Tips For Lock Maintenance
In order to make your home the most secure it can be, it’s important not only to have high quality locks and a good home security system, but to perform regular lock maintenance on the locks you have and the doors in which they are installed. Here are 5 easy tips to keeping the locks in your home functioning optimally and maintaining the highest level of security for you and your family.
1. Check to be sure your door is hung properly.
Before even looking at your lock function, it’s important to know that your door is level. Doors that are not hung properly or have started to sag over time will put pressure on the lock or bolt, and cause the lock to stick or not fully engage. If you’re not sure if a door is sagging, look at the door during the day to see if there is any light coming in through cracks around the door. Also look forrub marks on the door frame or floor as this is a sign that the door is not level. If an uneven door is a problem, you may need to rehang your door or have the hinges tightened.
2. Test lock function regularly.
Make checking your lock function part of your regular house maintenance schedule. Also, pay attention each time you lock a door to be sure the lock is fully engaging. Check that there are no loose screws in the strike plates on your door. When strike plates are loose, the lock will not function properly and the door make have trouble opening or closing. Regularly check to be sure your deadbolt fully extends into the doorjamb and that all knobs and locks are turn and engage properly. If your deadbolt does not extend fully into the doorjamb, it may need a deeper hole. If the deadbolt sticks or does not fit well into the doorjamb, the lock may not be installed properly and may require reinstallation or a new lock.
3. Maintain lock cleanliness and lubrication.
Clean locks to ensure that debris is not inhibiting the lock’s function. This can mean wiping it with a damp cloth or using a light cleaning solution. However, avoid abrasive chemicals as these may damage the surface of the lock and make it more difficult to operate. Additionally, if your lock is exposed to water or humid conditions frequently, you should watch out for rust build up on your locks. If you do find rust in or around your locks, your home may require more rust-resistant locks as rust can cause keys to get stuck and break, or locks to become hard to turn. It can even make locks brittle enough to break over time.
Door locks should be lubricated about once a year for optimal functioning. For this, dry lock lubricants like graphite or teflon are most often recommended. There are also liquid options that have become less common over the years because they can often leave residue or damage the lock over time. Also, you should keep lock de-icer on hand for severe weather conditions that may cause locks to be blocked or stuck with ice.
4. Create key duplicates in advance.
Have multiple duplicate keys made before your keys start to wear. Most keys wear out before locks do making them more difficult to operate over time. Getting duplicate keys made when you first begin using a lock ensures that you will be able to switch keys before a key becomes so worn it won’t open a door. If you ever need to make another duplicate, remember that variance in key shape increases the more duplicates you make if you aren’t making them from the original. If you work in an office or building, make sure to oil panic bars and exit doors more often thatn once a year to ensure the easiest possible exit in the case of an emergency.
5. Find a locksmith you can trust.
Before any emergency ever occurs, find a locksmith service near you that you can trust to respond quickly and provide the best solution. You need a company that can offer emergency lockout solutions, lock rekeying, lock repair, key duplications and more. Experienced locksmiths can perform regular maintenance on your locks and check to see that all locks are functioning optimally. They can also make recommendation for enhancing security measures.
Keeping Your Locks Functioning Optimally
As locks age, just like many things, they do not function as well as when they were new. Old locks may not work properly, or may become warped over time causing keys to stick and potentially break. Old keys can become dull and may also require replacement. Loose fixtures can reduce the efficacy of locks and damage door frames; and rust and other environmental factors can ruin the lock over many years.
We recommend that you get your locks inspected every few years for proper function and have multiple sets of keys made for each lock to use in the event of a lost key or worn key. It’s better to prepare in advance to have copies made from the original, rather than trying to make copies of copied keys that can be less effective over time. We can provide you with information on weather proofing your locks for optimum efficiency over longer periods of time.