Every mechanical device needs regular maintenance to ensure that it continues to work normally. Your door lock is no exception.
We use door locks every day, but we often neglect their maintenance. For good quality locks, most failures are caused by lack of maintenance or improper installation.
People usually think that door locks will always work. Depending on the amount of use, even store-quality locks can last for decades. Most residential locksmiths believe that the average lifespan of a lock is about 7 years.
The maintenance of the lock is usually not on the "to do" list of daily maintenance at home, but it should be. Maintaining your lock can help the lock perform better and may prevent you from paying more for door lock repairs in the future.
Like all mechanical objects, dust and dirt can enter the door lock. Without proper maintenance, the lock will eventually become very difficult to operate or even break.
The lock can only work properly when the door is installed correctly and ready for the lock. A sag or drop of a door can put incredible pressure on the door lock or latch, and cause malfunctions, causing you to be locked at home or outside the door.
The gap between the door and the frame should be uniform across the top and sides.
At least one screw fixing the top hinge to the door frame should be long enough to connect the door to the wall frame around the door. In order to prevent the door from sagging and improve the resistance to intrusion, the homeowner should add a longer three-inch screw to each hinge. The hinge screws are staggered, but the longer screws should be near the center of the wall.
While looking at the door frame, check the strike plate as well. The plate of the deadbolt should have long screws to fix it to the wall, just like a hinge.
When your door is closed, the deadlatch should not fall into the strike plate. Deadlatch is a vital safety feature in modern door locks, but it will not work if it is not properly aligned with the strike plate.
In addition, when the door is closed, the deadbolt should work freely. You don't need to pull, push or lift the door to operate the lock. Then, take a minute to make sure that the deadbolt’s hole in the door jamb is deep enough to fully extend the bolt. Your deadbolt is not locked, protecting your home unless it is fully extended.
The external maintenance of the door lock is very simple. Some lock manufacturers recommend using only wet wipes. At most, use mild soap or detergent to clean the door lock.
In fact, using abrasives or chemical cleaners on the locks does more harm than good. The protective coating on most door locks can be used normally for many years, but not a lot of use or cleaning chemicals.
The outside of your lock is clean, but is the inside of the lock also maintained? One of the most important but often overlooked maintenance factors is to lubricate your door lock.
The last factor in maintaining a lock is to maintain the key itself, because the key will wear out before the lock.
Once the key starts to wear out, replace it. However, duplicates are never accurate, and when one copy is generated by another copy, the difference increases.
A change of only a few thousandths of an inch may be the difference between a working key to one that you must shake or cannot work at all. Therefore, when installing a new door lock, it is best to leave an original key specifically for creating a copy.
We also recommend keeping a duplicate from the original and storing it in a safe place. This precaution will ensure that you have a backup key when the original no longer works.