Picture this. You’re running late for an appointment. You shut your door, turn the key to lock it, and suddenly…snap. Or, worse yet, you’re balancing two heavy bags of groceries in your arms and you go to unlock the front door, and once again…snap. Unbelievable.
Why do keys break in locks? Is it Murphy’s Law, bad luck or something else? Let’s take a look at why keys break.
Why Does it Happen?
Why do keys break off in locks in the first place? There are several factors that come into play. First, most keys are made of soft metal, like nickel or brass. Soft metals are prone to breaking if enough pressure is applied to them. So, the first reason that keys break is that they aren’t as strong as you’d think. Where do the pressure and stress come from that causes the key to actually break? Most commonly, the culprit is a poorly lubricated lock. Other causes? Warm, humid weather that can cause doors to warp and bend.
What Can You Do to Prevent It?
Keeping your lock properly lubricated reduces the chance that your key will get jammed in the locking mechanism and break off. Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you notice your key starting to stick, or if you’re having trouble in general locking and unlocking the door, grab the WD-40.
If Your Key Gets Stuck or Broken
If your key does get stuck or broken in the lock, you have a few options before it’s time to call the locksmith. The tricky part is – you will need some tools. The catch-22 is that the tools are probably locked inside your house, which you are currently locked out of. So, let’s say you hopefully have access to your garage, or you keep a few handy items in the trunk of your car. What you need is pliers and a can of WD-40 or similar lubricant. Spray some WD-40 into the lock, and then carefully pull the broken fragment of your key out of the lock using your pliers. Do not dispose of the broken key; if most of it is intact, you can take it to the hardware store to have a replacement key made.
What Not to Do
If you are able to reach the broken segment of your key using pliers or a similar tool, a lot of people are tempted to try to unlock the door with the fragmented, broken key. Whatever you do – DON’T. You are more likely to push the broken key further into the lock, causing more damage and making it even more difficult to retrieve the broken key.
Your keys is broken, stuck in the lock, and you’ve tried to carefully pull it out with pliers and don’t succeed. Before you try anything else, the smartest thing to do is call a professional locksmith service. Action Locksmith Inc. is a Michigan locksmith that has been helping residents and businesses with their locks, doors, security and vehicles for over 30 years! Action Locksmith can come to you 24 hours a day 7 days a week and can tackle just about any lock, door or security problem you have. Hard work and dedication has made Action Locksmith one of the most trusted and best locksmith companies in Michigan. Contact us to learn more about how we can help secure you home or business!