Your door and its lock are the most important parts of your home. They may not be parts that you think about very often. But when you do think about them, you'll see that they are what guard and protect your home from the outside world.
Most intruders who attempt to enter your home will try to do so through one of the doors. Thus, having good, strong locks on your doors is imperative.
Just having good locks, though, isn't enough. You also have to be aware of the warning signs that these locks are wearing out. Even the best locks do get older and weaker with time.
By knowing the warning signs of wearing-out locks, you can replace them at the first sign of weakness and better ensure safety for you, your home, and your family.
Locking or Unlocking the Door Gets Harder
When you leave your home in the mornings or get home in the evenings, if you find your key getting stuck or if you notice that you have to wiggle it around a bit more to get the door to lock or unlock effectively, this is a sure sign of a failing locking mechanism.
While you can sometimes improve the problem at least temporarily by applying some lubricant to the lock, this will not work for long. Eventually, you will need to replace the lock, and the sooner you do that, the better.
You Hear Grinding or Screeching Sounds
Sometimes, when parts of a lock are failing, you will hear odd grinding or screeching sounds. This is the noise of the parts attempting to fit together correctly but having a hard time doing so.
This can be due to all kinds of things, such as one part of the lock falling out of alignment or just normal wear and tear. Whatever the case may be, odd sounds when you attempt to use your lock likely mean that your lock is nearing the end of its lifespan.
The Lock Has Been Compromised
If someone has recently broken into your home or the lock was otherwise forced or jimmied open, then you will want to change your locks immediately.
People will sometimes forcibly open doors if they get locked out and don't want to call a locksmith. Also, thieves will sometimes wiggle their way around weak locks with a crowbar and some prying.
Whatever the case may be, when a lock has been compromised, it should be replaced. Even if the lock looks okay and like it wasn't permanently damaged from being forced open, you might not be able to see all of the damage. The lock may be even weaker than it was to begin with. And, honestly, if burglars could force your lock open, the lock probably wasn't all that strong to start with either.
Adequate locks should not be capable of being broken into no matter what. Thus, if you've had yours compromised, consider upgrading your locks instead of just replacing them.
You See Rust or Other Signs of Physical Deterioration
Something else to look for with your locks is signs of physical wear and tear. One of the big ones is obvious rusting. However, other physical signs, like the lock appearing loose from the door, are also noteworthy. These signs prove that your lock is no longer keeping your home safe, in which case you should call a professional to replace it with something more effective.
Remember, you can never be too safe, especially when it comes to your home and your family. If you think you need new locks, call on the expertise of the professionals at Secure Lock N Key.