Door locks tend to be overlooked because they are deemed to be strong and sturdy. That does not make locks any less vulnerable to eventual wear and tear. However, there are actually ways to keep your door locks well maintained. Here are some helpful tips from a Charlotte locksmith you could use.
Clean Door Locks
Regularly cleaning your door locks can help prolong their lifespan, and thus enhance the security of your home. You don’t even have to dismantle the door knobs so you can clean each and every mechanism, just clean the exterior.
You can use a damp rag or even a mild detergent for it. Be careful not to use chemical cleaners on locks because this can cause abrasions on the mechanism. This is so it doesn’t accumulate dirt and moisture, which may cause rusting and corrosion. Cleaning is also important for external doorknobs, which are more exposed to the outdoor elements such as temperatures extremes.
Doing so may not seem like much, but you’re actually protecting the hardware from exterior damage which, consequently also allows you to preserve its aesthetic appeal.
Lubricate Door Locks
All lock types should be lubricated at least once a year. This ensures that locks and hinges work efficiently and do not suffer from corrosion. It can be difficult to detect when door locks are rusty. Often, you only notice when you hear creaking and squeaking sounds or when the mechanisms get difficult to handle.
A few sprays of lubricant may get it fixed, but you’ll have no idea how much damage rust has done to internal parts. To avoid this, make the lubrication and cleaning an annual chore, and then supplement that with regular maintenance checks as well.
Professionals recommend Teflon lubricants, although Graphite works fine too. Just spray a small amount inside the keyway then get the mechanism working by inserting the key and turning it repeatedly. Every time you take the key out, you will notice dirt and microparticles on it. Repeat the process until the key comes out clean.
Check on the Hardware
While you’re in the process of cleaning the locks, check them out for possible defects. See if there are any loose screws or if there are any cracks on the doorframe. You want to inspect the condition of the strike plates too. This is the plate where lock’s bolts extend to.
Latches should firmly hold in place, and should fall on the strike plate. If these components are not aligned properly, the locking mechanism will not work. If you have any difficulties opening the door jamb, then it could be a sign of broken latches or lock failure. Remember, unless you see that the deadbolt is firmly locked on the strike plate, then it’s not extended all the way through, which means it’s not locked securely.
Check for the Door Installation
If you have a lot of difficulty closing the door but there are no problems with the locks, it could be that the problem is the door itself. Make sure the door does not sag or bind, otherwise, the pressure it transmits on the lock can cause the door to stick, leaving you unable to get in or out of the house.
Sometimes, the hinges are causing the problem with the door itself, leading it to become misaligned, and so unable to lock effectively. Check both sides of the door, from hinge to knobs, just to ensure that everything is in good working order.
If your locks need more than maintenance, call for professional help. Charlotte locksmith companies such as Eastway Lock & Key can give you the service you need to keep your locks working properly. Give us a call at 704-347-1088, or complete our Contact Form and we’ll get back to you right away. Don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter!