6 Easy Steps to Fixing Window Locks

Window locks are an essential part of home security, providing an extra barrier against intruders attempting to gain access to your house through doors or windows. However, after years of use on double glazing doors or uPVC patio doors, these important lock mechanisms can become loose, damaged or outright stop working. When this occurs, it’s vital to repair or replace the lock as soon as possible to maintain safety.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through a step-by-step process to fix a broken window lock or door locking mechanism. We’ll cover the different types of locks used on uPVC doors and patio doors, including multipoint locking systems. We’ll also provide extra tips on preventative maintenance when to call a professional locksmith, and how to choose the most secure lock replacement.

Read on to learn the key steps to this straightforward DIY repair that you can likely tackle in less than an hour.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

Before trying to fix the issue, take a few minutes to properly diagnose the problem. Check if the door won’t open at all or just feels loose and unsecured. Determine if the lock can engage fully into the locked position, if the door handle is loose, or if the euro cylinder lock is not turning smoothly. By identifying the exact problem, you’ll know whether the fix involves cleaning, lubrication, tightening screws or full lock replacement.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Tools

The required tools depend slightly on the specifics of your lock but commonly involve a screwdriver, pliers, lubricant, rags, replacement screws and potentially new lock hardware or anti-snap locks. Ensure you have all tools on hand before disassembling the uPVC door lock mechanism to make the process smooth and efficient.

Step 3: Completely Remove the Damaged Lock

Take your time fully removing the damaged lock component from the uPVC door or window frame. Keep track of which screws go where making notes if there are differences in length. If the frame utilises plastic insert lock housings, take care not to crack the plastic during this step. With the patio door lock removed, you’ll have open access to clean, lubricate or replace internal components.

Step 4: Thoroughly Clean Internal Components

Use a rag soaked with rubbing alcohol or disinfectant spray to carefully wipe away built-up grime inside the lock housing. Pay special attention to the internal mechanisms like cylinder shafts and hinge joints. Be extremely cautious using liquids around any lock electrical components. Allow all cleaned areas to fully dry before attempting to lubricate or reinstall the lock.

Step 5: Lubricate Interacting Parts

Once cleaned and dried, apply lithium grease or spray lubricant to all moving internal parts where metal or plastic rub together. The lubricant will minimise friction and prevent the somewhat regular sticking problems. Take a few minutes to test the lock function prior to final reinstallation. Fully lubricating and testing upside down helps ensure oil penetrates all internal spaces.

Step 6: Reinstall the Lock

Carefully realign the lock assembly with the uPVC door or window frame holes following your original layout. Tighten all screws evenly until fairly snug using your screwdriver. Engage and disengage the patio door lock or window lock a number of times, ensuring smooth function prior to considering the job complete.

When to Call a Professional

While the steps above work for many basic window lock repairs, certain issues are better left to the work of skilled professionals:

  • Locks requiring soldering during the repair process
  • Repairing electrical components like keypad entry or alarms
  • Installing vastly different lock replacement mechanisms
  • Addressing underlying window balance system issues

Replacing Old, Insecure Locks

Consider upgrading older, less secure locks to modern high-security options with anti-snap mechanisms. Consult a professional locksmith on the best lock replacements to defend against intrusion methods like lock bumping or lock picking. Upgrading locks is also important for older uPVC doors and windows that may need a full repair.

Preventative Maintenance

Don’t wait until your locks fully fail before performing maintenance. Lubricate twice annually, clear any obstructing debris with compressed air and tighten loosening screws. Catching minor issues early on can prevent full breakdowns. Consider proactive lock replacement once reaching 10+ years of use.

In Conclusion

Maintaining properly functioning locks is a straightforward, vital home security task. Follow the steps outlined above when your locks fail to quickly complete the repair DIY-style. Take preventative measures like regular lubrication and replacing outdated, insecure locks to avoid future issues. If certain repairs feel over your head on modern multipoint locking mechanisms, consult a skilled locksmith for assistance.

Here at Plastic Surgery, we offer a full suite of lock repair and installation services, using top-rated hardware to keep your home and family safe. Contact us today for a free estimate or security consultation.

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