Having a lock somewhere on your property that isn’t working is not only an inconvenience, but door lock problems are a major security issue.
Whether your front door lock isn’t working or you can’t secure your garage door, you must address the problem. This isn’t something that you want to neglect for too long.
Some common door lock problems could be causing your specific issue. A malfunctioning lock mechanism or latch concern may be to blame.
Your lock could be dirty or frozen. The alignment of the latch and strike plate may be out of place. Even a loose doorknob can result in the locking mechanism not latching.
6 Common Door Lock Problems
Let’s take a look at some of the common door lock problems that are out there, as well as how they can be fixed.
1. A Loose Door Lock
There are several reasons why a door lock can become loose. It’s common with an interior door, especially those with levers.
You’ll notice these door lock problems when you turn your doorknob. Rotating the knob will result in the entire unit shifting or slipping a bit.
If you try to lock the door, you may be able to get the lock turned. However, the lock isn’t engaging in a way that keeps the door securely in place.
This is usually a quick fix. You just need to grab the appropriate screwdriver and tighten all of the hardware. If the lock still is loose or isn’t engaging, proceed to the other potential problem.
You can prevent a loose door knob by not hanging on the door knob or over turning it.
2. Door Locks That are Sticking
Door locks can stick from many door lock problems. The inside of your locking mechanism might be dry or have a dirty buildup.
A quick fix attempt includes applying lubricant spray or powdered graphite to the keyhole. The goal is to get the lock to move again.
If you’re dealing with a lock that is exposed to the elements, there are cleaning products that can be sprayed inside of the lock to help dissolve dirt and grime.
3. A Key is Broken Inside of the Lock
It’s common for a key to break off inside of a lock, especially if the key is old.
Depending on where the key broke off, you may have enough exposed area that you can grab the key and pull it back out.
If this isn’t possible, the lock cylinder will have to be removed from the job. Inserting a tool or wire into the back of the lock’s slot will allow you to push it out.
4. Your Lock is Frozen
Locks can freeze, especially if they are exposed to fluctuating degrees of humidity and temperature.
If any amount of moisture gets inside of that lock and the temperatures drop outside, you’ll be left with a lock that won’t engage. You can try to heat the lock with a hairdryer to melt whatever is frozen on the inside.
You could also attempt to fix your door lock problems by heating your key and then inserting it into the lock. There are commercial products that can de-ice a lock as well.
Check out more on this topic in the article “How To Stop Your Locks From Freezing“.
5. Your Key Isn’t Turning Inside the Lock
If you’re dealing with a new lock, the key may not be properly cut.
However, you have a problem on your hands if this is an existing lock that you’ve been consistently using the same key for. If you have a spare key, try using that spare to open the lock.
If it still isn’t working, the lock itself is to blame. Try going through the steps of cleaning the locking mechanism and assessing any other potential issues that may be present.
Also take into account whether the key isn’t turning when the door is closed and locked, or if the door is open.
If you’re able to open the door but can’t turn the lock at certain points in the process, the alignment of the door when it closes may be to blame.
Tighten up the hinge screws on the door itself to see if that helps. The strike plate may also need to be repositioned. You can unscrew it and move it as needed. Just make sure you tighten it back on properly.
6. Poorly Installed Door Lock
When the door or lock was originally installed, the process may not have been done with accuracy or professionalism.
There are a lot of door lock problems that may have occurred. The door lock may have broken or become damaged because of improper installation.
There is also the possibility that the unit was defective right out of the box. There wasn’t anything that could have been done to prevent the issue, but the lock will need to be repaired or replaced.
Lining everything up is important, and there may be a need for lubrication inside of the lock to get everything moving nicely.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a professional install new locks in your home or office. They can ensure that the job is done right the first time so there are no issues later on with your locks.
When to Call in a Professional
While some lock troubles can be easy to address on your own, there are times when the help of a professional is imperative. You can receive quick attention to the problem without making the issue worse.
When you’re locking and unlocking the same door each day, it’s more common than you think for locks to wear out. Certain internal components may need to be replaced or repaired to keep everything running smoothly.
Some signs that you may need to call a professional include:
- The entire knob or lock cylinder rotates when you are trying to secure the lock with a key.
- The key is turning within the lock, but the lock doesn’t engage.
- Damage to your lock has occurred from someone trying to break in.
- Your lock doesn’t make you feel secure enough. Adding a deadbolt or changing the lock entirely can add more security to your home or office.
- You’ve recently moved, and you would like to have new locks installed to increase the security of your property.
The sooner you spot a problem with your door lock, the sooner you can have the problem fixed. It’s also easier to fix door lock problems that haven’t had time to progress to something more involved and serious.
If you notice a knob or lock in your home is slightly loose, fix it right away. If you feel that you need professional help with your door lock problems, reach out to Green Locksmith for assistance.
Our knowledgeable staff would be happy to help you with all of your locksmith needs, including door lock problems.
We can also help you increase the overall security of your home if this is something that you’re interested in doing to protect your family and your investment. Give us a call today!