Door locks are a vital component of any home or business because they provide a sense of security and peace of mind. However, just like any other mechanical device, these locks are subject to wear and tear, which, in the long term, can lead to various problems and cause them to malfunction.
Some locks are known to malfunction simply because they are dusty or dirty inside the locking mechanism cylinder. When the inside of the locks cylinder is dirty, you will need to do some cleaning. However, for those door lock problems that appear complex, calling a professional locksmith is often the best solution.
Common Problems with Door Locks
A damaged door lock obviously needs to be repaired, but to do this, you have to determine what exactly the problem is. Usually the most common problems with door locks are one of the following:
1. Non-Turning Keys
One of the most common door lock problems is when the key refuses to turn in the lock. This means that the key cannot be used to operate the lock. This situation can occur because the key is worn-out, or the locking mechanism has seized.
Usually, having a new key cut to replace the worn out one will prove less costly than repairing it. However, if the problem lies within the lock (like for example, it has seized), you can try using a lubricant to loosen it up.
To loosen a seized lock, spray a small amount of either graphite powder or silicone spray into the lock, and this will loosen the seized inner mechanism. After spraying the inside of the lock, try turning the key again. If this does not work, you may need to call a professional locksmith to repair or replace the lock.
2. Frozen Locks
During the winter months, it’s possible that doors and locks can become frozen due to the accumulation of moisture. The lock may become unresponsive, making it difficult for you to operate the lock and open the door. To solve the problem, use either a hairdryer or a heat gun and point it directly before the lock. This way, you expose the lock to heat and defrost it. Alternatively, you can use a lock de-icer or apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the lock, and this will help melt the ice and free up the locking mechanism.
3. Loose Locks
Over time, the screws that hold a door latch in place may loosen. This can cause a lock to wiggle and eventually malfunction, or even break. To prevent this from happening, you can either tighten the screws, or simply replace them with longer ones.
If the lock is still loose after the initial fix, check again as the problem could be a faulty strike plate. The strike plate is a metal plate (usually found on the door frame) that the lock bolt enters into when a door is closed. If the strike plate is misaligned, it can prevent the lock from functioning properly. To fix the problem of a misaligned strike plate, loosen the screws and adjust the plate position, until the lock slides into it easily.
4. Jammed Locks
A jammed door lock is often due to debris or to some foreign objects that have lodged inside the lock mechanism, and are blocking the keys’ access to the pins. A lubricant may have to be used in this case, but it’s usually best to call a locksmith to get the issue resolved.
5. Stuck Deadbolts
Deadbolts can get stuck due to wear and tear or debris buildup, and this can prevent a door from opening or closing. If the bolt on a deadbolt lock is stuck, the problem could also lie with the strike plate as this may not be properly screwed or aligned with the bolt.
6. Misaligned Locks
If you have a misaligned lock, this will likely not be apparent right away. Eventually, however, you’ll notice that the lock no longer fits into the door frame correctly. To get this realigned, the hinges will have to be tightened and the lock mechanism adjusted so it can fit into the door frame.
7. Stuck Broken Keys
Lock problems are not always about the lock itself. Sometimes, the issue lies with the key you are using. For example, a bent or broken key can get stuck or jammed while inserted into the lock. In this case, using pliers or other tools to extract the key is not advisable. Doing so can cause further damage to the lock or to the key itself.
When a key is stuck inside a lock, this is considered an emergency lockout, and when experiencing this, it’s always best to contact a professional locksmith who has the tools to extract the broken key without causing any unnecessary damage to the lock.
8. Old Locks
The older a door lock gets, the more the likelihood it will malfunction. Older types of door locks may cease to function, leaving your home or business vulnerable to theft or break-ins. An aging and damaged lock is usually loose or wobbly, and when a key is inserted inside, you will experience difficulty turning it.
Age and obsolescence are common door lock problems but thankfully these problems are solved merely by replacing the lock with a new one. In this regard, an experienced locksmith can recommend the best type of lock for your needs, and install it correctly to ensure it provides optimal security.
While security locks for your property are essential for providing ample protection, these can and will eventually suffer from damage. Often, this is due to such factors as wear and tear, dirt buildup, and extreme weather.
It is crucial that you address whatever door lock problems you’re having as soon as possible to ensure that your home or business remains secure. To do this, professional locksmith companies are your best option as they are in a better position to assess the situation and provide you with the appropriate solution. By taking care of your lock system, you can rest easy knowing that your home or business is protected.
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Our locksmith in Aurora, CO is a professional and fully qualified locksmith that specializes in all facets of key and lock work. From cutting new keys to repairing old locks or installing new ones, we do it all. We have a reputation for high quality work and competitive prices, and our expert locksmiths can repair any lock no matter what type or how old With Advanced Denver Locksmith’s on the job you can be assured that your locks will function perfectly and your safety will never be compromised. Call us now and find out how we can help you with all your lock and key requirements.