The front door offers our homes protection from the elements, intruders and the outside world but is unfortunately overlooked by many in terms of maintenance. We have created our top tips for 2021 to ensure that your door can be in the best shape possible and to answer some common questions about door maintenance. If you are interested in keeping your doors in working order, utilising its lifespan, and maintaining security read ahead!
1. Ensure that your door is properly hung
Locks are designed to work in conjunction with a frame and a handle that are fitted and maintained correctly. A door that is not hung properly sags or binds, which puts an immense amount of pressure on the latch or bolt of the lock, this leads to potential problems such as lock failure.
You can identify if a door might not be hung properly by the gap between the door and the frame. A properly hung door should have a uniform gap across all sides of the door, if you find this is not the case, we recommend calling out a professional Locksmith to adjust your door and to give your door mechanism a once over to ensure that no damage has been done whilst the door was binding.
2. Spring clean your door locks
Much like cleaning a house, you should get into the routine of cleaning your front door and back door locks to ensure that they are free of grime and dirt. This can be simply done by using a mild soap or detergent with lukewarm water.
Be aware that using chemical cleaners on your locks could cause more harm than good as it can strip the protective coating off the lock which protects it against everyday wear and tear, therefore we strongly advise that you do not use such chemicals.
3. Lubrication is key
With the outside of your lock clean, the inside should be too. As one of the most overlooked factors of lock maintenance it is essential to lubricate the internal workings of your lock annually to keep it working properly. This can be done by spraying a small amount of lubricant into the keyway and gently moving the key in and out of the lock, removing any debris from the key before placing it back into the lock.
4. Proper care of keys
Improper use of keys within locks can lead to either damage to the key or damage to the lock, which can cause you hassle and inconvenience. Pulling on your key whilst in the lock to close the door behind you, forcing the key to turn in the lock when met with resistance and forcefully pulling the key from the lock, are all common improper uses of keys that puts pressure on the lock making them more susceptible to breaking and jamming. We always recommend using keys gently when in locks and never using force to either insert a key or open a lock.
Keep in mind that keys are designed to fit perfectly with the internal components of the locking mechanism, so if they lose their shape over time, through forceful use or damage it could cause your key to be unable to interact properly with the lock.
We strongly suggest that you keep a close eye on the condition of your keys and to get a new one cut when your current one starts to show signs of wear and tear. A top tip is to keep an unused original key from which copies can be made to ensure that the new keys are as accurate as possible.
5. Handle maintenance and care
Excessive wear and tear on handles can cause a multitude of issues, the handle breaking or becoming loose as examples. Much like when using your keys, the use of a handle should be gentle and smooth to allow for the latch to have time to disengage from the catch before pushing the door to open. Rough use, excessive weight and forceful entry are all elements that will damage your door handles whether an internal door, front door, or back door.
6. Know when to call in the pros
All doors should be easy to operate, with no force needed to close them, lock them etc. If they are not, then it might be time to call in a professional Locksmith to come out and evaluate the situation. You may be tempted to do the work yourself, but we strongly advise against this as not only could it invalidate your home insurance but can also compromise the security of your home leaving your property vulnerable.
All NGCL accredited Locksmiths are uPVC, wooden and composite door experts, so whatever the issue they will be able to assess and fix with parts from their fully stocked van. Whether it is a door adjustment, lock adjustment or lock change, our Locksmiths are professionally trained to quickly sort any situation and provide a first-class service to our customers.
Should you use WD40 on locks?
Yes, you can. WD40 is a solvent-based lubricant and when used sparingly can be effective in the annual cleaning of locks. However, we always suggest that you research the best lubrication for your lock as there are different lubricants that work better on specific lock.
Do locks need to be oiled?
All locks require annual lubrication to help ensure that locks work properly.
How do you lubricate a lock?
Simply spray a lubricant onto the keyway of the lock, and gently move the key in and out of the lock, cleaning debris off the key before re-entering the key into the lock.
Why do keys get stuck in locks?
A common cause of getting a key stuck is when the teeth of the key gets caught on the internal lock pins and binds with them. This is when the key will get stuck.