Door Lock Repair – How to Fix Common Problems
A lock that fails to latch properly is a sign that it needs to be fixed. CR’s testers use lipstick to mark the area where the latch contacts the strike plate. Tightening the hinge screws could fix the problem.
Spraying a dry lubricant such as powdered graphite or upvc Window repairs Near Me WD-40 on the lock’s cylinder could also aid.
Check the Latch
The latch is the bolt that extends into the door frame to secure the lock when retracted by the knob or handle. Popular options for increased security include deadbolts and Door Lock repair positive-locking latches. If yours will not close or latch correctly, it could be due to a misalignment of the latch and strikeplate within the door and window repair frame.
A common cause is loose hinges. They can sag with time and cause the latch to be off its strike plate. Use a lipstick test to test. Smear some lipstick on the edge of the latch and attach a strip of masking tape to the strike plate. Close the door and you’ll see where the latch touches the plate. This will help you determine whether the contact is high or too low to function properly.
You’ll require an entirely new strike plate in the event that the latch is more than 1/8″ too high or low. This is a simple task that is usually accomplished without removing the doors. You will need to use a filing to enlarge your strike hole for your plate. The best file to use is a half-round, since it’s a good match to the curve in the strike plate hole.
Once the strike plate is moved, you’ll need to tighten the screws that connect it to the frame of your door. This should be sufficient to allow your door to close and latch properly. If this doesn’t work, tighten the hinge screws on either side of the door to check if this helps.
If the latch is out of alignment even after oiling, you’ll have to take more drastic steps. Try removing the strike plate and using a chisel that is sharp to expand the mortise of the strike plate which allows you to move the strike upwards or downwards. Alternatively, you can use a metal file to alter the shape of the strike plate so it will fit better into the mortise. This is a possibility you may be considering in the event that your vehicle has a lot of bumps and dips along the highway, and you’re worried that it might fall off during travel.
Check the Keyway
When a lock isn’t working correctly, it can make your home vulnerable to intruders. The good news is, certain kinds of problems with door locks can be fixed without the need for a professional. This includes a lock or key that won’t turn. The sooner you notice an issue, the more likely it is to fix it yourself.
If your key isn’t sliding into the lock or turning smoothly it may have rough spots that need to be smoothed out. A locksmith can help you with this however it’s an easy DIY project you can try at home. Move the key around until you can locate the area that causes friction. If you find any of these spots, use a metal filing to smooth out the rough spots.
A jammed or locked bolt or latch is another frequent problem. This can be caused either by debris or by keys that have broken and been inserted into the mechanism. You may try using a pin or needle to get rid of the debris but it’s best to contact a locksmith for a more thorough inspection and removal of the broken piece.
A deadbolt which won’t extend beyond the strike plate could be a sign of a malfunctioning locking mechanism. The screws that secure the deadbolt can loosen over time window and door replacement cause it to move which makes your home vulnerable to burglaries. If the deadbolt continues to shift it may be necessary to upgrade the hardware.
Finally, if you’re having problems with the cylinder lock that won’t rotate with the key, it could be because the key cylinder is stuck. If this is the cause then you should consider using the grease. You could also use a dry lubricant, graphite spray or WD-40 to lubricate your key cylinder and remove any buildup. These items can be kept in a bottle that is convenient and used regularly to keep your locks in good condition. A lock that is lubricated will be more likely to last longer than locks that aren’t.
Check the Hinges
The hinges may be loose and could cause the cylinder of a door lock that rotates easily when the door is open but does not lock when closed. This issue can be easily fixed. To fix the problem, tighten all the screws on the hinges. If the issue continues, you can try adding or removing hinge’shims’ in order to adjust the alignment. These plates of small size can be found in hardware stores as well as online.
You can also smooth the edges of the mortises of the hinges, which are the slots which hold the hinges to ensure that they are in a straight line with the frame. Another common reason for problems locking is that the bolt for the latch may be too high or low in the strike plate. To find out, rub a little lipstick on the latch and then place an area of masking tape on the strike plate. When you close the door to the front, the lipstick will stain any portion of the tape that it comes into contact with. This will tell you if the latch is located above or below the hole.
If the latch isn’t able to engage properly with the strikeplate, it could be due to dirt or grime. This debris can be cleaned by soaking a q-tip in graphite or silicone spray.
If the issue is still not fixed after using a lubricant, the lock cylinder could be stuck and require to be replaced. This is a job for an expert, but it’s not too difficult for someone who is familiar with basic home repair. When replacing the lock cylinder, make sure you choose one that’s been tested and rated by the BHMA to avoid issues with the fit and finish.
The hardware used to lock the door could be cheap or poorly constructed. This kind of lock could require more maintenance and last less than a lock of a higher quality. If this is the case, switching to a better lock repair will usually solve the issue. To ensure that your lock will last for many years, opt for a lock that has a durability rating of B or greater.
Make sure you check the Strike Plate
A door latch that fails to reach the strike plate can cause a range of problems. It may prevent the door from closing and latching properly or make it more difficult to unlock. It’s not as hard to fix as it appears. Sagging hinges, gravity and even movement of the home foundation can cause the latch to be out of alignment with the strike plate but usually a few adjustments will correct the problem.
If tightening and lubricating the hinges doesn’t fix the problem it might be necessary to move the strike plate to a new position to align with the latch. To do this, you must remove the strikeplate and mark the location where the latch is located. Mark this spot with lipstick, caulk, or a strip of masking tape. If the mark is lower than the spot where the strike plate hole is, this indicates that the latch is slamming the plate too high. A lower strike plate position could solve the issue. If the mark is higher than the strikeplate hole, it may be necessary to move the strikeplate up.
Once you have determined the direction in which the strike plate should be adjusted, you can remove the strike plate from the frame. Make sure the screws are in a secure place to allow you to replace them at a later date. You should also grease the keyway of the strike plate to ensure it moves easily.
Then, determine if the contact point of the latch is above or below the strike plate hole. This can be done by applying lipstick, paint or chalk to the latch. After closing the door, you can open it to observe where the mark was left on the latch or masking tape. If the mark is located below the strike plate, this indicates that the latch is hitting the strike plate too low. a higher strike plate position will fix the issue.
To adjust the strike plate make the adjustment, remove the strike plate from the mortise, and then expand it using a sharp knife or chisel and an hammer to allow for the strike plate to move upward or downward to match the latch’s position. Check the door after the strike plate has been moved to verify that it locks and closes smoothly. Once you’ve finished the adjustments, you’ll need to attach the strikeplate back to the door’s frame and fill any old screwholes or gaps with woodfiller that is in line with the frame’s rest.