Five Door Locks Issues You Should Not Ignore.
Life can be frenetic and hectic at times. Small maintenance jobs around our homes slip through the cracks and get forgotten. One routine maintenance issue that should never be ignored is checking that all the door locks in your home are in good repair.
Failing to maintain your door locks not only leaves you vulnerable to break-ins, but also increases the risk that you will be locked out even if you have your key. To that end, you need to know what to look for and what repairs are needed to keep your home secure. Here are the five most common door lock issues that should never be ignored.
- Broken Key in the Lock
Poorly maintained door locks can often trap keys inside, and when that happens many homeowners try to forcibly remove it. One unfortunate outcome to this problem is that keys break fairly easily when you put too much force on them, especially when they are being turned in a lock.
Breaking a key off in a lock renders the lock useless, and it can do irreparable damage to the lock itself. Calling a locksmith immediately is generally the best course of action to resolve the issue quickly, but sometimes that means a long wait outside your house. If that’s not an option, you can attempt to extract the key using pliers, a screwdriver or a thin saw blade may work to extract the key fragments in the lock. Bear in mind that professional repair is highly recommended, as this is a complex task that isn’t for everyone.
- Loose Doorknobs and Locks
The more you use your door locks and doorknobs, the more they wear down. Internal components are made of hard metal, but they do wear down and loosen up over time. The first tell-tale sign you’ll see is loose screws around the door knob. Tighten them up with a screwdriver yourself, but be careful not to strip out the screw heads by overtightening.
If the lock feels loose and doesn’t function like it should or you have trouble unlocking it, call a locksmith to check it out. The lock may need a repair or replacement, and loose locks are far easier to pick or break than properly maintained locks. If you don’t know what to look for, determining if there is a more serious problem is not a task for amateurs. You really need a professional to determine if your door locks and deadbolts are secure
- Broken Locks
Generally speaking, you won’t notice if your lock is broken right away. Internal components like springs and tumblers can break during normal use and you’d never know it until the first symptoms present themselves. These symptoms include difficulty fitting the key in the lock, the key stops working even though it fits in the lock, poor key rotation or your key becoming stuck in the lock.
Fixing a broken lock isn’t a DIY friendly task, as the doorknob or deadbolt needs to be completely removed and the lock disassembled to examine the internal movement and components for wear or damage. Moreover, if the lock needs to be replaced, it’s best to have a professional install it to ensure that all components are properly aligned.
Failing to line up the strike plate for the knob or deadbolt properly can create worse security problems than a broken lock, and the wisest course of action is an expert installation. Keep your home and loved ones safe by getting the lock repaired right away. Broken locks make you an easy target for professional criminals looking for an easy score.
- Misaligned Locks
When your latch doesn’t line up with the strike plate, your lock is misaligned. Misalignment causes doors to fail to latch properly, or they do latch, but the lock cannot engage because the locking mechanism can’t snap into place on the strike plate. You can try filing down the latch plate for a proper fit on your own, but it’s best to have a professional locksmith repair the strike plate for you.
- Weather Worn/Damaged Locks
Climate has a significant impact on how quickly your locks and door knobs wear out. Cold temperatures and winter precipitation often cause ice to form inside the lock itself, essentially rendering the lock useless.
If you are locked out of your house with a frozen lock, you can put your house key on the radiator of your car for several minutes to hear it up before trying to unlock the door again. It is essential to wear gloves to keep from burning yourself, though a handkerchief or rag will do in a pinch.
Should the radiator trick prove ineffective, a quick call to your local locksmith should have the door open quickly. Most professionals keep a butane torch or other heating device handy for dealing with frozen locks, Provided you are safe in your vehicle, you should leave this one to a professional if at all possible. Burning your hand or fingers on a hot house key or your radiator is not an experience you will soon forget.
Do your door locks need a tune-up to make sure your house is secure? Dallas Area Locksmith provides local services for door lock maintenance, emergency lockout service and more. Call or contact us today for more information about having your locks checked out or repaired. Let us help you keep your home secure during these uncertain times.