If you manage to break your key in the lock or if the lock itself somehow breaks, it can be a real inconvenience, potentially either locking you out of your house or delaying your plans for the rest of the day. You want to avoid this wherever possible, so we’ve pulled together some tips to help you prevent your keys and locks from breaking. There’s also some advice for what to do if you do find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
How to prevent your keys and locks from breaking
- Replace old or damaged keys – Keys may seem tough, but they do wear down over time and become weaker, making them more likely to break and snap. It is a good idea to replace your keys every few years, or sooner if they become damaged, to prevent them from breaking. The same goes for your locks – have them replaced periodically to keep them in good condition.
- Don’t misuse your keys – It can be tempting to employ your keys if you don’t have a bottle opener or a screwdriver handy, or whatever else you can think to use them for. However, using your keys for things other than locking and unlocking your door can damage them or cause them to weaken over time. This makes them more likely to snap off in your lock or break some other way, so stick to what they’re designed for.
- Lubricate your locks – To keep both your key and the lock in good condition, it is a good idea to apply a lubricant to your lock on a regular basis. This makes it easier for the key to slide into and out of the lock, preventing excessive wear to both the locking mechanism and the key.
- Don’t force it – If you put your key in the lock and feel some resistance, don’t just force the key round to try to get the lock open. Take a second to make sure you have the right key (it does happen!) and that it is in the lock properly before proceeding.
What to do if your key or lock breaks
If you do find yourself with a broken key or lock, then your best option is to call an emergency locksmith. If you try to remove a broken key from a lock yourself or if you continue trying to open the door once the lock has broken, you may end up doing even more damage, making it irreparable. If you need emergency locksmith services in Winston Salem, High Point, Lexington, and surrounding areas in North Carolina, then contact us for our help.
Read some more tips on proper door lock maintenance from this Angie’s List article.