On your home's exterior doors, door locks serve as the first line of defence in your residential security, keeping burglars and other intruders out. On interior doors, they allow you to lock a room from the inside, providing privacy.

Over time, residential door locks can develop problems due to frequent use and occasional abuse. Taking corrective action before these problems exacerbate will help avoid expensive lock repairs and premature lock replacements.

Here are a few common problems you may face with your keyed residential door locks and how to fix them.

Dirty door locks

Just think of all the places your key might have been, and you'll realise that dirt and grime can end up in the internal mechanisms of the door lock through a key. Over time, the dust, dirt and grime that builds up inside the lock can cause it to stick, making it difficult to insert, turn or pull out your key.

The professional way to clean a sticky door lock is to use pressurised air to blow dust out from its internal mechanism. They will then spread some graphite powder on the key and gently slide it in and out of the lock until it starts working smoothly again.

Misaligned locks

When your doors have misaligned locks, they won't lock properly. Several factors can cause your door lock to get thrown out of alignment, including:

  • Loose or worn-out door hinges
  • A malfunctioning latch assembly
  • Warped door frames

To get your door lock lined up in a way that allows the doors to lock and unlock smoothly, you will need to identify the cause of the misalignment issue. For example, if the lock will not align correctly due to loose door hinges, the problem can be fixed by tightening the hinges.

Broken keys

Another common problem that you may experience with your door locks is a broken key. Keys suffer wear and tear from the constant friction created as they rub against the internal mechanism of locks. As they become brittle with age, they may eventually break when in use.

In most cases, pulling out broken keys requires specialised tools and work experience that only a professional locksmith can provide.

Even though door locks keep your home safe and secure and provide privacy, they can fail in times of need. Feel free to contact a residential locksmith if you encounter any issues with your residential door locks.