Broken Lock Repairs: Do-It-Yourself or Call a Locksmith?

When facing a broken lock at home or work, you have a key decision to make in your home improvement journey: should you take on a DIY repair project or look for cheap locksmiths rates …


When facing a broken lock at home or work, you have a key decision to make in your home improvement journey: should you take on a DIY repair project or look for cheap locksmiths rates and hire a professional instead? Deciding what to do depends on a few things: how good you are with DIY fixes, how bad the lock problem is, and how quickly you need it sorted out. A sticky lock on a cupboard might not seem as urgent as your front door lock freezing up, but both situations need the right fix.

To make things easier, we’ve got some straightforward tips for you. Whether you’re up for a trip to the hardware store to pick up tools and give DIY a shot, or you think it’s best to ring up a skilled locksmith, these methods aim to get your lock working again and keep your place secure without too much fuss.

Dealing with a Jammed Door Lock

A common problem many encounter is a lock mechanism getting jammed due to accumulated grime, dust, and small particles over time. These small issues can escalate into more serious lock damage or even broken keys if not addressed.

DIY Approach: Your first step could be using compressed air to blow out foreign objects and dirt from the keyhole. Then, apply a lubricating oil with a spray straw for precision. If the lock still doesn’t budge, it might be misaligned with the striker plate. Experiment with lifting or pressing down the door while trying the lock to see if misalignment is the issue. If so, tighten the hinges by opening the hinge covers and using a Philips screwdriver. You should also check the striker plate to see if it needs realignment.

Professional Locksmith Solution: If your DIY attempt doesn’t pan out, or you don’t have the necessary tools or confidence to try it, a professional locksmith is your next best bet. They can efficiently resolve the issue without straining your wallet. This is especially true if the problem is more complex, like a broken key stuck in the lock. In such cases, a professional’s expertise and tools can quickly and effectively fix the lock with minimal hassle.

Addressing a Broken Lock Bolt

If you find that your doorknob or key turns smoothly but the bolt doesn’t move, it’s likely a mechanical issue caused by normal wear and tear or the aging of the lock mechanism.

DIY Approach: For those inclined towards home improvement projects, purchasing a new lock from a hardware store and following installation instructions is an option. Sometimes, replacing only the faulty part of the lock is more economical.

Professional Locksmith Solution: If you need clarification on which parts need replacing or if you’re hesitant about installing a new lock by yourself, calling a professional locksmith is a wise choice. This is especially true for more intricate lock mechanisms or commercial locks. A skilled locksmith can swiftly diagnose the issue and advise whether a repair or a full replacement is needed. Their expertise ensures that your lock is fixed promptly and efficiently, saving you time and potential future problems.

Tackling a Frozen Lock

In the colder months, it’s not uncommon for locks to freeze, potentially throwing a wrench in your daily routine.

DIY Solution: A quick fix is to warm up your key using your car’s radiator or a pot of hot water. Using gloves for protection, insert the heated key into the lock to gradually melt the ice. If necessary, repeat the process. Alternatively, you can use an aerosol de-icer to target the ice directly. Another option is to use a hair dryer to blow warm air onto the lock, provided you have an extension cord long enough to reach the door.

Professional Locksmith Solution: If these methods don’t work and you need to access your vehicle quickly, the best action is to call an emergency locksmith. They can typically arrive within 30 minutes to offer their expertise.

Addressing Locks Damaged in a Break-In

If you’ve been the victim of a burglary or an attempted break-in that damaged your locks, immediate action is necessary.

DIY Solution: You can consult online guides and tutorials to assess the damage and attempt to replace the locks yourself. However, opting for professional assistance might be the wiser choice with the potential risk of repeat break-in attempts. A locksmith possesses the expertise to replace your damaged locks and enhance your home’s security with advanced solutions.

Professional Locksmith Solution: Locksmiths can advise whether repairs or a complete replacement is needed, suggesting high-security options like a Grade-1 double-cylinder deadbolt or a smart lock controlled by a smartphone.

Final Thoughts

While DIY lock repair can be cost-effective, it can be more complex. Some situations, especially emergencies or complex jobs, are best handled by skilled locksmiths. Having a reliable locksmith service ready to call can provide peace of mind and ensure a prompt, efficient resolution to your lock-related problems.

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