly waterproof anyway.
The outside of your lock is going to be sealed up really well, and only have one or two insulated wires going through the door to the other side. The electronics on the outside of the door are really simple and have no computations going on. The power for the device that is on the outside is stored safely inside, and therefore does not need to be taken care of.
Waterproofing part of a device is really easy, but waterproofing the entirety is very hard.
Boats, for example, are mostly waterproof, but if you get water on the wrong side of them they are not. Smart locks are the same in that regard. The parts that need to be waterproof are waterproof, but the parts that are not waterproof are not.
Waterproofing the inside portion of a smart lock
Unfortunately, there are not that many resources out there for waterproofing your own things, and the resources that are available are fairly bad.
The hope is that you will be able to fabricate your own homegrown solution that will suit your needs and not be too ugly.
Here are some solutions that you could try:
Give your lock a roof
Luckily for humanity, we developed a way to waterproof our homes. We do this by installing a waterproof barrier above us in order to divert rain into drain systems that have been established over many years.
A really simple solution to the smart lock situation is to install some sort of rain blocker on top of your lock.
There are so many things out there that you could use. My father is a huge fan of tarp, and if you needed to you could simply install a hanging tarp over the top of your smart lock in order to protect it from the falling rains.
These types of solutions are not going to be pretty, but I can’t think of an easier way to waterproof the inside of a smart lock than this.
Lots of Vaseline and Silicon
The silicon is used to seal the smart lock to the door really well. This is needed in order to keep water from getting between the door and the smart lock. Most of the water that will ruin you is going to be in this area.
Vaseline is a great way to waterproof electronics. I have used it inside my watches before in order to keep water from getting in. disassemble your lock and fill the entire thing with vaseline, even the battery compartment. Fill every single nook and cranny with the stuff.
This can get messy, and it is really not an ideal or permanent solution, but if you need something in a pinch this will work for a month or two.
If you live in a place with especially hot climates, use something else that is a little less gooey otherwise the vaseline will drip out during the summer.
Finally, use the silicone on any visible cracks that might let water in. This is really important. For example, if you were to put a lot of silicon on the cracks of the battery compartment, you will protect it much better than just the cover alone.
This is the ugliest of all the solutions, but it might work the best. Take some really strong plastic like this one and wrap your lock really well, and then screw it in tightly. You will lose access to the actual locking mechanism but you can still unlock it with your phone!
Honestly, this will look really trashy and cheap, but hey, it will probably work.
Good luck with finding a solution that works for you!
Can Smart Locks be damaged by hail? Hail is not known to damage smart locks since they have such a small surface area on the outside of the door, but hail might make a smart lock more vulnerable to water damage in the future. Hail will not make a smart lock any less secure.
Do smart lock buttons work when they are wet? Unlike smartphones, touchpads that are on smart locks work off of pressure instead of sensing the electric charge in fingers. This pressure mechanism is able to be used by anything, including pencils, sticks, and gloved hands.