7 Signs Your Door Locks are Outdated and Need Replacement
Locks are one of those things that we generally seldom need to replace, especially if they are high quality.
Yet, there comes a time when even they either stop functioning correctly or simply become outdated and need to be replaced.
Below are the 7 key signs when that needs to happen, and what to do in that case, so you never have to worry about your home’s security.
You just purchased a new home
One of the first priorities when purchasing a new home is to change the locks.
You never know whether the old owners keep a spare key or whom they’ve given it to.
If the property has been on the market for some time, there’s a good chance it had a lockbox on the front door with a key inside, which anyone could have copied, which can get them access to your new home.
It’s also good to remember that most break-in cases involve the burglar having a duplicate key.
So, in the name of security and to minimise the risk of unpleasant surprises, always change the locks to protect your new residence.
That way, you may never have to worry about something going wrong.
Your locks are visibly deteriorating
Even if you purchase the best kind of locks made from the most durable materials, they will eventually deteriorate over time and need to be replaced.
That’s still true if you’ve purchased a new home and you’re using the old locks, but you have no idea how old they are and how long they’ve been exposed to the elements.
Still, we like to fool ourselves that they’re good enough as they are. But maybe the deadbolt sticks a little bit, or it latches only after we tug on it and hold it closed while we turn the key.
However, having old and deteriorating locks is a significant security risk as they’re pretty easy to pick. Or rust and normal wear and tear increase the likelihood they get stuck, which can lock you out of your home and possibly at the worst time.
That’s why, if there are clear signs that your lock has deteriorated or it’s become difficult to open, you may need to replace it so unpleasant surprises don’t occur.
They don’t lock the door correctly
The biggest sign your door locks need to be replaced is when they don’t close the door properly or malfunction.
Over time, the lock mechanism naturally deteriorates, for example, when you sometimes insert the wrong key or simply through the daily activities of locking and unlocking your door. Once that happens, you have a key that sticks and/or is difficult to turn, and that can result in a complete lock-out.
According to expert locksmiths, the average lock lasts anywhere between 7 years up to a decade and a half before it needs to be replaced.
In some cases, the damages can be repaired. That’s when you need to talk to a professional locksmith about rekeying and see if that’s possible. The process itself can fix issues with the cylinder or chamber, while the expert can also improve the lock’s performance by oiling it.
However, sometimes, the best course of action is not to compromise on security and simply replace the lock altogether.
Someone has moved out
Replacing the locks when someone has moved out is also a good idea.
Whether it is a tenant, a roommate, or a significant other, that’s simply the safest option to go for if you want to safeguard your property.
That’s because, even if they’ve returned the key, you can never know if they made a spare or who else they might have given it to.
That poses an unnecessary risk, which can sometimes lead to unpleasant surprises.
So, to have peace of mind, simply change the locks to ensure your home’s safety.
Recent break-ins in the Neighbourhood
If you notice an increase in the break-ins in your neighbourhood, you must consider upgrading your security and maximising your home protection.
One way to do that is to choose a high-quality lock for your home.
There are 3 grades of locks to choose from, with Grade 1 being the toughest and most durable option and Grade 3 being the lowest quality out there.
So, in the face of an increased security risk, it makes sense to spend the extra money and go for the pick that offers the most security. A high-quality mechanism will safeguard your home and minimise the likelihood of break-ins, as burglars tend to choose easy targets.
That way, you will not have to worry about that problem for long.
The technology is outdated
Of course, the locks you’ve had for some time may not be the best anymore on the market as technology improves yearly.
You may simply want to consider upgrading to more advanced types, like biometric or electronic locks.
Whichever the reason, technological advancements increase quality, durability, and security, so it’s only natural we consider upgrading and taking advantage of all that to increase our home’s security.
You want to go smart
Smart locks provide not only increased security but convenience as well.
They’re Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices that allow you to forget about the old house keys and take advantage of advanced smart features like locking or unlocking doors with a fingerprint, voice command, or remotely through your phone.
Smart locks are designed to allow lots of customisation about what happens and who enters your home. These advanced features offer increased control over your home’s security without sacrificing convenience.
You may set limitations for access and take advantage of the auto-lock feature. You may choose to receive alerts on your smartphone or sync in with your video doorbell, for example. Or you may create profiles so your kids can enter safely after school or let in a guest while you’re at work.
The wide variety of features a smart lock provides opens up many possibilities, increasing your home’s security and providing plenty of conveniences. That makes them a top choice when you’re considering upgrading your locks.
So, those were the 7 key signs that show why any damaged, deteriorated, or outdated types of locks pose risks and must be replaced immediately.
Now, whichever type of replacement you choose, just make sure you pick the best and most durable option you can afford.
That way, you will maximise your home’s protection and thus rest easy knowing all your belongings are safe.