Door locks are the most used features in a home and are often neglected. Just like any other tool, door locks need to be maintained to work properly in order to keep your home safe. When a door lock fails, it’s usually due to improper installation or a lack of the right support even though it’s made of quality materials. Many homeowners believe the locks on their doors will work without any issues forever. While the maximum grade of hardware will work for decades, it will all depend on how often it’s used and how it’s maintained. Proper maintenance will keep your locks working at top level for a long time.
Door Lock Maintenance Tips
1. Make sure the door is hung properly. For a lock to work properly, the doorway needs to be accurately installed and properly fitted for the lock. When a door sags, warps or binds it will put extra strain on the lock latch and bolt. This will cause it to fail and might just leave you locked out of your home. The gap between the door and the framework will need to be even all around, about 1/8 “ and under a ¼ inch.
2. Make sure the door strike plates and screws are mounted properly. The top hinge to the door frame needs to be secured with at least one screw. This screw needs to be long enough to connect the door into the wall framing around the doorway. This will also prevent sagging and make the door more secure against forced entry techniques. It’s a good idea to add a longer screw that is about 3 inches long to every hinge. The hinge screws are staggered but the screws need to be long enough to reach the middle of the wall. Along the framework, the strike plates and the plate to the deadbolt also need to be secured to the wall framing with long screws.
3. Make sure the deadbolt and deadlatch work correctly. When the door is shut, the deadlatch shouldn’t fall in the strike plate. The dead latch is the little plunger that rides the latch’s flat side. This is a safety feature that is built into entry locks. If it’s not aligned properly, it won’t work right. When deadlatches are binding or busted, it will lead to lock failures. Ensure deadbolts are fully extended in when they are in the lock position, otherwise it’s not fully locked.
4. Clean your door locks. Use a mild detergent and water to keep locks clean. You will do more harm than good if you use abrasive or chemical cleansers and petroleum-based products can harm the lock.
5. Lubricate your locks. Use graphite-based lubricants to lubricate your locks once a year. Most locksmiths recommend you use Teflon and other dry oils. They are the best choice and are easy to use. Simply spray the lubricant in to the keyway, insert the key in and out of the lock and wipe the key each time you do.
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It’s also a good idea to make spare keys right after you’ve installed a new lock. It’s better to make spare keys from original passkeys because keys don’t last as long as the bolts. Contact the experts at Ninja Locksmiths when you have any issues with the locks in your home.