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Weather, Soils and Locks

Often, after long periods of rain or dry spells, people notice that they have trouble locking and unlocking their doors. The key becomes hard to turn and, in some cases, won't turn at all which leaves the door in either the locked or unlocked condition.

The main reason for this is the shrinking or swelling of clay particles in the soil and sub-soil under the building resulting in movement of the building structure. Many of Melbourne's suburbs are particularly prone to the shrink/swell action of soils and these include Brunswick, Carlton, Richmond, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Northcote, Fairfield, Alphington, Ivanhoe, Hawthorn, Camberwell, Kew, Glen Iris and Surrey Hills.

This soil movement moves the door frame, and the door which is attached to it, causing misalignment of the lock latch, locking bolt and the strike. The bolt/strike misalignment puts pressure on the latch and locking bolt which is then transferred through the locking mechanism to the key, making the key hard to turn. In the worst cases, the door cannot even be shut or locked properly.

While the effect of soil movement is particularly noticeable in buildings with stumps as foundations, it also occurs in buildings with slab foundations; even multi-story office and apartment buildings suffer from this phenomenon.

The traditional method to fix this problem with wooden door frames has been to move the strike up or down the door jamb which results in additional carpentry and unsightly scarring of the door jamb. Quite often the strike is not installed properly after this operation, due to absence of a good fixing surface underneath, and can work loose and become a problem in itself. Further, it is extremely difficult to move the strike where the door frame is steel or aluminium.

At Keyway Locksmiths, we can normally solve the issue of structural movement and its effects on locks without making alterations to the door jamb. We have developed techniques for timber and metal door frames which are a "once-only" fix so you won't have the problem in the future.

If you are experiencing trouble in closing and/or locking your door, give Keyway Locksmiths a call.

Servicing Melbourne's Eastern Suburbs
Albert Park, Abbotsford, Alphington, Armadale, Ashburton, Ashwood, Balwyn, Bentleigh, Blackburn, Box Hill, Brighton, Brunswick, Bulleen, Burwood, Camberwell, Canterbury, Carlton, Carnegie, Caulfield, Chadstone, Clayton, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Deepdene, Doncaster, Eaglemont, East Melbourne, Elsternwick, Elwood, Fairfield, Fitzroy, Glenhuntly, Glen Iris, Glen Waverley, Hawthorn, Heidelberg, Ivanhoe, Jolimont, Kew, Kooyong, Malvern, McKinnon, Middle Park, Mt Waverley, Murrumbeena, Northcote, Notting Hill, Nunawading, Oakleigh, Ormond, Prahran, Rosanna, Richmond, St Kilda, South Melbourne, South Yarra, Surrey Hills, Templestowe, Thornbury, Toorak

Mobile: 0409 192 224
Weekend emergency service available