Common Lock Problems And How to Fix Them

Most people don’t concern themselves with their locks – until something goes wrong. But many people don’t realise that not all lock problems require the services of a locksmith. Sometimes, a few simple DIY skills are all that are needed to fix the problem. If you’re having difficulty with your locks, our handy guide could provide the solution to your dilemma.

What to do if your lock is sticking:

A sticky door lock is a common problem than can usually be resolved without having to call out a locksmith. Wear and tear and a build up of grime are often to blame. To make sure your key turns easily, you’ll need some effective lubrication that won’t add to the gunk. The problem can usually be resolved with the help of , which can be bought quite cheaply from the automotive section of most hardware stores.

If you don’t have any powdered graphite to hand, sewing machine oil, vegetable oil or WD-40 can help, but be aware that the grease will probably make the problem worse after a while, as it tends to attract more dust particles and dirt.
Squeeze a small amount of the powdered graphite into the key hole. It also helps to apply some to the latch (this should ease the keying action.) The key should now turn easily in the lock.

Tip: Frequently used keys often have roughened edges through overuse. Use a nail file to smooth down any burrs, or better still, get a new key cut.

What to do if your lock is frozen:

If your lock is frozen, try heating your key with a match or by placing your key on your car radiator until it gets hot. It’s best not to try and apply heat directly to the lock itself, as this may cause damage. Insert the key into the lock (wearing gloves if you have them) and gently, without force, turn the key from side to side until it begins to turn.

What to do if your door won’t lock:

This usually indicates a problem with the latch rather than the locking mechanism. Often, the striker (the flat metal plate on the door frame into which the door bolt slides) doesn’t go all the way into the jamb because the door has warped, the screws have loosened, or the plate has moved.

First of all, try tightening the screws on the striker plate to see if this will resolve the problem. If that doesn’t work, remove the door stop (the hardware in the door frame that holds the lock in place when the door is locked shut) and set it back ¼ of an inch from its original position -there will usually be a distinct line in the paint where it has moved away. The door should now lock normally.

If you’ve tried our tips and still find you’re having problems, our professional experts are on hand to offer advice and solutions to all your lock queries. Call our team on 1-877-864-4134 today for some friendly advice. Your security is our priority.