Door locks are tiny, confined spaces, where grime, dirt and dust are collected and soon or later will keep you from using your key. Over the years, you will notice that rotating the key in the lock is getting more and more difficult. Of course, key distortions play a crucial role as well and that's why key repair or even replacement is also recommended. Though, the dust and moisture gathered in these little holes of locks will make them stiff. Other parts of the mechanism may also be loose, the strike plate may be damaged and setscrews keeping the cylinder together might be worn.
Such problems will create unsuitable conditions for home security. Lock repair is in fact needed occasionally but you can even prevent such procedures with good lock maintenance. Sticky locks won't allow the key to turn. You may not be able to insert it all the way in, and the lock and the key may even break. Why should you experience a house lockout when you might as well prevent it?
* Use good quality lubricants for your security door locks. Locks ought to be lubricated frequently to avoid having a difficulty turning the key in the lock. The lubricants will clean and oil the lock and, thus, the key will be inserted smoothly and turn without you using force.
* Use some special lubricants before winter, too. Locks freeze in low temperatures and the keys won't be inserted in the lock or break.
* Once you lubricate the lock, use the key to ensure that it rotates fine and hold the latch bolt extending out of the mechanism. It's best if you lubricate it, too.
* Check the strike plate. Make sure it is aligned and the screws are tightened.
* Naturally, you need to keep the outer parts of the lock, doorknob and handles clean. Wipe off oozing lubricants and grime.
* Check the hinges of the door. They must be secured properly against the doorjamb or the sagging door won't allow the latch bolt to be aligned with the hole of the strike plate.