How to Keep Your Locks in Top Shape: Maintenance Tips from a Locksmith

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Importance of Lock Maintenance

Locks are an essential component of security for any home or business, but they can only work properly if they are in good condition. Neglecting lock maintenance can lead to malfunctioning locks, making it easier for intruders to gain access to your property. By performing regular lock maintenance, you can prevent these issues and extend the lifespan of your locks.


One of the most important maintenance tasks for locks is lubrication. Locks have many small moving parts that require lubrication to function correctly. Over time, the lubricant can dry out, causing the lock to become stiff and difficult to operate.

To lubricate your lock, use a lubricant that is specifically designed for locks, such as graphite powder or silicone spray. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the key and insert it into the lock, then turn the key back and forth a few times to distribute the lubricant. Be careful not to use too much lubricant, as this can attract dirt and debris.


Regular cleaning is also essential for maintaining your locks. Dirt and debris can accumulate in the lock mechanism, causing it to become clogged and difficult to turn. This can also lead to the lock failing completely.

To clean your locks, use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dirt or debris from the exterior of the lock. You can also use a can of compressed air to blow out any debris from the inside of the lock. Avoid using water or harsh chemicals, as this can damage the lock.


Locks can also become misaligned over time, making them difficult to operate. This is often caused by changes in temperature or the settling of the building. If your lock is difficult to operate, you may need to adjust it.

To adjust your lock, first, remove the lock from the door. Then, use a screwdriver to adjust the screws that hold the lock mechanism in place. Be sure to adjust the screws in small increments, testing the lock after each adjustment until it operates smoothly.

Professional Maintenance

While there are many lock maintenance tasks that you can perform yourself, it’s also important to have your locks professionally serviced on a regular basis. A professional locksmith can perform a thorough inspection of your locks and identify any issues that need to be addressed.

During a professional maintenance appointment, a locksmith near me can also perform more advanced maintenance tasks, such as rekeying the lock or replacing worn out parts. This can help to extend the lifespan of your locks and ensure that they are functioning correctly.

Common Lock Issues

Even with regular maintenance, locks can still experience issues from time to time. Some of the most common lock issues include:

  1. Key won’t turn: This is a common issue that can be caused by a number of factors, including a worn key, a misaligned lock mechanism, or dirt and debris inside the lock.
  2. Broken key: Keys can become worn or damaged over time, and if they are forced into the lock, they can break off inside the mechanism.
  3. Misaligned latch: The latch on the door can become misaligned, preventing the lock from properly engaging and locking the door.
  4. Frozen lock: In cold weather, locks can freeze up and become difficult or impossible to operate.

DIY Lock Repairs

While it may be tempting to try to fix these issues yourself, it’s important to remember that locks are complex mechanisms that require specialized knowledge and tools to repair properly. Attempting to repair a lock yourself can cause more damage to the lock and even compromise the security of your property.

Furthermore, if you make a mistake while trying to repair a lock, you could end up causing more damage and costing yourself more money in the long run. It’s always best to leave lock repairs to the professionals.

Hiring a Locksmith

When you need a lock repaired, it’s important to hire a professional locksmith. A locksmith has the knowledge, tools, and experience necessary to diagnose and repair a wide range of lock issues quickly and efficiently.

In addition to repairs, a locksmith in Durham NC can also perform a variety of other services, such as lock installation, rekeying, and upgrading to high-security locks. They can also provide advice on the best locks for your specific needs and recommend additional security measures to protect your property.

Lock Maintenance Tips

  1. Lubricate the lock: Over time, locks can become stiff and difficult to turn. To keep your locks operating smoothly, apply a small amount of graphite powder or silicone spray to the lock mechanism. Avoid using oil-based lubricants, as they can attract dirt and debris.
  2. Clean the lock: Dirt and debris can accumulate inside a lock, causing it to become difficult to turn. To prevent this from happening, clean your locks regularly using a soft-bristled brush and a mild cleaning solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools, as these can damage the lock.
  3. Check the strike plate: The strike plate is the metal plate on the doorframe that the lock latches onto. If the strike plate is loose or misaligned, the lock may not engage properly. Check the strike plate regularly and tighten any loose screws.
  4. Replace worn keys: Keys can become worn or damaged over time, and using a worn key can cause damage to the lock mechanism. If your key is showing signs of wear, have a new key made by a locksmith.
  5. Test your locks: Test your locks regularly to ensure they are operating properly. Insert the key and turn it to ensure the lock engages and disengages smoothly. If you notice any issues, such as difficulty turning the key or the lock not engaging properly, contact a locksmith for repairs.

When to Call a Locksmith

While regular maintenance can keep your locks in top shape, there may be times when you need to call a locksmith for repairs or replacement. Some signs that you may need to call a locksmith include:

  1. Key won’t turn: If your key won’t turn in the lock, this may indicate a problem with the lock mechanism or a worn key. A locksmith can diagnose the issue and repair or replace the lock if necessary.
  2. Broken key: If your key breaks off inside the lock, don’t try to remove it yourself. A locksmith has the tools and expertise necessary to safely extract the broken key and repair the lock if necessary.
  3. Lost keys: If you’ve lost your keys or suspect they have been stolen, it’s important to have the locks replaced to prevent unauthorized access to your property.
  4. Upgrading to high-security locks: If you’re concerned about the security of your property, a locksmith can recommend and install high-security locks that offer enhanced protection against intruders.

DIY vs. Professional Lock Maintenance

While some lock maintenance tasks can be performed by homeowners, such as lubricating the lock or cleaning the mechanism, more complex tasks should always be left to the professionals. Attempting to repair or replace a lock without the proper knowledge and tools can cause more damage and compromise the security of your property.

Professional locksmith in Morrisville NC have the training, experience, and tools necessary to diagnose and repair a wide range of lock issues quickly and efficiently. They can also recommend the best locks for your specific needs and provide additional security measures to protect your property.


By following these lock maintenance tips and calling a locksmith when necessary, you can keep your locks in top shape and protect your property against potential intruders. Regular maintenance can also extend the lifespan of your locks and save you money in the long run.

Remember, when it comes to lock maintenance and repairs, it’s always best to prioritize the security of your property and hire a professional locksmith. With their expertise and experience, they can ensure that your locks are operating smoothly and your property is protected against potential intruders.