Broken door locks are not only an inconvenience, but they put your safety at risk too. Before you assume a door lock needs to be replaced though, there are a few other solutions you can try.
Some of these solutions you can attempt yourself if you have the right tools available, while others require the assistance of a professional locksmith.
5 Ways to Fix Broken Door Locks
Here are some of the solutions to consider when you’re dealing with broken door locks.
The solution to a broken door lock is sometimes as simple as a few sprays of a dry or oil-based lubricant. Using a quality lubricant, spray the lock a few times to see if you can get it to work. If it does, you can use the lock once again. However, it’s best to get a professional to take a look at the lock anyway to ensure it doesn’t need to be repaired or replaced. Some of the smaller components of the lock could be the cause of the problem and lubrication will only fix the issue temporarily.
2. Assess the Bolt
Over time, a latch bolt or deadbolt can bend and dislodge, which will prevent a door lock from working correctly. The spring of the bolt can also become worn out over time, causing your lock to jam. Make sure that any bolts and latches extend and retract as they’re supposed to. If not, you should be able to replace that part only instead of the entire lock. Attempting to bend a bolt back into place will only damage it further, so this is not recommended. A locksmith can assist you with a repair of this nature.
Related Read: How to Make Your Home More Secure on a Budget
3. Tighten Loose Parts
Broken door locks can also be the result of loose or sagging parts. Tightening the screws and fasteners that secure a lock to the door can fix this problem. However, if the screws and fasteners are broken, you will need to replace the lock entirely. Again, this is something a locksmith can assist you with.
4. Test the Keyway
The lock’s keyway could be the reason why it has stopped working. This can be a difficult problem to diagnose though. Start by inserting your key into the lock. How easily can this be done and are you able to turn the lock? If so, it’s highly unlikely that anything is blocking the keyway. If it is difficult to insert the key, it’s best not to force it and to contact a locksmith. It could be something as simple as debris blocking the lock, but it could also be a worn keyway, which requires the lock to be replaced.
5. Correct the Alignment
Lastly, a lock might be broken because it is no longer interacting with the door jam or strike plate. You can tell whether this is the issue based on how easily you can open, close, lock, and unlock a door. If you need to wiggle the door to get this right, it could be an alignment issue. If you have the proper tools, you could align the lock yourself. You can also contact a locksmith if you are short on time.
Broken door locks don’t always equal replacement locks. There are a number of other issues that could be causing the problem, many of which can be solved at home with the help of a locksmith.