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wear on older door locks

Do Door Locks Wear Out?

A door lock is a critical part of your door. It is one of the parts that you do not want to fail. If you have a quality lock, it can last for decades. So you should expect your lock to last about seven years. Door locks last longer when they are properly maintained. It is also essential to have the lock installed properly. Even the best lock will fail if installed incorrectly or not maintained. 

When the locks are properly maintained, they prevent future repairs because they perform better. Conversely, when not maintained, the lock becomes difficult to operate and eventually breaks. 

How Long Will a Door Lock Last? 

The lifetime of a typical residential door lock depends mostly on the quality of the lock, how often it’s used, and where you live. We have replaced a lock cylinder on the original mortise lock of a 100-year-old house. Or, for example, we’ve seen houses that use the same deadbolt for 50 years without a problem and others that need to be replaced after just a few years. If you have a high-quality pin tumbler lock, it should last tens of thousands of key turns, if it’s not abused of course, without needing to be repaired or replaced.  

To estimate the lifespan of a door lock, you must take into account the number of people using the door and the traffic through the door on average. This is because each time the door is locked and unlocked, it adds to the wear and tear of the mechanism over time. Climate and weather are also a factor. Exposure to rain and other elements, extreme temperatures, abrasive dust in the air, and salt all have an impact on corrosion and stress on the metal components of the lock.  

Related article: How Do Changing Temperatures Affect Door Locks? 

What Will Cause a Lock to Wear Out? 

At some point, you will face a lock that is worn out or broken. There are some signs that your lock is worn and needs a replacement. 

If you put the key in your lock, but it will not turn, the lock may have seized as a result of grime and dirt. When dirt builds up in the lock, it will not turn. Also, when oil is used on the lock as a way to lubricate it, it can get on other parts and prevent the lock from working correctly. 

When the door lock does not latch or click into place, it is not appropriately aligned. The lock and strike plate of the door are not in the proper order. When the temperature changes, the lock expands and contracts, and the lock or bolt may be moved out of place. 

When the weather gets extreme, the lock on the outside of the door freezes. When this happens, the locks get dirty, and the internal parts begin to wear out. You may want to replace the lock, but it is possible you may be able to save the locking system. 

When there is a problem with weather stripping, it can cause a problem with the lock. It can also cause the lock to be misaligned, which can stop it from working. In addition, the weatherstripping causes the exterior paint to erode. This erosion also decays the destruction of the door lock on the inside. 

What Can You Do to Maintain Locks So They Last? 

There are some steps you can take to maintain your locks, so they last as long as possible. A lock cannot work correctly when your door is hung improperly. When the door sags, it creates pressure on the lock, which can cause it to fail. If you ensure the gap is uniform around the sides and top. 

You want to make sure that your locks are clean. Locks are incredibly easy to clean. You can use a damp rag. If that does not work, you can use mild detergent or soap. If you use a chemical or something abrasive, it can ruin your lock. It can also wear away the protective coating on the lock. 

In addition to cleaning the lock on the outside, you should use lubricant on the inside of the lock. Lubrication is a common way to maintain your locks. When lubricating the inside of the lock, you should avoid petroleum. Dry lubricants and Teflon are the easiest and best to apply. It would be best if you continued to clean your keys every time you put them in the lock. 

You want to make sure that your deadbolt and dead latch work properly. The dead latch should fall on the strike plate when the door is closed. The dead latch is a critical part of your locking system, but it does not work when not aligned properly. It would help if you did not have to lift, push, or pull the door to get the lock to work. You want to make sure the hole for the deadbolt is deep enough for the bolt to extend entirely into it. When the deadbolt does not fully extend, it is not locked. When it does not lock, it cannot protect you. 

Related article: How to Restore the Locks on Your Home. 

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