UPVC Door Locks – Problems and Prevention
UPVC doors are common place in the UK and have been replacing many timber doors in the last 30 years. The convenience of having a multi-locking system on one door is advantageous. However there is a downside to the popular UPVC door. The mechanics of a UPVC door lock are much more complex than a standard mortice deadlock.
As North London Locksmiths we see firsthand the challenges UPVC doors bring on a large scale. More than 50% of the jobs we do are UPVC door repairs. The locks on UPVC doors fail frequently. It is very common that parts inside the lock case break and block up the lock making it impossible for the bolt to be retracted, even with the key.
All UPVC doors have a shelf life. Generally speaking one that is used frequently may only last between ten and twelve years.
UPVC Lock Problems
- Weather variations cause expansion
The weather in the UK, and London in particular, produces a great variation in temperature. A London summer can see temperatures fluctuate wildly between the high 20cs to as low as under 10c on consecutive days.
This issue is relevant to both wooden and plastic doors however it is more of an issue with UPVC doors. This is not only because of the material but that a UPVC door lock by nature requires multiple bolts to be lined up in the correct position when entering the keeps.
- Putting too much pressure on the centre case of the lock
UPVC door lock replacement is often required when the lock jams as a result of too much pressure being put on the centre case of the lock causing a part inside to break. When lifting the handle all the bolts have to work in tandem. They all shoot out of roll up or down and go into place. When they do go into place there is a possibility of friction on the keeps (or strike plates). This can in turn put a lot of pressure on the centre case which could mean something crucial breaking inside the mechanism. This can result in being locked out or into a property.
- Security Risks
It is important to consider the locking mechanism used. The types of bolts that are on the door are critical. Be aware that if you have one latch, one bolt and a number of mushroom (or roller) bolts on the door they can be easily manipulated by an intruder with a heavy duty crowbar or even a screwdriver!. If this is the case it is advisable that you seriously consider replacing your UPVC door lock.
Preventing PVC Door Problems – Top Tips
Everything that is in the lock case is there for a reason; this is why it is vital to take care of your PVC doors. It is important that you adjust anything that puts too much strain on your lock.
A qualified locksmith will have the tools and the knowledge to repair a UPVC door lock however wouldn’t it be better to avoid UPVC door lock repairs altogether?!
When it comes to UPVC door locking prevention is better than cure and could save you a packet!
Tip 1 – When lifting the handle, avoid allowing the bolts to grind.
Lifting up the handle will release the bolts on your door. Try and make sure the bolts are not grinding too much as this is what puts extra pressure on the centre case that controls the mechanism.
Tip 2 – Apply WD40 on the bolts.
This will both lubricate the bolts over time and clean the mechanism inside.
Tip 3 – Security – arrange a security survey with a qualified locksmith
A security survey with a trusted locksmith is usually free and will put your mind at rest. I would suggest searching here for a Master Locksmith in your area. IKS locksmiths are mobile Master Locksmiths and we provide a competitively priced lock repair service in North London.
UPVC door locks are very vulnerable to lock snapping. If you read our post on lock snapping you will see how easily an intruder can access your property using this method. Ideally all mechanisms should have at least two bolts, one at the top and one at the bottom. Ideally they should be hook bolts.
Tip 4 – Choose a timber door where possible
If you are considering changing from a timber door to a UPVC door, I would advise against it. Timber doors with the right locks and reinforcement are far superior to UPVC or composite doors.
If you are unsure about how take care of your existing doors or the level of security they provide or if you are thinking of investing in a new door remember that your choice in both scenarios could have a significant impact on your financial outlay and your security levels. I would advise that you consult an experienced qualified locksmith for advice.
IKS Locksmiths are Master Locksmiths based in North London. Most London Locksmiths don’t stock the parts for UPVC mechanisms. This is where we differ from the competition. We carry a good stock of commonly used UPVC parts. This enables us to offer our customers a quick and efficient service at a very competitive price. We are specialists in UPVC door lock repair. As trusted London locksmiths we pride ourselves on providing the best products whilst offering our customers the best prices on the market!
We would welcome the opportunity to carry out a free security survey of your property.