I Think My Lock is Broken – Can I Fix it Myself or Should I Call a Locksmith?
Door locks weren’t made to last forever. But it should go without saying that some situations facilitate the damage – or complete destruction – of locks much faster than their projected lifetime. And in the event that a lock is no longer working up to its full potential, and carrying out the important task that it’s designed for, it either needs to be fixed or replaced.
When the issue of lock repair comes into question, there are two routes one may take: either head to the nearest hardware store to get the tools and supplies necessary to attempt a fix or put in a call to a professional locksmith to have the experts handle the situation. Certainly, some people are handier than others, and successfully fixing a bum lock without professional intervention is doable. Generally speaking, however, the best course of action to ensuring the optimum functioning of the lock is to call a professional locksmith. After all, the last thing you’d want to happen is for you to seemingly fix the issue, only for it to occur once again days or weeks later.
With that being said, here’s a look at some common situations where a lock may become damaged or broken, as well as the complexity of the fix:
This is perhaps the most common lock troubleshooting issue – when you’re able to insert the key into the lock, but unable to get the lock to turn. While these frustrating situations can be prevented by administering a bit of preventative maintenance regularly throughout the year, they can be quite tricky to resolve after they’ve occurred. Forcing the key to turn the lock may only create further damage, yet when an individual wants fast entry, that’s what they commonly attempt to do. The reason the lock has seized up is likely due to the accumulation of dirt and grime. To resolve the issue, you can try several things. For instance, you may try lubricating the keyhole to free up the debris. You may also insert a cotton bud into the keyhole in an attempt to attract and remove the dirt. If either of those fail, it’s best to call a locksmith to ensure the matter is resolved without further damage to the lock.
Frozen Door Lock
In the cold days of winter, it’s common for locks to freeze up. While this is certainly an inconvenience, it’s something that can be somewhat easily resolved with a bit of outside-the-box thinking. For instance, the best way to resolve the issue is to insert a heated key into the lock. You can do this by placing the key in a pot of hot water or, if you’re locked outside, placing the key on the radiator of your car until it warms. If that doesn’t do the trick, contact your locksmith for further assistance.
Learn more about How Changes in Temperature Affect Locks.
Lock Bolt Doesn’t Operate
As we said, in the beginning of this post, all locks have lifetimes. And in the event that the key or knob turns, but the lock doesn’t operate, it’s likely that there is something wrong mechanically with the lock. This could be because of the age of the lock, because it has been tampered with or because something else happened to cause damage the lock. In any case, a mechanical issue means that the lock will either have to be repaired or fully replaced – and each of those are tasks that are best left up to the professional locksmith for best end results. Generally speaking, if the lock is an expensive one, it’s best to have it opened up and repaired. If it’s a cheaper lock, it’s less troublesome and cheaper to have it replaced.
Helpful information for any DIY lock repair: Diagrams of Door Lock Parts.
Picked Lock/ Break In
If your home has been broken into, there’s a good chance that the perpetrators manipulated the locks to gain entry. If that’s the case, then your locks may be damaged. In the very least, even if they’re not damaged, you may be left feeling like they’re ineffective and not secure. In either case, it’s always best to rely on a professional locksmith to assess your locks and home security following a break in. Not only can they make repairs on existing locks, change out existing locks to more secure locks and advise you on other ways to keep your home more secure, but homeowners can rest assured that the job was handled correctly and have peace of mind that the situation was remedied as to make it less likely from another break in happening again.
Nobody enjoys a broken lock, as they greatly jeopardize your home or office’s security. That’s why it is crucial to have the situation resolved and the lock running back up to par as quickly and effectively as possible. And while some situations are able to be remedied by your average homeowners, it goes without saying that other broken lock situations require a lot more advanced, technical know-how. That’s where the value of a credible, professional locksmith really shines. For more information about broken locks and whether or not they can be fixed via DIY methods or if require a professional to address, contact us at Great Valley Lockshop today. Since 1973, we’ve been serving customers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey on issues such as broken locks. Contact us today for input and advice on how best to handle your broken lock situation at (610) 644-5334 or fill out our free online estimate request