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Most common door lock problems

There are so many different reasons why your door lock might not work properly. Sometimes it's a result of poor maintenance, and other times a problem can occur unexpectedly. Either way, there's nothing good about non-functional door locks. First of all, it makes it impossible to enter or leave the building. If your lock is broken or your key got stuck, you have no option but to stay there, with an unlocked door. Most of these lock issues happen when we're in a rush and have no time to resolve them. So, what should you do if something like that happens to you?

As a company with years of experience in the locksmith industry, Sure Lock & Key knows everything about door lock problems. We are happy to share our knowledge with you! If you decide that you need a professional locksmith's help, we'll gladly provide you with our services.

Why is my door lock not working

Imagine it's about 8 a.m. and you're heading out to your office. You close the door and realize that your lock is not working. There are a few reasons for that:
  • Misaligned door lock: This means that the lock is not functioning properly because some of its parts are not aligned correctly the way they should be. It might be the bolt or the latch that doesn't line up with the strike plate, which makes it impossible to close the door.
  • The door lock doesn't turn: There might be a few reasons for that. You may simply have used the wrong key. However, in many cases, the cause can be more complicated, such as some problems with the internal mechanism. To resolve that quickly, you might need emergency locksmith services.
  • Broken Key: Another common problem you might encounter is accidentally breaking your key while locking the door. That's not a pleasant experience because not only will you have to deal with key extraction but also with a lock replacement if the lock is damaged.
  • Loose door lock: This problem is almost impossible to avoid. All locks eventually become worn out over the years. However, you can delay this process by maintaining your lock properly.
  • Jammed lock or latches: One of the main causes of this problem is poor maintenance. Your lock may simply be clogged with dirt and dust. Sometimes, it might happen because some parts deteriorate.
lubricate door latch
  • The entire cylinder turns: Usually, it happens when your set screw becomes loose.
lubricate door latch

Why won't my door unlock with a key

Have you ever been in a situation where you arrived home late at night, tried to unlock your door, but your key just wasn't working properly? Either it turned all the way around or didn't turn at all. The question is – why does this happen? Below are various reasons:
  • It might be because your lock is all dirty and dusty. Your key might simply get stuck in the lock because of it.
  • Another reason is rust. If you don't pay attention to your locks' condition and don't clean them regularly, they might become rusty and the result is that your key won't turn.
  • It might get stuck in the lock if it's freezing cold outside and some water gets into your lock.
  • If you just got new keys, they might have been poorly cut and that's why you can't turn them properly.
  • Your key got stuck in the lock because of misaligned pins. In that case, you might need rekeying.
  • Your key keeps on turning all the way around because the lock cylinder is malfunctioning.
  • Another reason why your key turns but doesn't lock or unlock the door is that the lock was not installed properly.
key stucked in door lock
key stucked in door lock

How do you fix a jammed door latch

The main reason why your door latch is jammed is because of too much dirt or rust. This issue is not really difficult to notice. When your latch is jammed, it will hardly move when you press the handle or turn the knob.
So, because your door latch is blocked by some dust, dirt, or rust, it won't go all the way in, which means that your door won't close properly. How do you resolve this problem and fix the door latch? The best thing you can do is to take the lock apart and clean everything out. You can use lubricant for that purpose.
If you want to get rid of rust, there are a few things you can do. You can soak the parts in vinegar for a while, then scrub the rust off and let the parts dry fully. Another method to remove rust is to cover it with baking soda for a while and then wipe it clean.
After you're done with the cleaning process, it's time to put your lock back together. However, if you're not completely sure that you know how to do this yourself, the best decision is to call a professional locksmith. The technician will resolve the jammed latch problem quickly and efficiently.

Summing up

Door lock problems are quite common and usually they are caused by poor maintenance. It's important to regularly check your locks and clean them from time to time. By doing that, you can prevent many problems and your lock will last longer. However, some issues with door locks can't be predicted or prevented. Your key might get lost or broken when you least expect it and when you're in a rush. That's when 24-hour emergency services can be essential. Sure Lock & Key is ready to resolve any door lock problems at any time. If you need help, please don't hesitate to call us!

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