1. Lubrication is imperative. Locks consist of numerous small moving parts, and in order to keep them working correctly, they need lubrication. Make sure to use something like WD-40 or Tri-Flow, because these will not leave residue that will “gum” up the small parts inside your locks. Just a small squirt where you insert the key could save you a lot of money in the future. Especially here in Massachusetts, the weather can really hurt your locks, so it is vital to keep them lubricated.
2. Take a close look at your key. Every key has “hills” and “valleys” and if the slopes have become less sheer and the key looks worn out, it might not work much longer. Bring it to your local locksmith and have them decode it and cut a “key by code.” This will make it work like new.
3. Don’t force it. Locks are made to endure a lot of punishment, but if the lock has become progressively harder to operate, forcing it to work is going to eventually lead to it breaking. This is the case for all locks, the key and the thumb turn on the back should always be easy to turn.
4. Adjust the strike if needed. Most doors sag overtime causing the lock and the “strike” on the frame to no longer line up. The strike is usually a metal plate chiseled into the door frame. It is essentially, the location where the bolt or latch line and can easily be adjusted with a file. However, never file the bolt or latch itself, this will cause unnecessary damage to the lock.
5. Grab a screwdriver and tighten everything up. Screws come loose overtime. Locate the screws on your door knob or deadbolt and tighten them up. You do not need to crank them down as far as possible, because this could cause future problems, but make sure each screw is snug. This will ensure that the lock is still secured to the door.