Fully functioning locks are essential for keeping your home's valuables and your loved ones safe and secure. While some lock problems are more severe and require the skills of a trained Gainesville locksmith, others can be fixed with a bit of guidance and a toolbox. The experienced locksmiths at Be Secure Locksmith are here to teach you how to fix these seven door lock problems!
Key Breaks In The Lock
If a key breaks inside the lock of your home, don't try to lock or further unlock the door using the broken piece of the key. You can use needle-nose pliers to remove the broken key if there is enough of it visible outside the lock. Make sure that when you remove the broken key that you pull straight out instead of at an angle, as this can cause the key to break more. If the key needs some force to come out, we recommend contacting an experienced locksmith in Gainesville, FL, instead.
The heat and humidity in Florida can cause doors and their jambs to warp, making the bolts and strike plate sit askew. Yanking and pulling on handles or aggressively swinging doors open and closed could knock the deadbolt and strike plate out of alignment. To fix this, first, unscrew the mechanism until you can move it around, then reposition the deadbolt and strike plate so they are aligned and re-tighten the screws. If the lock itself is the problem, you will need to loosen the door hinges and adjust the door, so it's parallel with the doorjamb. If none of these work, you will need to call a locksmith who can fix or replace the mechanism.
Lock Is Stiff & Difficult To Open
Sometimes, dirt and dust can build up inside a lock, making it difficult for the locking mechanism to turn. Graphite spray or silicone-based lubricants can fix this problem by applying the product and turning the key a couple of times. We advise avoiding oil-based lubricants, such as WD-40, which can lead to further clogging issues down the road.
Key Is Difficult To Insert
While it may seem obvious, make sure that you are using the right key for that lock. If this isn't the issue, test to see if the key was poorly cut. If you have another key for the lock, use it to test if the key or the lock is causing the problem. If the lock is the problem, we recommend contacting a locksmith as a new lock may need to be installed.
Key Won't Turn In Lock
If your key doesn't turn in the lock, make sure not to force it to turn, as it could break the key. Similar to a stiff lock, you can try lubricating the lock, but if that doesn't help, there could be a misalignment of the lock and door or another, more challenging problem with the lock cylinder. These are both issues that have to be assessed and corrected by a locksmith.
Loose Handles & Locks
As time passes, door hinges, handles, and locks can become worse for wear. The longer a loose handle or lock goes unfixed, the more likely you are to find yourself stuck outside when the lock stops functioning. Instead, grab a Phillips-head screwdriver and tighten the screws holding on the mechanism; in most cases, this will work.
Turning Lock Cylinder
If you insert the key and the whole lock cylinder turns, it usually indicates a damaged or loose set screw. But this is dangerous because you could be unable to gain entry into your home, or strangers can have access to your home at any given time. To fix this, you will need access to the set screws that hold the cylinder in place. All you might have to do for some locks is remove the faceplate, but others might require you to remove part of the lock. If the set screws are damaged or rusted, they will need to be replaced before closing the faceplate.