Without thinking about it, we expect our door locks to open. Until the day the lock seizes up, or breaks, and won’t open, we don’t think about it not working. During your busy day, the last thing you want is a broken door lock. Don’t panic, there are some DIY (do-it-yourself) fixes that you can do to remedy the situation.
What causes a lock to seize up or break?
There are several reasons why a lock can malfunction and there are also some quick remedies. First reason, the lock has seized up. You can remedy the situation by checking to see if you can turn the key. Some locks jam due to dirt and grime caught in the lock’s mechanism. Clean the lock by inserting a small amount of graphite powder into the keyhole and move it around with the door key. Or, put the graphite powder on the key. Then, insert the key into the lock. Use a graphite or silicone spray product to lubricate the lock. Don’t use other types of oil. Spray the lock using the directional nozzle. After you let the spray sit for a few minutes, try inserting the key into the lock to move the lubricant around inside the lock.
A second reason for a frozen lock could be due to door weather stripping which misaligns the lock. A misaligned lock could cause the lock to seize up. If this happens, try to remove the weather stripping and place it farther back on the door frame. Moving the weather stripping back allows for less pressure on the door lock and it is easier than moving the door lock.
The third reason for a seized door lock is freezing cold weather. Locks do freeze up when the temperature drops below freezing which is 32 degrees. To thaw out a lock, you can try inserting a heated key. Try warming the key by placing it on top of a radiator or in a bowl of hot water and dry off the key before slowly inserting the key into the frozen door lock. Or, try using a product specifically made to thaw out a frozen door lock. During the cold winter months, it is a good idea to keep handy products that will thaw frozen car locks and frozen door locks. If you cannot fix a broken or frozen lock using DIY methods, consider calling a reputable locksmith to fix the broken lock.
The fourth reason is a door latch that won’t shut which could be caused by misalignment of the deadbolt with the strike plate. If it is a minor misalignment, try filing down the strike plate to see if the bolt will fit the latch. Or, try repositioning the strike plate. Some fixes are better left to a certified locksmith.
Another reason for a broken lock is due to the locking mechanism. If the key won’t turn the lock to open, check for worn parts. Remove the lock and examine it. It might be faster to replace the door lock. If you can’t do it, call upon a certified locksmith.
If your locks are seizing up or malfunctioning often and a “quick fix” isn’t working, a professional locksmith service can help. Action Locksmith Inc. has been helping people throughout Michigan with everything from keyless entry systems and door repair and installation to emergency lockout service and home security evaluation. Contact us at 248-672-0462 to learn more!