For those who have already called on the services of a locksmith in an emergency and had to spend a substantial sum on the repair of a blocked lock, maintenance of a lock seems obvious to avoid blockages. Unfortunately, however, this element is often neglected, risking seeing its proper functioning deteriorate.
It is simple to maintain the mechanism of your locks and thus ensure serenity and security with a few simple motions.
The different causes of a lock sticking
The accumulation of dust and impurities often leads to the malfunction of a cylinder lock. The latter becomes clogged and no longer allows the mechanism to function properly.
Too often, the grease or oil applied to protect it ends up causing buildup, making it impossible to open or close a door properly. It becomes difficult to insert the corresponding key, and the latter does not turn as it should. Using an unsuitable lubricant can therefore be counterproductive.
On tumbler locks, moisture is more likely to penetrate than on cylinder locks, leading to the appearance of rust. The latter jeopardizes the mechanism’s operation, which can induce a blocking of the key or the lock.
To prevent these problems, here are some simple tips that will ensure that your locks are effectively protected.
Cylinder lock cleaning and maintenance
This type of system, used daily, can end up clogging up. So here’s how to make sure your home is opened or closed as it should be:
- Using a compressor or compressed air spray, blow dirt and grime out of the cylinder. A spray directly in the key location helps to get rid of dirt.
- It will then be necessary to spray a non-oily lubricant in the cylinder to ensure its protection. A simple short spray is enough.
- Then insert the key and make sure the mechanism is working properly.
If this treatment proves insufficient, apply a single drop of oil to the key before inserting it into the cylinder. Next, remove it and get rid of any traces on its surface. Then check that the key movement is correct and you’re done.
Cleaning and maintenance of a tumbler lock
As the throat is often open, moisture may settle inside and impurities, preventing proper operation of the entire mechanism. Here’s how to maintain and lubricate these locks:
- First, use a pressurized air spray inside the throat to clean it. The impurities will thus be driven out.
- After that, lubricate the key before inserting it into the groove. Practice a few circular motions to verify that the mechanism is working correctly.
- It is possible to apply a spray of non-greasy lubricant to the throat for better protection.
This treatment should be enough for the lock to work correctly again. In case of more severe blockage, apply a drop of penetrating oil on the lock so that it regains all its mobility. The effect should be immediate.
What products should be used to maintain a lock, and how often?
As explained above, a can of compressed air is particularly effective for cleaning the cylinders or the grooves of the locks. Accumulated dust and grime are usually blown away by the action of pressure.
When it comes to lubrication, a product like Lock Lubricant helps avoid the problems that grease or oil can cause. Indeed, these greasy products can lead to an accumulation of impurities that stick and clump together over time. Therefore, it is vital to avoid their use and prefer a non-greasy lubricant.
Note that it is also recommended to clean your key from time to time. The latter can be dirty and deposit a little of this dirt in the lock with each use. However, a drop of lubricant and cleaning with a cloth is usually enough to restore it to its original appearance.
Note to avoid blockages
If the key becomes stuck, avoid forcing it to turn or extract it. Instead, I prefer a spray of lubricating product and let it act for a few seconds. Then try to put it in motion gently until it ends up coming out quickly.
How often should a lock be serviced?
Locksmith specialists recommend two maintenances per year:
- After the summer, clean and lubricate the lock to prepare it for the winter.
- Maintenance in the spring makes sure to erase the traces of winter and the accumulations of dust.
By doing so, your locks should work smoothly all year round, saving you from having to call for the services of a Locksmith Tampa urgently.
Also, monitor key wear. Severe traces of wear can lead to a malfunction. So be sure to replace a too worn key to avoid any problems.
As with any mechanical part, maintenance is the key to peace of mind. Don’t neglect it! For any kind of lock maintenance service, contact All In One Locksmith. We are licensed (HCLOC18009) and ALOA Certified Locksmith in Tampa.