The sun is shining and those patio doors are being opened. I’ve been called to a few doors where only a simple adjustment is required to operate smoothly but some have required new parts.

Doors should be serviced annually to keep them operating normally and small adjustments can be made to make sure they operate smoothly.

The following is to be used for guidance.  You can adjust a door so that it will not close/open or lock/unlock.  Make small adjustments, check frequently and if it makes matters worse then adjust the other way. Clearly, as a locksmith company we do not take any liability for what you do to your door.  As with most things, if you are not confident please call a professional.

That’s the obvious responsibility piece completed let’s start with the simple steps:


Brush away any dirt and debris with a small brush (or even a clean and dry paintbrush). Do this with the door open and do the area around the door and door frame.

Wash with warm soapy water with the door closed and then open the door to clean the frame. Brushing initially should ensure the door or frame is not scratched by small stones/debris when washing.


The original WD40 is not a great lubricant for doors (it does help with cleaning and loosening parts) but a 3 in 1 oil or spray lubricant with PTFE or silicon will perform better.

Cylinder/lock- (where you put your key) requires graphite lubricant (a dry powder) and not a liquid lubricant as this can cause debris to get stuck inside the lock.

Hinges-White lithium grease is preferred if you can get to all moving parts but otherwise a liquid lubricant is okay.

Mechanism-like hinges without a complete disassembly liquid lubricant such as 3 in 1 oil should be applied to moving parts.  Lift and lower the handle lubricating in both positions to ensure the mechanism is covered.  Apply a little and be prepared to wipe away any excess.

Door problems

The problem-If your door is ‘catching’ or rubbing or stiff to open and close then your hinges may need adjusting.

Doors expand and contract with the changes in the weather but many doors have adjustable hinges.

With a screwdriver or Allen key you can move the door up/down and bring it closer/move further away from the frame.

Look at the door gaps to determine which hinge may need adjusting-usually a door will pull away from the frame and the gap between the door and frame will be wider at the top. In this example you would simply adjust the top hinge to pull it closer to the frame.  The middle hinge would need to be adjusted also to ensure the weight of the door is distributed evenly.

The problem-When lifting the handle, it is difficult to engage. If the door is open and handle lifted it is very easy to operate.

This could be the hinge that needs adjustment as doors move. See above or the ‘keeps’ in the door frame require adjusting.

Most doors have adjustable keeps (where the bolts/hooks lock into the frame.

Open the door and look at the frame to see the keeps.

If adjustable they will have movable plates. Make minor adjustments and keep checking your door as if it gets worse you can adjust back to normal.

Top Tip-With the door open, lift the handle and look at the moving hooks and bolts for rub marks. This could help identify which keep it locks into needs adjusting.

Keep checking my website/Facebook page for more tips and remember the only locks approved by the Police and Neighbour watch have 3 stars on them.

Dawson-Sawyer Locksmiths are licenced Ultion installers and can install 3 star high security locks that stop the common burglary techniques (snapping, picking, bumping or burning).

Any questions please ring us on 07500 171819