Why Locks Require Maintenance
Like many other things that require maintenance, your locks also require them. When they are neglected, they will begin to lose their effectiveness. No one knows this better than someone who has had to find out the hard way by being locked out of his or her home or vehicle. Since you, no doubt, use your home keys often to unlock your doors; we’re sure you would want the locks to work when you need them to. It has nothing to do with the quality of locks that you have. Even the best, quality locks can fail when they are not being properly maintained. Unfortunately, despite what most people think, locks don’t work forever. While they are made of the most durable metals available and will physically be around forever, this doesn’t mean that they will be as effective as they should without proper maintenance. At Wallingford CT Locksmith our locksmiths would agree that locks have a lifespan of approximately seven to eight years, depending on the level of maintenance.
We want you to be able to get the most for your locks and this is how you can do this:
- Correctly installed door – This is one of the biggest problems that our locksmiths find when they are called upon to replace a lock. If your door is not installed properly it will bind or sag and place pressure on the lock bolt. This, within itself, will eventually lead to lock failure. When the door is correctly installed, you will not have this problem to worry about. There should be just the right amount of space between the actual door and its frame in order for the locks to be effectively installed.
- Door screws and strike plates – The screw that secures the top hinge of the door needs to be long so that it properly connects the door to the wall frame. The longer screw should be about three inches long. Although the hinge screws are placed in different positions, the longer screws have to be placed toward the middle of the wall. You can look at the strike plate to make sure that the deadbolt is secured to the frame with a long screw, just like the hinges.
- Be sure the deadlatch and deadbolts work – The doors deadlatch shouldn’t fall on the strike plate. The strike plate is important to your security. If your lock is not correctly aligned with the strike plate, your home will not be secure. A lock failure is usually caused by a broken deadlatch. If you want to be sure that your lock is secure then make sure your deadlatch is properly installed. Another lock that works when it is able to open freely is the deadbolt lock. If you’re finding yourself pushing and pulling and lifting your door to open it, this is a problem that should be addressed. The hole in the doorjamb has to be deep enough for the bolt to effectively extend into it. Your deadbolt lock will not lock correctly if it is not fully inserted into the hole.
- Keep locks clean – You can easily keep your locks clean by using some type of mild detergent to clean your locks. This is very important if you want to keep dirt, debris and grime from building up and affecting the way your door operates. Never use an abrasive that can damage the lock. Any type of petroleum-based product can also cause damage to your lock. Keep it simple!
- Lubricate locks – Lubricating your locks is just as important to the maintenance of your locks as keeping them clean. This is one of the easiest things that a homeowner can do yet they don’t. Again, we do not suggest that homeowners use a petroleum-based product. The best lubricants are graphite and any other type of dry lubricant. They are also the easy to apply. All that is required is for a small amount to be sprayed directly on the locks. This should be done at least once a year.
- Always copy keys from the original key – Keys will inevitably wear out before a lock. When you are having a lock installed, put one of the original keys to the side and only use it when duplicating keys. This will aid in prolonging the life of your lock.
Trustworthy Locksmith Service
If you have never had your home locks evaluated contact a professional locksmith service today. Only use a locksmith that is bonded and insured. Also, make sure that the locksmith that services your locks has been background checked. This is extremely important and cannot be overstated. You don’t want someone in your home who is casing it out to see how they can get in later. Make sure the locksmith service you select is a part of the BBB (Better Business Bureau). Since they have to maintain a certain standard to be a part of the BBB, this is always a good place to start.
When looking for a reputable and trustworthy locksmith service in Wallingford, CT, make sure you look at several review websites. Just looking at a couple of reviews will not give you a good, overall picture of the service you are considering using to evaluate your locks. Most people like to leave their opinions about a service that they have used, even if the review is short. However, if they have received extraordinary service, no doubt they will let you know. Beware! If there is a locksmith service that you are considering that doesn’t have many reviews at all, this can be a serious problem. We would suggest that you move on to the next locksmith service on your list.
Ask the locksmith service to provide you with a list of the locks they have serviced and what was done on the maintenance call. This lets you know what needs to be done to maintain the locks of your home and where all of your locks are in your home. At this point, you can perform lock maintenance in-between your regularly scheduled maintenance.