How to Maintain a Door Lock

Posted on: 28 March 2017

Door locks are an everyday part of your life, but you likely don't give them that much thought. However, a door lock that no longer opens suddenly becomes a pressing issue. There are a number of reasons why a door lock may suddenly stop working, from age and wear to actual physical damage.

Thankfully, there are a number of things that you can do from time to time to maintain your door lock and ensure that you can continue to pass through your doors without issue.

Clean the Interior

The main reason why a lock may suddenly seize up is because of dirt, grime, and other contaminants that have made their way into the interior of the locking mechanism. Therefore, in order to keep your locks in good working order, you'll want to clean out the inside of your locks.

Most hardware stores will have a specialized lock cleaning powder, usually containing graphite, which can be used to remove any built up dirt and oil. Simply put the nozzle into the keyhole and spray it in, turning the doorknob several times to ensure that the entire locking mechanism is soaked. You'll want to keep a paper towel handy to wipe off the runoff.

Check for Loose Screws

You should also see if the door lock is snugly fitted into the door. A loose door lock can be forced out of its housing or simply broken down much easier and no longer provides a substantial degree of security to your home. If you find that the lock or the knob rattle around as you try to open the door, you should either tighten them using a drill or screwdriver, if possible, or contact a residential locksmith to come in and take a look at your door lock and tighten it for you.

Remake the Keys

Though this may seem counterintuitive, you should have replacement keys made every year or so. This doesn't mean redoing the lock entirely, but simply having the key that you use every day replaced with an identical copy. This is because older keys that have an excessive amount of wear or damage on them can actually speed up the rate at which your lock is worn away as well. Keep in mind that you should have a copy of the original key that you don't use at all – this will be the 'master' key, or the one that never becomes worn down, from which all your other keys should be cut to replicate.