There are a variety of ways your door locks can become dysfunctional and no longer work correctly. These issues can be especially common on doors that have been in use for years without expert lock maintenance or professional attention. Here we outline the common malfunctions that can occur and the likely causes for such faults to start developing the first place.
If you're handle seems to be extremely loose and spins all the way around, your door lock has likely been snapped and will be almost completely unusable in almost all cases. This usually occurs from heavy handling over time, but can happen if there is one occurrence of extreme force applied to the handle in one particular moment. Every time you use the handle, pressure is applied to the pivoting mechanism that attaches to the lock. If you use the handle aggressively, more and more pressure is put on this part until it eventually it erodes completely and gives way. In many cases the handle will have to be removed and replaced.
The lock in a UPVC door usually features a multi-point cylinder design. If any of the bolts within the chamber of the cylinder are worn enough, it will feel like the lock is becoming stiffer to turn. Sometimes the system simply needs a bit of lubrication to return to working just fine. If any of the points in the lock are significantly damaged however, you can have the lock changed. The cylinder can be removed and replaced with a new one by a local locksmith. Having it done by a professional locksmith means that a new set of keys can also be made to match the new lock.
The doors can become misaligned over time due to slight bends and deformation of their frames. This can impact the locking mechanics of the door as the components are not in the correct position to create the necessary seal. This malfunction is not irreversible. The doors can be realigned so that the locks and handle fit again perfectly. The process can involve disassembly of the door and replacement of some integral frame parts. The good news is however, if this is you issue, you won't necessarily need to remove and replace the doors completely. Realignment is often the more affordable option.