Most often, a lock will give you fair warning before it fails. By knowing the signs, you can take preventative measures. However, once it happens, it is too late and your best (and quickest!) option is to call a professional locksmith.
When your key keeps turning in the lock, but it does not open the door, first double check that you are using the right key. This usually happens because a piece of the key has broken off. The lock will have to be removed.
Sometimes, the deadbolt is retracted halfway before the little tailpiece breaks off. That will sometimes allow the door to open up, and you will see the lock bolt between the door and the door frame. You can use something to push the bolt back into the lock.
It is still important to call a locksmith, though, because it will break completely at some point. Rather call a locksmith when it is convenient for you than when you’re in a rush to go somewhere.
How to test your door lock
Prevention is always the best way to avoid any locksmithing emergencies. Test your lock to see if it is problematic.
- Close the door.
- Turn the key to lock and unlock the door.
Does the lock turn smoothly and quickly, or does it seem to require pressure? If it does not work easily, it might be a sign that the strike plate is misaligned and that is placing stress on the inner lock parts.
Reat the above process with the door outside of the door frame. If it turns easily, that is a sign that the lock may just need some lubrication, or that the mounting holes are misaligned.
In both cases, the lock must be removed in order to lubricate the inner mechanics with a silicone based spray lubricant. A locksmith will clean and realign the lock at the same time.
Sometimes, the lubricant might help the lock to work more easily, but there may still be some resistance. If that’s the case, call a locksmith to re-bore the mounting holes.
In very cold weather, locks can become frozen, causing the key to stick inside. The lock may continue turning and unlocking the door, but you won’t be able to remove the key. Forcing a lock and key may cause it to break and exposing it to extreme heat may cause damage or injury. Instead, call your local Toronto locksmith to apply lock de-icer to the frozen lock to make it work as it should.
Need locksmith assistance? Get in touch with Primo Locksmith, your GTA lock and key specialist.