To DIY or Not to DIY: Should You Call a Locksmith To Fix Broken Locks?

DIY projects are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, as they can not only save money but also be incredibly fulfilling. However, it is important to understand that some DIY tasks, if not completed to a high standard, may compromise the security of your property. So there are times when you should hire a professional locksmith. This is especially important when dealing with broken locks, as the decision between repairing it yourself or hiring a professional locksmith can have a significant impact on the security of your home. In this article, we explore various scenarios to determine whether you can DIY or if you need to call a professional.

Minor Lock Issues That Can Be Resolved with DIY Solutions

To begin with, we will explore several situations where you can employ your DIY skills to address minor lock issues. However, it is important to note that you should assess the situation carefully before taking any action.

Dealing with a Frozen Door

It is not uncommon for doors and locks to freeze shut owing to ice accumulation during the colder months. In most circumstances, this problem can be fixed on your own. One method is to carefully apply heat to the lock and its environs with a hairdryer or heat gun, allowing the ice to melt. A commercial de-icing spray is another alternative. It is critical to be patient and avoid using excessive force, since this may harm the lock mechanism.

Rusty or Blocked Hinges

If you have trouble opening or shutting a door, the issue could be rusted or misaligned hinges rather than a malfunctioning lock. To remedy this issue, apply WD-40 to the hinges and swing the door back and forth to achieve even distribution. The lubricant will help to minimize friction and improve the performance of the door. If the problem persists, it is best to get professional help to discover and repair the underlying cause.

The Key Won’t Turn

When faced with a situation where the key fits but fails to turn, it is important to refrain from applying excessive force, as it could potentially damage the lock. Instead, you can try gently pulling the door towards you while turning the key. If this method proves ineffective, it may be necessary to employ additional measures.

To fix a stuck lock, first, apply a graphite-based lubricant to the keyhole and carefully insert the key while jiggling it to distribute the lubricant. If the problem persists, remove the lock cylinder and check it for debris or damaged components. Clean the lock thoroughly and replace any broken pieces. If the problem persists, it is best to seek the help of a trained locksmith to properly diagnose and address the issue.

Broken Locks that Require a Locksmith

However, the scenarios outlined above are the only ones in which it is advisable to attempt a DIY lock repair. In other situations, it is important to contact a professional locksmith such as rather than attempting to handle the problem on your own. You will be able to find a trustworthy and affordable locksmith near you with the skills to address any issues professionally and efficiently.

Busted or Tampered Lock

If you suspect that your lock has been tampered with or picked, it is crucial to avoid any attempts at self-repair. Doing so could potentially damage the internal components of the lock, making it more vulnerable to future break-ins. Instead, promptly contact a professional locksmith. They possess the expertise to assess the situation, replace the compromised lock, and provide guidance on improving your overall security.

Faulty or Blocked Lock Bolt

The lock bolt plays a vital role in any lock system, and if it is not functioning properly, it can compromise your security. Attempting to fix it yourself may exacerbate the issue and lead to further complications. In this case, there should be no hesitation in contacting a locksmith. A professional locksmith will be able to identify the problem, repair or replace the lock bolt, and ensure that your property is safeguarded against unauthorized access. Rest easy knowing that the security of your premises is in capable hands.

Key Breaks Inside the Lock

This issue frequently arises as a result of attempting to repair a key that is not turning correctly or at all. If you’re lucky, you might be able to remove the broken key with needle-nose pliers or tweezers. However, more often than not, you will require the assistance of a professional locksmith. To safely remove the key fragments, they may need to disassemble the complete lock mechanism and use specialist tools.

Final Thoughts

When you need to fix a broken lock, think about the situation and decide if you have the skills to do it yourself. If it’s a small problem, you can try to fix it on your own, but be careful and make sure you know what you’re doing. But if the lock issue is more complicated, it’s always better to call a professional locksmith for help. Always remember that keeping your property safe and secure should be your top priority.

Russell Brooks

Russell Brooks is a security systems expert with a degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. His 17 years in home security and automation inform his comprehensive safety and smart home integration guides. His articles offer practical and cutting-edge solutions for home protection. He is a DIY enthusiast and enjoys building custom automation systems. He sometimes enjoys outdoor activities and is a volunteer in neighborhood watch programs.

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