We all know that the primary purpose of door locks is to keep everyone and everything safe inside a property. If it weren’t for door locks, anyone could easily get into homes, including thieves, home invaders, and other unsavory characters.
That’s why if you want your home to be secured, make sure your door locks are always in top condition to protect your loved ones and your valuables at all times.
However, door locks are not invincible, and every homeowner will have to deal with door lock problems at some point in their lives. Especially if your locks at home are old, you will have to get them fixed or even replace them at some point to ensure your home security is not affected. Keep an eye out for the common door lock problems mentioned below and do something about them immediately before it’s too late.
What Are the Different Types of Door Locks?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty, you must also learn about the different types of door locks to better understand common door problems. Let’s take a quick look at the most common door locks below:
Door knobs with locks are the most common type of door lock. They are essentially door knobs with a lock cylinder inside. Don’t use them on external doors because basic tools like hammers and wrenches can easily break them.
Deadbolts offer better protection against burglary and break-ins than door knob with lock and key. Their lock bolts turn with a key, knob, or lever without springs and are more resistant to physical damage. Hence, they are often used as secondary locks for external doors.
Smart locks are electronic locks that you can unlock through various ways, including keypads and keyholes. Their main advantage is their ability to lock and unlock doors with a smartphone or key fob, which old types of door locks can’t do. Many smart locks can connect to home automation services via Bluetooth or WiFi. Their only downside is that they need a power source and regular battery replacements.
Mortise locks are heavy-duty locks that offer the most protection. They are more of a lockset than a lock and are often used for external doors. Mortise locks can be opened either by a knob, lever, and/or key.
Keypad door locks are unlocked using a numerical keypad rather than a key. They are either battery-powered or mechanical and generally use mortise locks, knob locks, or deadbolt locks for their locking mechanism. Some may have keyholes that allow for alternative unlocking mechanisms. Many keypad locks allow multiple codes that can restrict access.
The Most Common Door Problems You Might Encounter
After going through the types of locks, you can now easily understand the most common problems you might encounter with them. Check out the ones you should keep an eye out for below:
The key is difficult to insert.
Do not call a locksmith just yet. Check if it’s the correct key, as you might have mistaken it for the right one. The lock might also need a bit of cleaning, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve done so.
If you’re sure you’re using the correct key and the lock is clean, it’s best to call a reliable locksmith because either the key or the lock itself is already damaged.
The door lock is not working.
Sometimes, the lock’s mechanism itself is broken. In such a case, you will need a door lock repair or even a replacement immediately.
The key broke off in the lock.
Breaking a key while inside a lock is a serious problem to have. Aside from having a broken key stuck in your lock, you might also have to deal with a broken lock mechanism if you use enough force to break your key.
Avoid this commonly-occurring problem by being careful when locking and unlocking your doors. If you do break your key in the lock, you need to remove the broken key pieces from the door lock’s keyway. Locksmiths usually do this using an extraction tool. Don’t operate the door lock while the key pieces are still inside; otherwise, you’ll push the key pieces farther in and risk damaging other keys or your door lock. Call professional locksmiths if you can’t get the broken piece out.
The lock and door parts are loose.
Loose door parts may seem simple, but appearances can be misleading. Some people have experienced difficulties opening their doors due to loose door parts and getting locked out of their homes. Loose door parts also make it easier for burglars to break in.
Loose door parts are most dangerous in doors that serve as fire doors. Some fire door locks have active latch bolts that help contain fires; a loose fire door lock will allow the fire to spread faster.
Locks, door knobs, and handles will get loose over time and cause problems. It is particularly true for exterior doors that serve as primary entry and exit points. You can easily fix these by tightening their screws. Call expert locksmiths if the problem seems more complicated or your door lock needs replacement.
The key doesn’t work.
Keys don’t work? First, check if you’re using the right key. If so, your deadbolt might not be interacting with the strike plate correctly. Are your keys new? If they are, then they might have been cut incorrectly. Call a locksmith to check your keys and determine if your lock is broken or defective.
The bolt and latch are misaligned.
Your door might require professional adjustment if it doesn’t latch in the proper position. The bolt must align with the strike plate correctly for the lock to function properly, and the door must also fit its frame.
These problems may occur if your door is incorrectly installed or subjected to extreme humidity, warping its shape.
Have experts inspect your locks annually to maintain alignment, helping you save money and keep you safe from potentially dangerous or uncomfortable situations.
The whole lock cylinder is turning with the key.
Inserting your key into the lock cylinder and turning it should allow you to lock or unlock your doors. However, if the whole lock cylinder turns when you turn your key, the lock itself is the main problem and should be fixed or replaced ASAP. This is usually caused by a damaged or loose set screw that you’ll need to access and tighten.
This solution may vary, depending on your door lock type. You can try fixing it on your own, but the best solution is to call an expert locksmith who can do the job for you correctly and efficiently.
The locks are frozen.
The combination of moisture and low temperatures can freeze your locks. Avoid inserting a key into a frozen lock; otherwise, you might end up with a broken key. Frozen locks are difficult to fix on your own; it’s better to call emergency locksmiths to do it for you.
The latches and locks are jammed.
Locks get jammed for various reasons, like a clogged internal mechanism or a damaged lock bolt or latch. You should pay attention to common door problems like these as they could lead to a broken key or lock or a sign of an attempted break-in and other bigger issues.
One of the first things you should do is to find out what’s jamming your lock. If the jam is caused by debris or dirt, clean the keyway with a generous amount of lubricant like WD40 or graphite to clear it out. You will need to replace your door lock if it’s jammed due to a broken bolt or latch. Do not attempt to bend the bolt to its original form; you’ll only make the damage worse. Call experts to replace your door lock for you.
Homeowners should not ignore door knobs with lock and key problems. They may initially seem minor problems, but they can turn into bigger and more complex ones to solve if not addressed immediately. If you’re unsure what to do, call a reliable locksmith to fix your door lock.
Ensure your property’s security today with Alexius Denver’s Locksmiths.
Door locks may seem small, but they are essential to your home’s or business’ security. Call our expert Denver locksmith if you encounter any problems with your door lock. They provide top-notch door lock repair services efficiently and ensure they do it right the first time. Contact us today for the best locksmithing services in town.