An exterior door with a sturdy and functional lock is paramount to the security of any home. If you are having any problems with the exterior door lock in your home, it is critical to address it immediately. Various faults are associated with door locks, some of which you can correct yourself and others which require the expertise of a professional. Here are some of the common ones and how to address them.
If you insert the key in your lock and it does not turn or turns after several forced attempts, the lock may have seized up. The seizing of a door lock occurs due to the accumulation of dirt and grime in the lock's mechanism. To address this problem, take a cotton swab, wet it using some water and insert it in the keyhole. Wiggle it around so that it can catch the dirt and grime inside the lock. Repeat this using two or more swabs until you are satisfied that the area is clean and the key should work properly again.
The most common causes of keys breaking in the lock are friction and the use of excess force. You can prevent this by using reasonable force when opening the door. Also, regular lubrication of the door lock can protect your key from breaking due to friction. It can also prevent premature wear and tear of the lock's components. Purchase a door lubricant and spray some into the keyhole. Spread the lubricant inside the lock's mechanism by inserting the key and turning it. If the key has already broken in the lock, you should have a locksmith remove it for you. You'll then of course need to employ key cutting services so you can have a working key.
Misaligned door lock
A misaligned door lock may fail to latch properly due to insufficient contact between it and the door frame. Misalignment usually occurs due to the presence of improperly installed weather stripping. Weather stripping is installed along the door frame for protection against the elements. It should be installed a few millimetres away from the door frame so that it does not create a barrier on the lock. If it is too close to the door frame, you can remove it and re-install it a little further from the frame.
When the key turns in the lock, but the door does not open, you could be having a faulty mechanism. This can happen if someone tried to tamper with the lock or if some components are worn out. If you can remove the lock, inspect the components for signs of wear or damage. However, if you don't know what to look for, you should have the entire lock replaced.
Observe these tips and maintain your exterior door lock to prevent emergency repairs. Also, ensure that you find a qualified expert if you need the door lock repaired or replaced.