Lock Problems? Here's Everything You Know To Keep That Keyhole Smooth

There aren't many things out there that are as frustrating as dealing with a jammed lock. Maybe you had a long day at work and you just want to get home and relax, but your lock has other plans. If you find yourself experiencing lock problems, don't fret. You're not alone. In fact, the locksmith industry has grown to over 25,000 businesses in the country, so lock issues are definitely abundant. Fortunately, there are some methods for fixing the lock that you can do yourself. Here are a few common lock problems and how you can fix them.

The Squeaky Lock Gets the Grease

The most common solution that you may have heard for dealing with a jammed or sticky lock is to use a lubricant inside of the keyhole. This is definitely a solution that works the majority of the time, but not the way you might think.

A lot of people might suggest that you use vegetable oil or WD-40 to grease the inside of your keyhole. This is not desirable because certain types of oils will attract dirt and dust, while also creating a layer of oily buildup. The solution here is to purchase a graphite solution from your home improvement store. The graphite solution breaks down and does not create the same buildup as the previously mentioned oils.

Simply squirt some graphite lubricant inside the keyhole and slide your key in and out a few times. If this doesn't work, the problem may be with the deadbolt itself.

Check the Deadbolt

If the deadbolt is not aligned, the key will not function properly. The first thing to do is check the latch on the locking mechanism to see if it is sticky. Squirt some graphite solution on the latch and start turning the lock back and forth from the inside.

If this doesn't work, check out the hinges around the latch. If they are sunken into the wood or uneven, that could be why your key isn't operating smoothly. Grab yourself a screwdriver and adjust the screws in the hinges. If that doesn't work, get a hammer and pound the hinge until it reverts back to its natural position. If there is still an issue, check the key that you're using. It may seem ridiculous, but sometimes people have other things on their minds and they simply use the incorrect key to get into the door.

Light It Up

Contrary to what many people might think, the weather is a huge factor when it comes to sticky locks. If you live in a cold area, the inside of the lock may have become icy or frozen. In other words, there might be nothing at all wrong with your lock itself.

If you think this is the problem, simply heat up your key with a match or lighter. Once the key is hot, try sliding it back and forth in the hole. This will break up icy particles and you won't feel the key stick.

Broken Keys  

A sticky lock can lead a person to use excessive force trying to open the door. This will sometimes lead to the key breaking off inside of the lock. While it may seem that at this point you are finally forced to call a locksmith, there is a cheap solution that just might work.

Pop on down to your home improvement store and purchase a key extractor set. Basically, these tools are thin pieces of metal with very small gripping tips. The ends of the tools can fit through the lock and extract the broken key. Think of it like a lock pick with gripping power.

Fixing that jammed lock is one of the best feelings in the world. Slide that key in the lock and feel the frustration slip away. If any of these methods do not solve your issues, then you may want to consider hiring a locksmith. Check out sites like http://www.arapahoesecurity.com for more information.