In your average home or business, a lock is one’s first line of defense against intruders. Yet despite how important locks are for our security, caring for them typically doesn’t rank highly (or at all) on a homeowner’s to-do list. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s a reality in households all over the world that locks are overlooked.
Well, they’re overlooked until they stop working.
Like anything else, any kind of lock can break or fail for a number of reasons. Sometimes these things can’t be prevented, but routine maintenance on your locks can prevent a great number of these incidences.
Clean your locks.
Every surface in your home or business can gather dust, grime, pet fur and other particles from the air. When this happens and the dust builds up, it can actually clog your lock and reduce its functionality. A clogged lock can even break when the user attempts to turn it. Fortunately, this is easy to prevent becoming an issue in the first place.
- Using a soft cloth and warm, soapy water clean the exterior of the lock and faceplate.
- Use a silicone lubricant in the latch and keyhole. These lubricants are sold in a spray form for ease of use.
- Move the key in and out of the lock to ensure the lock has been properly lubricated.
Some homeowners like to use graphite to clean their locks, but we don’t recommend this. It can clog your lock, just as dirt can, and lead to breakage.
Tighten and replace the necessary lock parts.
If there are loose screws, your lock won’t function as it should. Tighten up anything that is loose. Replace any parts of the lock that have become broken, even if they don’t seem to mess with the functionality of the lock right now.
Don’t forget about the door’s other elements.
Bolts, latches and the side of the door itself all serve a purpose in keeping your doors securely locked, so maintenance of these elements is equally essential.
- Use a cloth and warm water to clean the door.
- Oil any hinges on a regular basis to prevent creaking.
- Make sure that the door shuts and latches completely.
- Adjust the swing on your door, if possible, to prevent slamming. Slamming of doors can cause damage to the door’s vital components.
Never use excessive force.
If your door lock doesn’t want to budge when you insert the key, or it offers you resistance in doing so, don’t try to force it. There’s a good chance that the lock is clogged or jammed, and attempting to strong-arm it could actually break the key, the lock, or both.
When in doubt, give your locksmith a call.
The big jobs, or even small jobs that you’re unsure about doing yourself, should be left in the care of a professional locksmith. If the lock is used very frequently, the knowledgeable eyes and hands of a locksmith will keep it working optimally for years to come.
A locksmith will not only lubricate and clean your lock, but they will also replace any worn parts, reassemble and reinstall your lock reliably and quickly. Many locksmiths even offer a guarantee on their work, which you don’t get when you try to tackle the issue yourself.
Your lock is one of the most important and yet overlooked security aspects of your home or business. Keeping it functional is really a matter of simple and routine maintenance. Once you know how to keep your locks clean and in good repair, you’ll be unburdened by broken or difficult-to-turn locks.
April 25, 2018