We attended a house in Hawthorn this week – it wasn’t an emergency callout but the owner advised she was having a lot of trouble locking her front door so we came out to have a look at it. In most cases a deadlock will be replaced well before it wears out as a new tenant or property owner changes the deadlock barrels to ensure people with keys to the existing deadlock can no longer access the property. That’s not to say that things can’t go wrong with the mechanics of a deadlock or that they last forever.
We inspected the deadlock and quickly determined what the problem was. The deadlock itself was fine and it looked in an almost new state. The reason it wasn’t working was because the door itself was slightly loose on the hinges. The looseness of the door was placing extra pressure on the lock making it very difficult to turn the key. Whilst the locksmith wasn’t required to fix this – it could just as easily have been fixed by a home handyman it was still a good idea to call us.
At any moment a key being forced in the deadlock barrel could have snapped off meaning we would have been needed in an emergency status which costs a bit more and the door hinges would still have to work been repaired.
After chatting with the homeowner we also learned that she had only recently moved in and did not change the locks since taking possession of the property. We advise her to at the very least change the front and back door deadlock barrels to ensure the property was property secured. Of course we also fixed the door hinge so that her front door opened and closed more easily and also allowing the key to turn easily in the deadlock.
There are many reasons why a door could move putting pressure on a deadlock:-
- Buildings beside busy roads are susceptible to damage from vibration.
- Buildings on clay soil tend to move around putting door frames out of alignment.
- A nearby building site can often cause problems.
- Time. Over time all doors, door frames, and hinges will wear and no longer fit as they should.
A new Hawthorn client’s house was right beside a new block of apartments that had gone up recently and it’s very likely that the heavy machinery and construction work played a role in rattling a few screws loose.
So if you are having trouble with a key sticking in a deadlock should first check that the door itself is closing properly and also check that the faceplate of the deadlock is screwed in as a loose screw in the deadlock can cause a similar problem. Do this and you might well save yourself an emergency visit from a locksmith.
Of course if you get into trouble we want us to sort out for you give us a call and we’ll check it out.