Door lock maintenance tips

December 15, 2017

We use door locks every day, more than once or twice. But do we maintain it as much as we use it? Locks are mechanical hardware that needs maintenance just as much any other machine does. The average lock lasts about approximately seven years, but lack of proper maintenance might reduce this time.

Here’s how to get out the most off your door locks,

Is your door properly installed?

A lock only works correctly if the door is properly installed. A door that is improperly installed causes pressure on the lock’s latch or bolt, leading to its damage. Make sure your door is properly hung when it’s being installed, the gap between the frame and the door should be uniform across the top and the sides.

Check the adjacent hardware

Your door’s position also depends on other door hardware like the hinges and strike plates. The door might sag if the screws used in the hinges are not long enough. It will also help prevent break-ins. Just like the hinge screws the plate for deadbolts should be secured to the wall frame with long screws.

The dead-latch and the deadbolt should be properly aligned so as to prevent dysfunctional locks. The deadbolt should operate freely with the door closed, you should not have to push, pull or lift the door to operate the lock.

Clean the locks properly

Cleaning locks is really easy, just use a damp piece of cloth or mild detergent soap water to clean the outside of the lock and the door handle. Make sure not to use any abrasive chemical cleaner, because that will damage the lock more. Most lock has a protective coating that lasts years, but not in case of heavy abuse.


Usually locks need to be lubricated regularly. Make sure not to use petroleum based products, because it might damage the lock more. Graphite lubricants works well, but Teflon and other types of dry lubricants are easy to apply and works best. Spray the lubricant into the keyway, then put the key in and turn it in and out repeatedly. If any debris comes out with the key wipe it off. You can do this once a year. The lockset need to be removed from the door before applying lubricant if you need more through lubrication.

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