A properly working door and lockset is made up of a number of different parts. Specifically, virtually all exterior doors will be installed with a lock, which may utilize one of many different security access systems; a latch and a deadbolt strike; and other pieces of metal that help ensure the door swings properly and shuts tight when latched.
Like any other home appliance, a door and its related hardware requires routine inspection and maintenance to make sure that everything works correctly. The following guide is meant to help you understand the hardware of your door, as well as what you can do if it needs repair or replacement.
Door Hardware Specifics
Nearly all doors are installed with the same (or similar) hardware. To be sure, in order to latch shut, the door must contain a latch on the door, as well as a latch strike on the door frame. And, if the door utilizes a deadbolt, opposite this will be a deadbolt strike in the door frame, as well. Finally, the door will possess a mortise plate that surrounds the latch, as well as a lever or knob to open the door itself. This is not an exhaustive list of the hardware you may see on your door; however, issues often arise with these specifically, so understanding their placement and purpose can help in the pursuit of a remedy.
Inspecting and Maintaining Door Hardware
In general, as a homeowner or business owner, it is imperative that you take action immediately if you notice an issue with one of your doors. And, one of the most common issues to arise with door hardware involves the door not latching easily when shut, or not latching at all. This can be an inconvenience, at best; or a safety hazard, if the door cannot be locked.
Ultimately, if the door is unable to latch, it means either the latch or the deadbolt (or both) is missing the strike on the door foundation; this could be due to the house foundation shifting over time, or the door pulling the hinges downwards.