If you own a house, youll probably run into problems with your lock sooner or later, if you havent already. While the safest thing to do is to call a locksmith, it may not be your first option when youre on a tight budget. For simple lock problems, you can perform repairs yourself.
As long as you have the right tools and basic knowledge of how locks work, you could try fixing your door locks and save yourself some money. So, if you are confident that you can do it and wont accidentally cause more damage and pay much more than you would have if you had just called a locksmith, then go ahead.
Here are some tips to help you in fixing door locks:
1. If the door lock is sticking, try lubricating it. If you are thinking of oil and grease, scratch that idea. Oil and grease will work okay in the beginning but will soon attract dirt. If dust accumulates inside your lock, then you have just actually aggravated the problem. The right course of action would be to buy powdered graphite.
Just spray the graphite through the hole then put in your key a few times. Spray some onto the latch as well. You may need to disassemble other types of locks, though, to spray into the locking mechanism.
If it doesnt respond to lubrication, disassemble it to see if any of the parts are broken. If thats the case, buy a new one and install it yourself or send in your trusted locksmith to do the job for you.
2. If the door latch and strike plate are misaligned, check if its not your door that is out of place. If your door is in its proper position, then the problem is in your strike plate. Check first if you can file the opening to make it wider so it can receive the latch. If not, then you may need to unscrew the strike plate and adjust it lightly.
If it needs to be repositioned, it would require extending the mortise. After extending the mortise, you may need to fill in a part of the old screw holes to prevent the screws from moving back. Place the strike plate and check if the door latches properly.
If the problem is your door, then you need to adjust the door.
2. If you broke your key into the keyhole, try using pliers to pull out the broken part. If you cant, then disassemble the lock and try to push out the key. If that still doesnt work, then youre going to need to buy a new one or call a locksmith.
Simple problems require simple solutions. But before doing DIY and disassembling anything, make sure you know how to put them back. You might end up creating more problems than what you started with. Some of these are fairly easy and can be done by the majority but theres no harm in asking for help. If you ever encounter problems that require higher skills, click here to contact a locksmith.