Of all the things you schedule routine maintenance for, your home's door locks probably aren't one of them. Many people overlook the importance of caring for the lock assemblies on their doors until they malfunction and stop working completely. If you want to avoid the risk of finding yourself or your loved ones locked out and waiting for a locksmith, you'll want to be sure that your locks are maintained. Here's a look at some of the things you should do to care for your locks.
Lubricate the Locks Regularly
The internal components of a lock cylinder include pieces such as springs and pins. These pieces need to be able to move freely for your lock to operate the way it is intended. You can lubricate your locks periodically as a preventative measure, or have them lubricated any time you feel the lock moving tightly or turning hard.
Apply the lubricant inside the keyway of the lock using an applicator tip that's fine enough to fit inside the slot. Once you've applied the lubricant, slide the key back and forth in the keyhole a few times to help work the lubricant around the pins. Finally, open the door and lubricate the bolt or locking latch so that it is free to move when you lock and unlock the door.
Adjust the Hinges
The hinges on your door move every single time you open and close the door. This can cause a lot of wear and tear, and it may even cause the hinges to fail completely. The more proactive you are about maintaining those hinges, the better the chances are that they'll last longer. Tighten the screws securing the hinge to the door and the frame with a screwdriver. Do this periodically, because those screws can loosen up from routine door usage.
It's important to keep these screws tight, because they keep the hinge aligned properly. This helps you avoid a sagging door, which can lead to damage on the strike plate and the door frame. If your hinges are squeaking or the door is getting harder to open and close, consider lubricating the hinges with the same penetrating lubricant you used on the keyhole components. This will loosen the hinge up and help it continue to move freely.
With the tips presented here, you'll be better equipped to care for your home locks, reducing the risk of lockouts and ensuring that your doors are secure. If you're concerned about the condition of your locks, talk with a locksmith about your concerns and request an inspection.