• Trouble locking or opening a lock is surprisingly common. When you start to have issues with a lock, your natural tendency is probably to head to the hardware store or big box store to replace it. Yet did you know that as many as 80 percent of all lock problems aren’t actually caused by the lock itself? Before investing in a new lock, consider these common issues.

    Bad Keys

    A lock operates through the precise alignment of the lock’s pins and the key’s cuts. Even the slightest variation between the two can lead to major operational difficulties. As keys wear down over time, they can start to develop slight imperfections that make it harder to use the lock.

    In addition, it is not unusual for duplicate keys to have tiny variances from the original. These issues are compounded in later-generation duplicates that are made from duplicates rather than from the original. If you are having this problem, try having the lock rekeyed and have as many duplicate keys as you need made all at once from the original. You can even set the original key aside in case you need to make new copies later.

    Strike Plate Issues

    The strike plate is the metal piece that the door latch sinks into when the door is locked. Many people carefully hang doors but do not give as much thought to the installation of the strike plate. However, if it is not perfectly aligned, the latch will not smoothly enter. Additionally, even the most carefully placed strike plate can come loose over time. Even a slight amount of slipping can be enough to interfere with the normal operation of the door lock.

    Take a close look at the positioning of the strike plate, make sure it isn’t tilted at all, and tighten the screws. If you have trouble getting the strike plate secure, simply replace it, making sure to attach the new plate with 3-inch screws.

    Hinge Problems

    A surprising number of lock issues are actually caused by problems with the door hinges. When the hinges are improperly attached, the door can sag over time. This interferes with the alignment between the door lock and the strike plate, making it difficult to operate the lock.

    There are a couple of checks you can make, such as assessing the gap between the door jamb and the door, and keeping the door slightly cracked open while you turn the lock to see if it aligns with the strike plate. Unless you are a DIY expert, calling in professional help is highly recommended. Re-hanging a door is an expert-level job, and you could actually make the problem worse if you do not fully understand how to do it.

    Texas Premier Locksmith is known as one of the premier locksmith companies across the state of Texas. If you are ready to form a relationship with a reliable, trustworthy locksmith, please give us a call today at (866) 948-8188.