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When to go with Lock Replacement or a New Key?

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There are times when lock replacement may seem like the best option for a home owner. However, most security experts say that replacing an entire lock often is not necessary. Many locks can be re-keyed, offering the same security upgrade for less money.

When to Consider Lock Replacement or a New Key?

  • Moving to a new house. This is a pretty obvious situation. You are moving into a home where copies of keys may have been distributed over the years and some copies may have been surreptitiously made – whether by family members for boyfriends or girlfriends or by unscrupulous people who had access to your home. Don’t think when you get a couple of pairs of keys from the old homeowner that you have anywhere even close to the whole universe of keys to the house.
  • A break-in. Most people will change out at least their keys, and often the entire locks, if they have been the victim of a burglary. That is particularly the case if the burglar got in without forced entry. Was the door open or did the intruder somehow have a key? Crime statistics show that a good portion of the nearly 40 percent of burglaries that gain entrance through a door do not involve forced entry.
  • Lost or stolen keys. If a set of keys to the house is lost, the first assumption should be that someone who wants to gain access to your home has the keys. Of course, that is often not the case. But security experts preach being prepared, and it makes no sense to take the risk that no one who may find the keys can even tie them to your home.

Why Choose Lock Replacement Over New Keys?

While experts say re-keyed locks provide the same security as new locks for much less money, there are situations when it makes sense to go with lock replacement instead of making new keys.

  • Upgrade locks. If you decide you want to go from a single cylinder to double cylinder lock or to switch out complete for a more secure mortise lock, that’s a situation where total lock replacement is the only way to go.
  • Fault locks. If you find that your key catches frequently in the lock and a locksmith is unable to clean the lock to solve the problem, or other difficulties arise with your current lock, then getting a new key isn’t going to help the problem. The source of the problem is the lock and only a lock replacement will ensure a fully-functioning lock for your door.
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