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Knobs need Screwing and Locks need Lubing

Updated: May 1

When I found myself saying, "Please tell Andy my nob, needs screwed," I realized that door handles and locks often don't get the attention they deserve in a home maintenance routine. Don't worry, this isn't going to be an R-rated article—far from it! Instead, let's explore how proper care of your door hardware can prevent common issues like loose handles, sticking locks, and key freeze.


Fulfilment partner in a squat holding a drill tightening a door knob

Why Lock and Door Handle Maintenance Matters

During a recent home show, I asked attendees, "When was the last time you graphited your locks?" The response was overwhelmingly in the "never" category. Even among those familiar with construction, most admitted they only consider lock maintenance when there's already a problem. Regularly maintaining your door hardware can help avoid these issues and keep your home secure.


Understanding Lock Lubricants

Let's break down the most common types of lock lubricants and their specific benefits:

  • Graphite Lubricants: These lubricants are popular for their weak covalent bonds, allowing parts to glide smoothly without sticking. Graphite is an excellent dry lubricant and is particularly useful in high-temperature settings.

  • Moly (MoS2): Moly is derived from graphite and is known for its corrosion-resistant properties when used as a coating on stainless steel. It also offers slightly better wear resistance under extreme pressure compared to graphite.

  • WD-40: While WD-40 can be a quick fix for a sticky lock, it's important to note that it lacks actual lubricants. Over time, it can cause gumming, making the lock stickier. Use it sparingly and as a temporary solution.

  • Teflon (PTFE): Teflon lubricants are inert and non-conductive, which makes them useful in various applications. However, they can emit mildly toxic fumes if overheated, so caution is needed. On the bright side, they don't attract dust or dirt, making them ideal for dry applications.


Quick Fixes for Sticking Locks

If you find yourself with a sticking lock and no lubricant on hand, try this simple trick: Rub a pencil over your key before inserting it into the lock. The graphite from the pencil can help ease the sticking. It’s not a long-term solution, but it can get you through in a pinch.


A Final Note on Home Maintenance

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regularly maintaining your door handles and locks can save you from frustrating and untimely issues. Trust the experts at Fi Home Services for your home maintenance needs. With a bit of routine care, you can ensure smooth operation and security for your home. It all starts with a free no-obligation Home Walkthrough & Consult.



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