Door locks are critical components of your home security setup. However, they are often overlooked when it comes to care and maintenance. As mechanical devices, locks deserve as much attention as your car’s engine. This article highlights the maintenance tips necessary to keep these locks performing optimally.
The need for maintenance
Door locks usually have most or part of their components exposed to the elements. From the front door to the garden shed, the main gate to even the windows, these locks sustain the harmful effects of dirt, moisture, direct sunlight, heat and cold. Over time, the locks will corrode or deteriorate from general wear and tear and you’ll soon notice that the locks are harder to operate, with some breaking down.
What can you do to keep your locks working optimally?
Ensure proper lock installation
While this may seem obvious, some people will insist on a DIY approach, which jeopardises their home security and exposes the locks to early damage. Professionally installed locks work properly, thus minimising chances of damage. Additionally, it’ll be easier to tell if they need attention down the line.
Regularly clean the locks
When you clean other areas of your home, pay attention to the locks as well. Dirt and grime tend to build up in the locks, causing the locks to seize up. Use soapy water and a cloth to remove such dirt, then dry thoroughly. Usually, cleaning them once a month should suffice.
Be gentle with the locks
Too much force when operating the locks leads to malfunctioning and faster wear and tear. This is also the result of banging doors. The best door locks have moving parts that don’t need much force to lock or unlock. Therefore, insert the key correctly and only use enough force to turn it. Additionally, turn the door handle gently, so you don’t cause it to break off. Lastly, avoid locking the deadbolt or latch in place and letting the door swing. That forceful impact on the exposed deadbolt and latch may cause irreversibly damage to the lock.
Lubricate the locks
After cleaning your locks, lubricate them to keep them turning smoothly. Lubrication also helps minimise the chances of corrosion developing. Find out which lubricant suits your locks, then spray some into the locks. Next, turn the keys several times to help spread the lubrication to the internal moving components.
Check the door positioning
Over time, your doors may sag due to wear and tear or the door’s weight on the hinges. In such situations, pressure transfers to the latch and deadbolt. Therefore, you need to check if the door is still correctly positioned. If not, you need to call a carpenter to repair the hinges.
Use the keys properly
One of the quickest ways to damage your locks is to misuse the keys. Have you ever tried to pull the door shut using the key stuck in the lock instead of the door handle? Another common harmful practice is turning the key forcefully when there is resistance to the action. You should instead find out why the key won’t turn smoothly. There may be a dirt and grime build-up in the lock.
Schedule service visits
Besides adopting these maintenance practices, you also need to have the locks serviced by professional locksmiths. Therefore, arrange regular servicing from your local locksmith, and only use emergency locksmith services the moment your locks fail.
The importance of locks to your home’s security should motivate you to care for them and keep them working properly. Locks aren’t cheap, which further necessitates proper care and maintenance. The tips in this article should help significantly extend your locks’ lifespan and integrity. Get in touch with us whenever you need expert help dealing with your locks.