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  • Writer's picture24 Hour Lock and Key

When Should You Have a Portland Locksmith Replace Your Locks?

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

One of the major issues our Portland locksmiths receive calls about is customers whose locks have been working without any problems, only to suddenly have a key get stuck in the lock, the lock to stop turning or for a lock to stick.

A major issue that we see in Portland Oregon and Vancouver Washington is that rain, cold and variable weather conditions can cause locks to rust to corrode. If that happens to your locks, our Portland locksmiths would recommend a lock repair or a lock replacement, depending on the situation.

Portland Locksmith: When To Repair Locks

Our Portland locksmiths often recommend a lock repair if the lock only needs to be cleaned, have a few pins replaced or even just a healthy amount of WD40. For a lock repair to be effective, our Portland locksmiths will often need to take the lock apart, assess the issue and put it back together.

A good example of when a lock repair is effective, would be during the winter months in Portland. Our Portland locksmiths very frequently receive calls from customers whose key becomes stuck in their lock, and they need a key extraction. Our Portland locksmiths are equipped to do key extractions on most kinds of locks, and we often find that when locks freeze, they make it very hard for the key to turn, often resulting in it getting stuck. In addition to a key extraction, our Portland locksmiths may recommend oiling the lock or other minor repairs, to ensure it will work correctly for you in the future.

Portland Locksmith: When To Replace Locks

While repairing a lock is always our first priority, sometimes our Portland locksmiths will recommend a lock replacement if they feel that they cannot guarantee a lock repair will solve the issue. Examples of when a lock repair would be appropriate are when the lock has been damaged beyond a reasonable repair, when a lock has corroded on the inside due to getting wet, when a lock is rusty, or when parts of the lock are broken.

Our Portland locksmiths are equipped to repair locks of almost all major lock manufacturers, and we can offer you lock recommendations based on your individual needs. Some common lock types that we use are Yale locks, mortise locks, Kwikset locks, Schlage locks and more. If you have a ‘do not duplicate’ key, our Portland locksmiths are also equipped to make key copies and assist you with speciality keys and locks.

Another thing you consider when deciding if you should repair locks or replace locks is the security of your home or business. Not only do you want the lock to be functioning correctly, you also want to make sure that you are aware of everyone who has a working key for the lock. If you recently purchased a home, laid off employees or have other security concerns about who might have a key for your locks, rekeying locks is another good option.

Rekeying locks means that our Portland locksmiths change the inside of the lock, reorganizing the pins, to make it work to a new key. They do not change the lock itself, only the inside of the lock. In contrast, if you want to change your locks, our Portland locksmiths would change the entire lock, including the outside of a lock, and it would also work to a new key.

Some common reasons why you might want to rekey locks include changing tenants at a rental property, an airbnb customer losing a key to your lock, hiring or firing employees at your business, or losing a key to your house. For all of these reasons and more, our Portland locksmiths are equipped to rekey locks so they work to a new key, if needed.

Portland Locksmith: How to Care For Your Locks

If you’re reading about all of these potential lock services and wondering how to take care of your locks to ensure that they don’t break or need frequent changing, there are several ways you can do so.

First of all, our Portland locksmiths would recommend making sure that you are not aggressive when you unlock your lock and avoid twisting the key too forcefully. Being aggressive with the key can result in damaging the lock, getting the key stuck or breaking the key.

If you live in an area where there is often rain, it helps if your door and lock are under an overhang or other barrier to keep it from getting consistently wet and avoid corrosion. If it is below freezing, realize that your lock can also freeze up, and avoid aggressively turning the key. Instead, you may want to consider spraying WD40 on the lock if you find the key is not turning easily.

For some locks, you may need to slightly push on your door so it completely closes in order for the lock to lock and unlock easily. This is a very simple step that can keep your lock from absorbing too much pressure or getting stuck.

In short, there are a number of steps you can take to help keep your locks in top shape. If you find yourself with a broken lock that needs a repair, a lock that needs to be rekeyed or a lock that should be replaced, our Portland locksmiths are available to help seven days a week.



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