5 Steps for Maintaining Your Door Locks
We use our door locks every day and it’s easy to forget that without proper maintenance they could break and wear down over time. Fortunately, you can take a few steps to ensure your door is in the best shape it can be.
- Check that your doors are properly hung
Your locks will only work properly if the door they are for is correctly hung. If your door sags, binds or drops, this could put pressure on the bolt and latch. If left ignored, this could eventually lead to lock failure and leave you locked out of your home.
The quickest way to check that your front door is properly hung is to measure the gap on each side of the door. A properly hung door will have gaps of equal size on all sides and won’t be tilted.
If you discover that your door isn’t properly hung, a professional locksmith can easily adjust your door and check for any damage to the lock or hinges. Websites like Checkatrade.com are great for finding legitimate locksmiths to help with any lock or door problems in your home or business.
- Clean your lock and keys
Dirt and grime build up on keys and on locks. Giving your door locks and keys a good clean every few months will keep them in good condition and give them a longer lifespan.
Warm soapy water is enough to clean your lock and keys. Avoid using strong chemical cleaners as these could actually damage your lock by stripping away its protective coating. Warm water with mild soap followed by drying off with a paper towel is all you need.
- Lubricate your locks once a year
Lubricating your door locks on an annual basis will help maintain the inside of your locks. This can be done by spraying a small amount of lubricant into the lock and then inserting your key and moving it in and out of the lock.
As you move the key in and out of the lock, wipe any debris off of it. This will helpfully lubricate the lock and clear any dirt or grime out from the inside too. SJ Locksmiths can also come out and give it a good servicing as well if you’re having trouble.
- Use keys and handles gently
Forcefully using keys or door handles can damage and wear down the door lock, so always try and use these gently and smoothly.
Keys can wear down over time, making it difficult to open locks smoothly with them. When this happens, get new keys cut rather than repeatedly using a worn key. It’s also recommended that you keep an unused, original key as a version to be copied so that new keys are accurate.
- Check strike plates and screws
If your door won’t latch, it could be because of the strike plate or screws. One of the screws in the top hinge should be long enough to connect the door to the wall frame.
The strike plate is the piece of metal where the latch tongue comes out from. Make sure this is secure with long screws and correctly aligned with the lock. By checking these, you can troubleshoot any issues with your door or door locks.
If you spot something wrong, many fixes just require a clean or adjustment. But if you’re not confident with this, always call in a locksmith to service the door for you.
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