Maintaining Locks And Keys

Most people never give any thought to properly maintaining locks and keys, but this will ensure proper operation and help them last longer. Keep in mind that while you can clean many locks and keys on your own, there will be some systems that require professional maintenance from a qualified locksmith. For instance, a master access control or bio-metrics system will require professional cleaning.

Master Lock Padlock

A master lock padlock is a perfect example when it comes to proper lock and key maintenance. This type of lock may be strong, rugged, and designed to last forever, but sometimes it still needs maintenance to functional normally. Eventually, dust, chemicals, and air particles settle on the inside and outside of the lock. When that happens, friction can occur that causes the lock to perform at substandard levels.

Every three to six months, the lock and key should be cleaned and lubricated. This also prevents the lock from freezing in extremely cold temperatures. Simply use pressurized air to blow out any of the dust and dirt in the key-way and shackle openings. Then, use an approved lubricant, also applied to the inside of the key-way and shackle. For spray, use just a quick squirt, and for liquid, only a few drops.

Once the lubricant has drained, tap the lock on a cloth placed on a hard surface. This will distribute the lubricant evenly and eliminate any excess oil. Next, insert the key and turn it to lock and unlock the mechanism several times. This also helps get the lubricant into all the right places. When finished, wipe off any excess lubricant and allow the lock and key to air dry.

Standard Front Door Locks

For the typical front door lock, proper maintenance is also important. For this, use a soft cloth and mild soap and water to wipe down any buildup of dirt and grime on the outer portions of the lock. In addition, use quality silicone spray lubricant or liquid as with the padlock to get inside the actual mechanism of the lock. The key needs to be inserted, which cleans it as well and distributes the lubricant evenly.

Many people are unaware that all keys that get used (especially on a daily basis) will wear down and cause problems in your locks and when you try to get copies made. The repeated action of inserting the key into the cylinder causes minute wear and over time will cause the key to wear down to the point of it not working correctly in the cylinder. This is most evident in some vehicles ignitions, but can cause any lock to act temperamental whether it be door locks, mailboxes, car door locks, etc.

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