All mechanical devices have issues from time to time - hopefully minor ones - and door locks are no exception. Most home or business owners will say that their door locks have experiences issues once in a while, and the way that they react to these issues when they pop up determines how seriously the issues will impact the security level of their homes or businesses. Here’s some red flag door lock issues that should be addressed immediately in order to protect the security of your property - as prepared by the residential security experts at Chicago Locksmiths.
Loose Door Knobs or Handles
Usually after much extended use, door knobs and door handles can become loose - especially if they are used on the main entrance of the door. While this issue can seem innocuous, it’s actually a major security risk. Nearly 60 percent of home break ins are carried out through forced entry, and if the locks of your door are loose it becomes way easier for burglars to enter into your home - not to mention the fact that it’s a major fire hazard. Loose door knobs or handles can occur on the inside or the outside of the door, and are usually due to the screws becoming undone over time, or simply worn down. An expert lock repair technician can help fix this by analyzing the set screw, fastener, and spindle of the handle.
Door Lock Misalignment
This is associated with the important parts of the lock not lining up in a way that allows it to properly function. This is usually something along the lines of the locking bolt or latch not lining up flush with the door’s strike plate - which accommodates an extended bolt or latch. This is a common problem associated with the faulty installation of a door, or door frame warping due to weather changes. It needs to be handled as soon as possible, as the longer this issue is left unfixed, the worse it gets - and it can even cause serious damage to the lock bolt of your door, leading to high repair costs - not to mention a major security risk.
Keys Broken in Lock
This is a really frustrating issue that needs to be handled by professionals. This occurs usually when people are quickly attempting to to turn a key in a latch or force it in, and find that the head of the key snaps off from the blade which is still inserted into the key slot. Then, the main issue becomes successfully extracting the key’s blade from the lock slot without damaging the lock mechanism. Amateur attempts to remove it usually take forever, and even if they are somewhat successful - which they usually aren’t - they are likely to cause lock damage. Instead, when dealing with this problem, contact a licensed locksmith to assist you with this issue.
Lock and Latch Jamming
This issue is usually caused by a buildup of crud inside the internal mechanism of the lock - and even if this sounds like an easy to fix issue, it needs to be handled as soon as possible - not to mention the fact that jammed locks and latches could possibly be a result of an attempted break in. This can usually be fixed by applying lubricant that’s safe for the lock mechanism into the keyway gently, and seeing if this removes the obstructing material. If this doesn’t work, contact a licensed lock repair expert, as it’s likely that the latch or bolt will need to be replaced.
Spinning Lock Cylinder
If the cylinder of the lock fully turns when you insert the key, it usually is due to a loose or broken set screw. It simply needs to be reached and tightened up, but this is sometimes difficult depending on what type of lock complexity you are dealing with. For the easiest fix, contact a licensed lock repair expert right away - it will simply save you the time and stress you might expend while looking for a way to access the set screw.