Your home's front door will not provide your family with the security you need if the front door's lock is jammed and your door's deadbolt is not at its strongest. A weak deadbolt won't protect you as it should from someone attempting to gain entry into your home, and a sticky lock can prevent you from using the lock to keep your home properly secured. Here are instructions for repairing your jammed or sticky door lock and reinforcing your door's deadbolt lock.
Repair Your Sticky Lock
When your front door's lock is sticky, it can make it difficult to insert your key in the lock to utilize it as much as you need to. When your lock becomes completely jammed, you won't be able to use your lock to lock the door, so it is important to repair or replace a jammed lock.
If your lock does not slide easily into the keyhole, there is likely dust and debris that have been pressed into the lock and have combined with the lock's lubrication. Over time, this oil and dust can harden and make the lock stick. It is not recommended to use any lubricants, such as WD-40, in a jammed lock. The lubrication will temporarily loosen the lock, but it will become stuck as the oil collects debris and dust and hardens once again.
Instead, spray some graphite powder onto your key and work it around inside the lock, pulling it in and out. Spray your key a second time with graphite powder, if necessary, and continue working the key in the lock until the lock loosens up.
Your exterior door lock can also become jammed during the winter. A small amount of moisture inside your lock's keyhole can freeze when the temperature falls low enough, preventing your key from turning the lock to secure your home. Moisture can find its way into your lock by hitchhiking on your key or from blowing snow, rain, and ice.
Thaw out your frozen lock by heating your key, then placing it into your lock for a minute. You can heat your key by boiling it in a pan of water for a couple minutes. Be sure to protect your skin from the heat of the key and pull it from the boiling water with a utensil. Then, wear work gloves when you insert the heated key into your frozen lock.
If these tips do not repair your lock, you can call a locksmith to repair or replace your lock.
Reinforce Your Deadbolt Lock
Most standard deadbolt locks extend into your door frame by a minimum of one inch. As this length of deadbolt provides security to your door, having a longer deadbolt installed can make it more difficult for an intruder to break into your home. Switching out your door's deadbolt with a longer-length bolt is easy, as you can unscrew and remove the old lock yourself. Most home-improvement stores carry all types of deadbolts, so look for a replacement bolt with a longer saw-resistant bolt that cannot be cut through for entry. Install the new deadbolt into the space where your old lock was.
It is also helpful to replace the strike plate on your front door frame with a more secure plate. The metal strike plate on your door frame reinforces the wood frame with the metal's durability. If someone tries to kick your door in, and your deadbolt does not pass through a strike plate, only the strength of the frame's wood will keep the door from being broken open. You can replace your old strike plate with a security strike plate, which is made from a heavier gauge of metal.
Next, instead of using one-half to one-inch-long screws to attach the metal plate onto your door jamb, use three-inch-long screws to give the strike plate more durability. Also look for a security strike plate that has four screw holes instead of only two. Then, by your screwing some of the strike plate's three-inch attachment screws at an angle into the door frame, they will be driven into the wood's grain at a different angle, creating a stronger anchor point.
These tips can help make your front door more secure. For more help, contact a locksmith after finding one in your area through sites such as http://scscincus.com.