Well, here’s a subject people hardly think of! Lock maintenance is never at the front of our minds when we grab a key and use it to access our homes or car. We buy or install locks and expect them to work when we need them to; every time! Good quality locks can last for decades and that’s even with regular use. One thing is quite certain, though; locks do need periodic maintenance if they are to work on demand and last for their full life cycle. Hialeah Locksmith offers these helpful and timely tips that are easy to follow and can go a long way towards making your home, business or auto locks last longer and work better!
Wait; I’m not a locksmith!
No worries! You don’t have to be a lock expert in order to apply basic maintenance for yours. Start by cleaning the exterior part of the lock. Use a damp cloth and simply wipe the lock clean. Don’t fall into the trap of using harsh chemical cleansers; they can damage your lock’ exterior finish as they are very abrasive and not necessary at all. If you insist on using some kind of cleanser, just make sure it isn’t petroleum based and you should be just fine.
About once a year try and lubricate your locks. Again, avoid petroleum based products for this simple job. Use a dry lubricant like Teflon or graphite, instead. Since here in Hialeah, FL we live in a very humid and hot climate that is often wet, it is important that we keep our locks well maintained for maximum performance and longevity.
Simply spray the lubricant into the lock (where the key goes!) and insert your key. Remove it and wipe it clean. Do this again and again until the key comes out clean. For those that feel that they can do it correctly, remove the entire lock and lubricate the latch and the bolt, too.
Check your door!
Your door should be hung correctly if you want to maintain your locks longer. A door that sags even a little puts undue pressure on your locks, and makes them wear out faster. Close your door and check to make sure that the gap between the door and the frame is the same from the top all the way to the bottom. It should be about an eighth of inch for most doors. If your door is indeed sagging, call a trusted handyman or your favorite Hialeah, FL locksmith to adjust it. If you feel that you can do the work yourself, go ahead and do it and save yourself a service call.
Strike plates and deadbolts
Check your strike plate for damage. Broken ones can damage locks so check yours for any wear. The deadlatch should align with it. If you are unsure about any of this, go online and watch any of dozens of YouTube videos on the subject. Speaking of alignment and balance, check your deadbolt locks. Lock them and observe how they performed. Did the deadbolt lock easily and smartly or did you have to struggle to lock it or even lift the door a bit to make it work?
Hialeah Locksmith suggests that you make duplicate keys ONLY from the original. Locks last longer that the keys that open them do. People use keys for a plethora of uses, not always to open locks. We rip open boxes with them, puncture, tear and snap items apart with them and over time and use, they lose their “edge.” What most people don’t know is that using a worn key in your lock tends to damage and wear the lock down, as well. Using worn keys is largely responsible for having to jiggle the key in the lock in order to make it work. When a key starts to show wear, replace it only with a duplicate made from the original!
Avoid slamming the door!
Not only is door slamming rude and annoying, it damages the locks, too! In addition, it puts excess wear and tear on the door and hinges. Not to get on a soapbox but if you really want to make a point; find a better way than to slam the door! We’ve heard some customers say that door won’t shut properly without slamming. Doing this only makes it worse as doors should shut completely and easily. If you have a commercial door with a door closer attached, check it and adjust accordingly so that it doesn’t slam.
Your key is a key; it’s NOT a knob!
We’ve all done it at some point. We insert the key in the lock, turn it, and use the key handle as a knob to pull open the door. This is not good for the key or the lock. It adds pressure on the lock’s inner mechanisms and over time, can wear it out to the point that replacement is needed. There’s another problem with this habit; you can forget that the key is in the lock and leave it there for next time! This allows the next person to have easy access to your property. Best advice; no keys as doorknobs!
Lock maintenance tells a story
Not like a good book story, but it does reveal the condition of the lock. This is because taking a closer look at your locks, keys, hinges and plates can reveal their overall condition that you might not have noticed otherwise. This can lead you to adjust, fix, replace or update them as needed.
Make any adjustments or repairs that you feel comfortable doing yourself, and for the others, call a local handyman or locksmith. For more advanced or specialized locks and hardware work with a full service, licensed, bonded and insured lock professional. Find one that offers 24-hour mobile assistance and that gives free and accurate price quotes and consultations. Remember; your locks are only as good as you allow them to be so take care of them and they will do their job longer and better!