With more of us spending time at home this Spring, many of you may have noticed that we have many more window and door locks than we first thought.
When you’ve come to open them for the first time this year as part of your spring cleaning regime, stiff mechanisms and seized locks may have made it impossible for you to get your windows and doors open correctly to let the fresh air in.
Rather than leaving it until the services of a locksmith are required to fix (or more likely replace) your mechanisms, frequently all it takes is a spot of maintenance to get your window and door locks working as good as new. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you need to be doing as part of your regular window and door lock maintenance.
Carry Out a Lock Audit
Today, we all have more locks that we were probably aware of. Modern homes have many more locks than just the front door and the back door. When you take into account items such as French doors, patio doors, uPVC windows, and skylights, you’ve likely got over a dozen mechanisms in your home upon which you may never have performed any maintenance.
That’s why the best place to start when it comes to lock maintenance is to take a tour of your home, compiling an inventory of your locks. After all, you can’t maintain locks that you don’t know exist!
Start with Door Lock Maintenance
No one wants to come home and put their key in the front door while crossing their fingers that the lock works as it is supposed to. Yet we often ignore door lock maintenance or related problems, until it is something of a specialist job to put right.
The first thing you should do when maintaining any door lock is always to keep your lock mechanism, keyhole and strike plates clean. A cloth should do the job, remember to take care not to introduce new fibres into the lock (which could cause problems in itself) so use a lint-free cloth rather than your old yellow duster!
Flip the lock in and out, and perform cleaning in both settings. Open up the door and give all the levers a clean on your multi-point locking mechanism. Clean the frame and around the door too, since a clean door or window is always the best setting for your locks. However, be mindful not to use soap and water for this process as that can lead to rusting.
Finally, it’s time to lubricate your locks to have them working good as new. A generous helping WD40 should do the trick. The best lubricant is graphite. This removes the potential for attracting dirt and grime to the moving parts of your locking mechanism with tack-free lubrication.
uPVC Window Lock Maintenance
You’ll find that the process for maintaining your window and skylight locks is very similar. Repeat the cleaning steps laid out above, being careful to avoid bringing new fibres from your cloth into the equation. Once the mechanism is clean, its time to lubricate once more, giving it a suitable graphite (or WD40) spray before wiping away any excess.
The difference with windows is the hinge mechanisms. Fortunately, their maintenance follows an almost identical process. However, be careful not to apply too much lubricant. Most hinge mechanisms work on the basis of friction. If you over lubricate you can cause severe damage that requires the help of an expert to put right. Add a small amount, to test the mechanism, and apply again as necessary to have the hinge working as it did before.
Save Money by Carrying Out Your Own General Maintenance
Plenty of locksmith visits can be avoided if homeowners carry out regular general maintenance of their locks. 5-10 minutes spent on each lock every month can save hundreds of pounds. Money which would otherwise be spent on call-out fees and replacement lock mechanisms.
Many visits we make at Securit Locks and Keys can be solved with a touch of cleaning and lubrication. This way you can avoid paying for locksmith services in Portsmouth when your locks reach the point of irreparable damage.
If you find yourself in an emergency, however, we do recommending calling the experts. We offer emergency locksmith services across Hampshire, with replacement lock services starting at just £50.