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How to Ensure Your Door Locks Are Working as Designed

July 23, 2018


Most people think little about their door locks. You probably automatically lock the door when you leave and at night, and perhaps when you are home during the day, but don’t pay much attention beyond that. Yet your door locks are your last defensive barrier against criminals entering your home, and they require regular maintenance just like any other mechanical system. Here are some tips to ensure that they continue to work as designed.

Ensure Your Door Locks Work

Clean and Lubricate the Locks

Many people do not realize that door locks need to be cleaned and lubricated on a regular basis. Wipe them down with a wet rag as part of your regular cleaning routine, and add a bit of gentle soap if needed to remove gunk. Once a year, or if the lock is starting to stick, spray a graphite lubricant or dry lubricant inside the lock, then move the key around inside the lock several times to remove any debris.

Specialty locks such as keyless locks, electronic locks, biometric locks, and high security locks have their own special cleaning procedures. Be sure to check the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer to ensure that you follow the proper steps.

Make Fresh Key Copies

When installing a new lock, set aside one of the original keys for copying. Keys tend to wear out before locks do, making it necessary to get new copies made now and then. However, as a key starts to wear, its structure can be compromised. If you make a copy of an older key, the new copy may not work as well as it should. Always make fresh key copies from the original key that you set aside for this purpose.

Properly Align Doors

If your door is out of alignment, you may have trouble with the lock. In extreme cases, the lock might not work at all, but even slight misalignments that are difficult to see can cause lock problems. Within the lock, each misalignment becomes magnified as warping, pressure, and eventual mechanical distortion. Over time, the lock may cease to operate even if the door misalignment is small.

Pay close attention to the space between the door and its frame. It should be less than 1/4 inch wide and should be consistent all around the perimeter of the door. Note that wooden doors are prone to swelling and warping, particularly during hot and humid weather. If you can no longer get the door properly aligned, it may be time to upgrade to a new door.

Most people think little about their door locks until a problem arises. Staying proactive, though, can help prevent a situation in which you are locked out or are unable to lock your door. Should this situation arise, though, it is vital to have a trustworthy locksmith on standby to assess the situation and make repairs.

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If you are ready to form a relationship with a reliable, trustworthy locksmith, contact Texas Premier Locksmith today at (866) 948-8188.