Rekeying Locks – When Should You?
Rekeying locks is probably the most common service provided by locksmiths. This process essentially exchanges internal lock pins for a new set with different lengths; therefore not allowing the existing key to work the lock anymore and requiring a new key pattern. In several circumstances, opting to rekey locks can end up leading to quite a bit of savings for the customer. But how often should you rekey your locks? Today, the locksmith Houston calls on most will answer this question.
What Is Rekeying?
As we briefly summarized earlier, rekeying a lock is the process of removing the brass pins inside of the lock cylinder and replacing them. To rekey a lock, a Humble locksmith would remove the lock and then extract the core of the lock. This core is made up of 3 critical components, the cylinder or “plug”, the cylinder housing, and the pin-stacks within the housing and cylinder. When a locksmith is rekeying a lock, he uses a tool called a “follower” to push the cylinder out of the housing without releasing the spring-loaded driver pins within the lock.
With the cylinder removed, it’s not possible to remove the lower “key pins” that fit into the teeth of the existing key. These key pins are replaced with new pins of different lengths, making them no longer match the old key, but a new key with a different pattern cut into it. At this point, the locksmith replaces the cylinder within the housing and re-secures it before reinstalling it back into the knob, lever, or deadbolt and reinstalling the whole lock assembly back onto the door.
Benefits of Rekeying
There are several benefits to choosing to rekey your locks when it’s possible instead of simply buying entirely new replacement door hardware. We’ll go over three of the more common ones below:
The biggest reason to rekey your locks instead of simply replacing them is the cost efficiency. If you’re not spending money on locks, only the service of rekeying your locks, there’s simply less charges that you’ll face financially. We’ve discussed rekeying vs changing locks before, and while in some cases rekeying isn’t possible, rekeying will always be easier on your budget when it is a possibility than spending unnecessarily on new lock hardware.
“Key control” is another important reason to rekey, especially if you’ve previously handed out many copies of your key previously. Key control is the concept of knowing exactly who has access to a key to your locks, or who can make duplicate copies of your key. You could have dozens of high-end, new, expensive locks that are properly installed on your doors, but if you’re not sure who has the key, what’s the point of the expense?
Rekeying is a quick, easy way to ensure that you and the people you personally hand your keys to are the only people with access through your lock. This is true especially for landlords with tenant turnover, newly-purchased homes where the construction team may still have builder keys, or newly-purchased older homes, where the previous owner may have handed keys to their friends, family, or anyone else for that matter.
Another note on key-control are specialty key systems like a master key system. A master key system can simplify the number of keys you’re handing out, for example you may have a key for an individual’s office, a key that works every office in that department, and a key that works every department for the owner of the business or cleaning staff. The owner’s key theoretically can be set to work every door “below” it, while the department key would open the office, but not another department like HR. This ensures access to those that need it while minimizing cost by reducing the number of keys you need to have made!
Restoring Proper Function
Everyone’s seen or operated a lock that “just sticks a little” or a key that “needs to be jiggled” to open. This is due to the lock falling out of operating spec and no longer aligning properly due to wear. Locks, like many other types of mechanical devices, are prone to wear or failure over time due to the very slight wear each time a key is inserted or pulled from the cylinder. As both lock pins and keys are made of brass, a soft metal, this issue can become more apparent with well-used locks. Rekeying replaces these worn and rounded-off brass parts with new components that are set specifically to the manufacturer’s spec details and ensures hassle-free operation again in most cases.
How Often Should Locks Be Rekeyed?
Once people understand the process of rekeying, they tend to wonder how often it should be done. The simple fact of the matter is that it should be done whenever you feel like your lock’s security may be at risk. As we mentioned earlier, landlords regularly will have their locks rekeyed between tenants to ensure previous tenants aren’t allowed access to the building after their lease has ended. People who have recently bought homes ideally should have their locks rekeyed soon after closing, too.
Rekeying your locks can also be done if your locks use several different keys to narrow down to one working key, provided the locks are all of the same brand and use the same type of key blank. Offices and other commercial properties can also benefit greatly from a Magnolia locksmith master keying their locks, another form of the rekeying process we mentioned earlier. And of course, you can always rekey your locks if someone possesses a copy of your key that you no longer want to have access for your security or peace-of-mind.
Guardian Safe & Lock – Your Houston Area Locksmith
Luckily; Regardless of if you need your locks rekeyed or another form of locksmith or security service, Houston has Guardian Safe & Lock to call on! Our locksmith and security technicians are licensed, bonded, and insured to restore your peace-of-mind when your security is threatened. Whether you need Houston residential key duplication, commercial key extraction, car key programming, or one of the best Houston Gun Safes available; Our technicians are ready to assist you!
Looking for a more modern form of security? Guardian Safe & Lock has you covered! Our specialists also offer standalone and cloud-based access control installation from several of the best brands on the market, and also can help with both Houston intercom system installation and act as the security camera installers Houston, Texas trusts most to help keep an eye on their property.
With Guardian Safe & Lock, your security is our priority. Call today for a free quote or estimate: 832-534-8687