Though they do not get as much attention as the front door of your house, sliding doors are a secure gateway to your home. Most homeowners have acknowledged using slide door entrances or exits more often than their front doors.
Slide doors have, however, had the negative reputation of being insecure than most front doors. That is primarily because most manufacturers do not pay attention to safety when constructing sliding doors. This article will guide you to the most secure sliding lock for your door available in the market and how to make your sliding door secure.
Types of sliding door locks
If the security of your home is your biggest concern, the best place to begin is by understanding the different types of glass sliding door locks. Locks are considered the weakest spot a burglar will exploit in a sliding glass door.
Here are some of the options available if you are looking to replace your insecure sliding glass door lock.
Two-Bolt Sliding Door Locks
Two-bolt sliding door locks are often available in most online markets and reputable hardware stores all over the country. They are commercial-grade locks hence are reliable as upgrades to the security of your home.
They are easy to install at any height on your sliding door, which means they can be used to supplement your already installed locks instead of totally replacing them.
The two-bolt system secures the door by sliding a fortified steel bolt into the door frame when clicked into the lock position. A two-bolt door lock is an excellent way of adding a level of security to your home.
Sliding Glass Doors Smart Locks
As technology is continually revolutionizing other sectors of the economy, so is it in home security. The new smart lock technology has already found a home in a few sliding door locks manufacturers. Though only a few smart sliding door locks are currently available in the market, they are quickly gaining popularity.
Padiolock, for instance, is one of the keyless lock options available for customers in online stores. The lock can be activated from inside the house as well as outside the home.
As these locks boast tamper-resistant features, they are now offering users options to boost their security that was formerly considered impossible. For instance, the locks can notify you if anyone attempts to unlock them without your knowledge.
Additionally, homeowners claim the locks enable them to keep their doors locked more often, given the fact that they are so easy to unlock. Their ease of use is also an advantage in emergency situations like fires that might require people to exit the building in a hurry. Traditional locks that have to be keyed may pose a significant risk in these scenarios.
You have most probably heard of or maybe even used smart garage locks or smart electronic locks. Like these locks, smart sliding door locks are intuitive, secure, and convenient for users. Thanks to the locks, you and your family can now enter a security code through their gadgets to access your home.
You could also create temporary codes for friends, workers, or dog walkers that want to access the house. Smart locks also offer their administrator(s) to switch to a different code if they feel the family access code is compromised.
Apart from investing in a superior door lock to secure your home, you could also put up a slide-locking bar. A slide-locking bar could be made from a range of materials, including wood, steel, and iron, among others.
I would recommend using a steel bar since its harder to break than most other materials and could efficiently be designed to match the style of your glass sliding door.
It is recommendable to invest in a slide locking door to keep the latch closed even if it is not in good condition. Slide-locking bars are mostly installed at the bottom of the door for smooth operation, even for short family members.
It is also an extreme security measure, especially when your locks are damaged or have been mastered by burglars. Unfortunately, slide-lock bars will need you to remember to put them in place before leaving the house or going to sleep. Most slide bar lock users forget to slide them into position during these critical periods.
Weaknesses of a Sliding Door Locks
Burglars are in the constant lookout for locks with vulnerabilities for a quick and undetected entry to the house. Having a glass door lock that is compromised will allow a quick burglar entry into your home without having to use lock picking tools.
While they can be easy to use when entering or leaving your home, sliding glass door locks can be prone to several problems. The problems could stem from your latch’s alignment or missing pieces in the lock system.
Most issues with sliding glass door locks will prevent you from being able to lock them securely. Mentioned below are a majority of the most common challenges associated with sliding door locks.
1. Slow Door Locks
It is relatively easy to fix slow locks. The problem mostly occurs when your locks accumulate grime and dirt particles over time. You can attempt a Do It Yourself method to fix this issue. Insert a cotton swab, or any other soft cleaning material into the lock to attract the dirt particles.
If cleaning using a cotton swab doesn’t work, you will need to lubricate it. However, never use oil or grease to lubricate your locks. They can actually clog up your lock and cause even more severe problems.
Always use graphite to lubricate all your slow locks. You can also use silicone spray in case graphite is unavailable or inefficient in your slow door lock.
2. Lock Seizures
Lock seizures prevent you from turning the key when trying to unlock them. You will be free from this problem if you are using smart locks to secure your sliding doors. It is the most common problem in locks. There are a number of reasons why the problem could happen. However, the most common reason is attempting to force a false key.
Forcing a key into a door lock could cause even more serious damages to your lock, such as breaking the key inside the lock. If your door lock has lock seizures, you could try lubricating the lock with silicone spray or graphite. If this method does not work for your scenario, you should probably call a lock expert.
