Replace or Rekey? Options for Managing Home Security

A good set of locks is the cornerstone of security and peace of mind in your home. However, there are times when that peace of mind is compromised—a lock jams or wears out, a key is lost or stolen, an ex or former roommate hangs onto their key, etc. Before you go search for “locksmith Orlando“, it helps to know first what your options are for restoring your home’s security. Many people aren’t even aware that there are other options.

Comparing Rekeying and Replacing

The alternative to replacing a lock entirely is to change the internal locking mechanisms in a process called rekeying. This involves removing the pins and springs from the lock cylinder, which correspond to the existing key, and installing a new set to match a newly made key. Rekeying kits for certain lock models—containing precut keys, sets of pins to match them and installation tools—can be bought at home improvement stores; the DIY process can be difficult and only works if you can track down a kit matching your lock, but locksmiths are well-equipped to rekey for you.

When to Rekey

Rekeying is less expensive in materials and labor compared to replacement, since only part of the lock is swapped out. This is your best bet when your key goes missing, because it can be used to gain access to your home. Even if your key shows back up, a copy could have been made, but rekeying makes those copies obsolete. You should also rekey when you buy a new home, since many people involved in its construction will have matching keys.

When to Replace

If the lock is damaged in some way, due to misuse, gradual wear or sabotage from a break-in attempt, changing the pins won’t suffice. In these cases, the whole lock must be removed and a replacement installed. Alternatively, locks may be replaced for aesthetic considerations, higher security or accommodations for accessibility. Also, hiring a locksmith for replacing instead of rekeying can, in some cases, be less expensive when only a single lock needs changing.