Door locks serve one basic purpose – to lock the door. If your door lock isn’t doing its job properly, it can be extremely frustrating. What’s even worse, is when your door latch gets stuck or tends to get stuck sometimes. You’ll see that the entire handle or knob is in place but something is getting in the way of how the latch works. If this is happening to your door latch, and you can’t figure out what’s causing it, look no further! We’ve put together a list of the top 3 reasons your door might not be latching and how you can fix it!
- The Latch Isn’t Aligned Properly
If your door latch went from working perfectly fine to suddenly being unable to properly latch, you might want to take a closer look at the entire lock and the door. Try opening and closing the door a few times and check if the latch is properly aligned with the strike plate. It’s fairly easy for a strike plate to move around if it wasn’t installed properly in the first place or if the material on the door itself expanded because of the change in weather or because of moisture. If the strike plate isn’t in the right place, it’s going to cause the latch trouble trying to figure out the place where it’s going to latch on to.
This can be an easy or a slightly complicated fix, depending on the amount of realignment you have to do with your strike plate. Close the door and mark the correct location of where the latch hits the door. Then, remove the strike plate from where it is and move it to the correct location. Hopefully, the new location will be far enough from the original one to ensure that you can easily use a screw there without worrying about splintering or the screw loosening. Once you’re done, the latch should be able to work properly!
- The Latch Is Jammed
Another way that the latch might not be working if it’s simply jammed inside the lock itself. Most of the time, this happens because the lock has been in place for a long time and has been slowly catching dirt and debris while the moisture in the air turns it into a mixture that’s so dense it causes the latch to get stuck!
This too should be an easy fix. All you have to do is clean out that mixture. You can first try to clean it while the lock is still in the door. Use a small toothbrush and try to scrub it with some vinegar. If that doesn’t work, it might mean that the “gunk” goes in deeper than you thought. In this case, you might have to disassemble the entire lock and then clean the parts individually and then put it back together. Once the lock is clean, the latch should be working again, good as new!
- The Problem Goes Beyond the Latch
If these two fixes don’t fix your problem. The real problem might be worse. You could have a lock that’s broken on the inside, causing the latch mechanism to fail. This means that you’re going to need to fix the entire lock to get the latch to work again.
Take apart the entire lock and check the individual parts to see if they’re functioning properly with each other. If they aren’t, try putting it back together properly and see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn’t you might have to call Locksmith Birmingham, or a locksmith in your general area, to come and check the lock for you. They’ll either fix the broken section of the lock or if it’s beyond repair, will install a brand new lock for you to fix your problem!