Maintaining Your Locks – Why Is It So Important?

Locks are the first bastion of defence out homes and businesses have against unwanted invaders. They’re a crucial yet often overlooked part of every home security system – and sometimes the only precaution in place! As such an important element, it’s no surprise that regular maintenance is key to good performance. That’s easily said, but maintenance looks different for different types of lock. So today, we’re going to tell you what that looks like, and offer some maintenance tips.

First Things First

Before you dive into any sort of maintenance process, you need to know what type of lock you’re dealing with. The more common types of locks include cylinder locks, deadbolts, smart locks and even padlocks. Each one has a unique set of maintenance requirements, as well as characteristics you need to look out for. Knowing what locks you have means you can create a regular maintenance checklist, keeping everything running smoothly.

Why Regular Maintenance Matters

Security: Well-maintained locks are more robust, meaning they are tougher to break or pick. This is an important part of your lock security, and something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Longevity: Like most things, regular care can significantly extend the life of your locks, no matter the make or purpose.

Functionality: Maintaining your locks properly means they are always going to operate smoothly, preventing frustrating jams or malfunctions.

Cost-Efficiency: Proactive care for your locks means they are much less likely to fail, and prevents costly repairs or even replacements.

Maintenance Tips For Different Lock Types

Cylinder Locks

Lubrication: Applying a graphite-based lubricant every six months is the absolute bare minimum in lock maintenance that you should be doing. The type of lubricant you use is important, as oil-based lubricants can damage the internal mechanism of your locks.

Key Inspection: It’s not just the lock you should be checking. Make sure you’re looking over your keys to check for wear and tear, signs of bending or other damage. Bent or worn keys not only damage themselves, but they also cause damage to the locks too.


Alignment Check: Do a visual check on the whole mechanism. Particularly, make sure that the bolt aligns properly with the strike plate. If it’s not, it can wear quickly and stop the lock from working properly. A locksmith will be able to realign your deadbolts for you.

Bolt Lubrication: Apply lubricant to the bolt mechanism regularly to make sure it slides smoothly and doesn’t get stuck. Not doing this could result in it seizing shut, so you need to be careful!

Smart Locks

Software Updates: The beauty of smart locks is that you don’t just install them and leave them to it. Instead, they can be upgraded via software when issues arise, or when an update is launched that will make it safer. Regularly updating your smart lock’s software is a great way to ensure optimal performance and security,

Battery Checks: Make sure you are regularly checking the batteries and replace them regularly to avoid sudden failures, or erratic performance as their power dwindles.


Rust Prevention: Padlocks do have a tendency to rust easily, especially if they’re used outside. The best way to avoid this is to apply a silicone-based lubricant regularly. This keeps the mechanisms working properly and prevents rust from building up on the surface and causing damage.

Shackle Check: The shackle is the weakest point on a padlock, and the most prone to being interfered with. Inspect the shackle for signs of wear and tear, or for tampering.

Seasonal Care

Did you know that the weather can affect your locks? It’s not something most people would think of, but both the hot and cold can have an impact on your lock and how well it works. You can read more in detail here, but the basics you need to know in terms of maintenance is:

Winter: Colder weather can cause locks to freeze both internally and externally. If you’re struggling to fit your keys into your locks, or if a key isn’t turning once it’s in the lock, then it might be frozen over. This one is an easy fix – a little bit of de-icer spray can thaw frozen locks and means you don’t have to force the key and risk breaking it.

Summer: In warmer weather dust and grime are more present in the air, and they can accumulate in your locks very easily. Here, it’s worth cleaning and lubricating your locks once a month.

At My Locks, we don’t just install locks. We provide a complete lock care solution, giving you all of the advice you need to properly care for your locks. That way, you don’t need to see us as often to fix things! If you’d like to know more, just get in touch with the My Locks team, and we’d be happy to help.