If your door lock isn’t working properly, it’s more than just an annoyance. Lock problems on exterior doors can keep you from accessing your home and can cause security issues that put your family’s safety at risk. If one of your exterior locks is broken, you do not want to leave it that way for long! Below, First Lock & Security Technologies troubleshoots common door lock problems that may impair access to your home and property as well as how to fix them.
Why Is My Door Lock Not Working?
Door lock problems are often caused by a malfunctioning lock mechanism or latch assembly, but there are also several other common reasons why locks may stop working:
– Lock is dry or dirty.
– Latch and strike plate do not align.
– Knob or Lever handle is loose.
– Key is broken off in lock.
How Do I Fix a Door Lock that is Not Working?
The earlier you catch a door lock problem, the better chance you will have of fixing it on your own, so it is important to not overlook minor issues such as a loose lock or a lock that sticks when turning the key. Following are several simple ways you may be able to fix common door lock problems before the need to call in a professional locksmith arises.
Sticky Door Locks – If your door lock sticks, it may be due to dryness or a buildup of dirt. For a simple fix, you can try applying compressed air to dislodge dirt in your lock and/or Teflon lube spray to the keyhole to get the lock moving.
Broken Keys in Lock – If your key breaks off in the lock, it may be possible to grip the exposed end with needle-nose pliers and gently pull the key out. If the key does not extend far enough to grip or is still stuck, you can remove the lock cylinder and bring it to a local locksmith shop for key removal or call a locksmith out to your home to complete this task on site.
Loose Door Locks – If you have lever-style door handle locks, they may loosen with everyday use, resulting in locking problems. Once the door handles are aligned properly, you can have someone hold them while you slowly but firmly tighten the set screw.
Key Won’t Turn – If your key does not turn in the lock, the problem may simply be a poorly cut key. You can test this theory by trying a key in the lock that was cut at a different time. If the key is not the problem, try lubricating the lock using a Teflon-based lubricant. If you can turn your key when the door is open but not when it is closed, the problem may be the alignment of the door or lock. On these occasions, you may also notice that your door does not latch properly. To fix a misaligned or loose door, tighten the door hinge screws to correct any sagging. If the key still does not turn, the lock strike plate may need to be repositioned, which can be achieved by unscrewing the strike plate and placing it so that the door lock bolt rests flush within the strike plate. If you are at all hesitant about this, do not hesitate to call a professional locksmith!
When Do You Need a Professional Locksmith for Door Lock Problems?
The moving parts of locks do eventually wear out. If any of the simple fixes outlined above do not work, your lock may need to be professionally repaired or replaced. If you are experiencing any of the following situations, you should call in a professional locksmith to solve the problem:
– Entire cylinder is turning when you try to use the lock.
– Jammed lock does not respond after lubrication.
– Cannot remove a key that is broken off inside your lock.
– Key turns, but lock does not operate.
– Lock has been damaged during an attempted break-in.
– Have security concerns and want a deadbolt installed.
– Lock is old and needs to be replaced.
Residential & Commercial Locksmithing in San Mateo, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, Woodside, Portola Valley, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Mountain View, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Milpitas & Los Altos, California
Professional locksmiths like First Lock & Security Technologies have the right tools and training to get the job done efficiently and correctly to ensure the security of your home and family. Do not hesitate to call us for help or come by our shop in Los Altos, CA whenever you need lock and key services.