Common Lock Problems and Fixes For a “Home Sweet Secure Home”
Your Door Lock Isn’t Latching Correctly
If your door isn’t latching correctly, it can be frustrating and cause for concern. Luckily, there is an easy fix. When this happens, it likely means the door latch and the strike plate are out of alignment. To fix, simply tighten the door hinge screws and then, if need be, adjust the strike plate by loosening the screws and shifting it to the right position. If you are unsure about the alignment, look at the strike plate. The marks left from the door opening and closing can give you guidance as to where it’s misaligned. If you find you are unable to seat it right, try replacing the strike plate with an adjustable door strike, or calling a trusted repairman.
Your Door Lock is Frozen
Exterior door locks are exposed to a lot of elements – wind, rain, snow, sleet, salt, etc. Instead of immediately buying a new lockset, try cleaning your lock to unfreeze it. To do this, use graphite and insert it into the lock’s keyhole. Then, push your key in and out followed by operating the door a few times. This will work the graphite into the lock mechanism and hopefully solve the problem. If this doesn’t work, you can always try lock de-icers. These usually contain alcohol to help dissolve dirt deposits in your lock causing it to freeze. If this doesn’t work, the last resort is to disassemble the lock entirely to check if there is a broken or jammed part.
Your Deadbolt Is Stuck
When your deadbolt is stuck that doesn’t necessarily mean your lock is broken. Likely, the bolt is struggling to engage the opening in the strike plate. Check that your strike place is securely screwed in and aligns with the bolt. If it isn’t, take this time to realign your strike plate and deadbolt or if it is misaligned by a small amount – file the edges of the strike plate or around the edges of the deadbolt’s end. Finally, if neither of these solutions work, consult your local repairman or invest in new hardware.
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