Help! My Front Door is Not Locking
If your front door is not locking, the security of your home is compromised. As well as leaving you feeling vulnerable, a door that can open easily will expose your home to the elements. Knowing how to fix a front door lock is important both for your personal security and peace of mind.
Before you consider a DIY door lock repair, it is worth bearing in mind that lock problems can be caused by a variety of different issues. For example, your front door may not be locking because the handle is broken or because of a defective latch. If you are not sure, talk to a professional locksmith. Remember: an insecure home is an invitation to thieves and is likely to compromise your home contents insurance.
Door lock repair
Modern locking mechanisms are manufactured to very high standards. If your lock is relatively new, the problem is most likely with the latch. This could be the result of something simple such as a loose screw. It is not uncommon for a door plate to shift if screws become loose. Alternatively, the door jamb could be warped. If you know what is causing the problem and have good basic DIY skills, you will be able to carry out door lock repair.
If you are not sure what is causing the problem or are thinking of replacing door locks, talk to a professional locksmith. Fixing front door locks is not always a straightforward task and, where your security is concerned, it pays to get the job done properly. If your door handle has failed internally, it will need to be replaced.
Identifying the cause of a door lock problem
If your front door isn’t locking, open it and take a close look at the striker plate. Is it loose? Has it slipped out of its mortice? If the answer is ‘yes’, you can easily carry out a DIY repair. Simply reposition the plate and use a Phillips screwdriver to tighten the screws.
If your door still won’t lock, check that the door is correctly aligned in its frame. Still not locking? If your door is not warped and is fitted properly, the issue is with the lock. Call a locksmith.
How to fix a door handle
If your lever door handle is not working properly, it is most likely the result of a damaged spring. If this is the case, you will notice that the handle does not return to its correct position after use. Springs in lever door handle are prone to break. You can replace a spring yourself or ask a locksmith to do it for you. If your door uses spring cassettes, commonly used in uPVC doors, it is as simple as replacing the cassette.
While some homeowners use a pair of circlip pliers to replace springs, it is worth remembering that hazards can include metal dust. A novice can easily damage a door or the surrounding paintwork. If you want to get the job done safely and properly, talk to a locksmith.