Most people have, at one time or another, had an encounter with a jammed door whose lock simply wouldn’t work. While some issues are minor and not worth sweating over, there are some door lock problems that should be fixed right away, preferably by a professional locksmith.
1. Loose Door Locks, Handles, and Knobs
Most door locks have numerous movable parts that constitute a door lock unit. Each of these components are key for the proper functioning of a door lock. Any malfunction in any of these parts will result in the malfunction of the entire door lock. Since locks lose their efficiency with time, any loose door lock should be attended to right away. Loose door locks, handles and knobs are also easy to pry open, hence making them a potential burglar’s dream come true.
2. Door Locks That Are Misaligned
If the locks are misaligned, you will definitely have issues opening your door. Misaligned door locks are easy to spot since the door will simply refuse to open or close. This problem is usually caused by a locking bolt or a latch that does not line up with the strike plate. This is evidence of poor workmanship since it means that the door locks were inappropriately installed. This problem needs to be addressed immediately since it leaves your home or office exposed. If not addressed immediately, you might end up with a damaged door as you try to get it to open or close.
3. Broken Key Inside a Lock
Having part of your key broken and stuck inside a lock can affect other parts of your lock as well, especially when attempting to extract it. In most cases, getting a broken key out of a lock should be left to a professional locksmith. Trying to extract it yourself, unless you are a locksmith, could result in other door lock problems.
4. Jammed Locks and Latches
A jammed door lock or latch is a potential security risk. Don’t postpone attending to it. Attempts to force open a jammed lock or latch could end up damaging your door, especially the frame. A lock may get jammed due to debris accumulating inside it. Having debris jamming the keyway can lead to a key breaking inside a lock. On the other hand, a broken door bolt or latch could be an indication that someone was trying to break into your house or office.
5. A Malfunctioning Lock Cylinder
Your key is supposed to lock or unlock the door. However, should you insert and turn it, and the entire lock cylinder turns, chances are that you have a bigger problem on your hands. While it is easy to diagnose a malfunctioning lock cylinder, fixing it may not be as easy. When you turn the key and the entire lock cylinder turns, this may mean that your set screw is loose or damaged. Fixing this problem might involve accessing and fastening the set screw. This is, however, not as easy as it might appear since it depends on the type of door lock in question—and there are many types in the market. Some of these kinds of issues are easy to fix, but others might present quite the challenge, even to a locksmith.
A door lock problem that appears as an inconsequential irritant could end up being a significant risk if not promptly and competently addressed. Having it fixed as soon as possible is therefore highly recommended. If you are not sure how to fix a door lock, rather than risk damaging your door, you should do yourself a favour by getting a locksmith to bail you out.