3. Stuck Bolt or dysfunctional Lock
Mechanical issues almost always cause stuck bolts and lock failures. If your lock has this problem, it is advisable to attempt finding a lock expert that can find the source of your lock problem. However, more often than not, it is not worth it trying to fix the issue.
Locks with stuck bolts cost almost the same to replace and to fix. Obviously, it is wise to replace it rather than struggle with fixing the faulty sliding door lock. You will have to replace dysfunctional locks as fast and efficiently as possible. Stuck bolts could mean that your sliding door cannot lock securely, which invites burglars into your home.
4. Key broke in lock
One of the most stubborn lock problems in the U.S. is broken keys. When you have broken a key inside your glass sliding locks have keys broken in them, there are a few solutions available to fix them. However, it is more advisable to try implementing measures to prevent the scenario from happening.
One way of avoiding this issue is by slowing down when keying your locks. Take your time when using a key to unlock or lock your locks. Avoiding unlocking your door in a hurry will help you prevent key breakages in any of your locks.
5. Key inserting problems
A number of factors can lead to you being unable to insert a key into your lock. However, you must make sure you are trying to use the right key because some keys may not be modelled to fit into your lock’s keyhole.
While it might seem straightforward to many people, solving this issue might require you to think outside the box. If the key that broke is a newly-cut key, there is a chance the key was poorly cut. It is for this reason that it is essential to find an experienced and reliable locksmith to make copies of your keys for you.
Another way of preventing the scenario is by using smart locks on your sliding glass doors. If the issue is not resolved, it is advisable to contact a qualified locksmith to get the issue resolved. Some manufacturers will even offer to make a new key for you free of charge.
Tips how to make Sliding Door more secure
Keeping your family safe means that every entry point in your home must be secured. From windows to front and back doors, you should ensure that any potential point of entry has the proper mechanisms to deter potential criminals.
Siding doors can be a bit difficult to secure, seeing as they cannot be steel-coated like front doors and windows. While front doors and windows can also be secured using deadbolts, sliding doors might require more efficient means to secure them from unauthorized access.
Here are a few measures you could put in place to make your sliding glass door lock more secure.
1. Testing the existing lock
Most sliding doors have their lock in the handle. The small latch lock helps your door stay fixed to the frame. Make sure the lock is functional before considering any additional security measures in your home. By locking and unlocking your door lock, you could easily detect faults in your lock.
If the door moves every time you try to unlock your glass sliding door, then your latch is not appropriately fixed to the frame. This could necessitate the repair or replacement of your door lock. Consider giving the job to a professional locksmith or door installer to make sure the frame of your glass sliding door is secure enough to keep your family safe.
2. Maintain door rollers and tracks
Most problems arising from sliding door locks usually begin when your sliding doors irregularly start moving back and forth on plastic rollers. When your rollers cannot allow the smooth opening and closing of your sliding doors, you are bent to having lock issues. Clean any dirt or debris that has clogged your roller system. That way, it is easier to open or close your sliding doors without damaging the locks.
However, if cleaning the sliding door rollers does not resolve your door lock issues, you can try adjusting the size of your rollers to fit your door. Some doors have smaller adjustment holes along the top and bottom edges that allow you to expand or contract the size of your rollers.
3. Install a home alarm system
If you have already installed a home alarm system, make sure it is connected to your glass sliding door. You can quickly achieve this by ensuring the alarm technicians set an alarm that notifies you every time your door lock detects any unwarranted individuals that are trying to gain access to your home.
You can also install glass break sensors on your glass slide doors or a wall next to your slide doors in case burglars or thugs decide to break the glass of your slide door instead of picking the lock. Alarm systems have also been advanced to include security concerns in your lock system. This means every time someone tries to open your lock for your sliding, and you get notifications on your devices immediately.
4. Install a commercial locking product
If your online or local hardware retailer is selling a commercial lock at affordable prices, you might want to consider installing the system on your sliding doors security system. The locks offer one or two-bolt locking technologies that are attached to the locking system on your sliding door and drops steel bolts into place to secure your home better.
Most commercial locking products can be installed at different heights on your sliding door to help improve their security. Most manufacturers also offer battery-powered alarms that will notify you any time someone wants to access your house through your sliding door.
A sliding door is a stylish addition to your home’s entrance that is particularly vulnerable to burglary. It is in your family’s best interests to improve your sliding door’s security. The options mentioned earlier will help you improve your home’s security by better configuring your glass sliding door locks to your preferred security options.
If you still have problems with your sliding door lock, a different option would be replacing your door frame. It is, however, advisable to consult experts before taking any action that will have considerable costs. Proper installation is often the only way to prevent security concerns with sliding glass doors. You can, however, still, guarantee the safety of your sliding glass doors by choosing a trusted locksmith or slide-door specialist that is aware of your preferences and requirements.