What You Need to Know about Rekeying Services
For years, many people associated locksmiths with either unlocking doors or changing out locks. However, rekeying is just as common a locksmithing service and can be the preferable option in many situations. Your locksmith should be able to advise you on whether a rekey service is ideal or even possible for you. Before deciding, though, you know the basics of rekeying services, how they work and what they do.
What Does ‘Rekeying’ Mean?
When a locksmith rekeys a lock, he or she is replacing the pins and springs within the locking mechanism. Once the new pins and springs are in place, old keys will no longer work with the lock. Instead, the locksmith will provide the customer with a new set of keys that have been configured to operate with the newly rekeyed lock.
This process is different than replacing the entire locking mechanism—a method popularly referred to as ‘changing the locks.’ Replacing locks entirely costs more and is a more labour-intensive process. Of course, replacing a lock is sometimes preferable to rekeying it. Locks wear out over time and will eventually need replacing. Any damage to the lock—such as during a forced entry break-in—should also push the home or business owner to invest in new locks. Finally, newer locks are more technologically advanced (and often, more secure) than older models. For instance, the rise in the popularity of electronic locks has pushed many property owners to replace their locks in recent years.
So, when are rekeying services preferable to a lock replacement? In most cases, rekeyed locks are a sufficient form of access control when a home or property changes possession. For instance, if you are purchasing a new construction home, the builder will give you multiple keys to the property. However, you can never be sure that the builder (or one of the builder’s contractors) doesn’t have an additional key or two. Many residential property developers will even set up new developments so that each house can be opened with the same master key. Buyers in these situations will often rekey their new homes to make sure they are the only ones with working keys to the property.
Even if the property you are buying is not a new construction, you never know who might have keys to the premises. Perhaps a previous tenant made a copy of the key before returning the original to the landlord, or maybe one or two copies of the key have been lost or stolen over the years. In any case, as a buyer, you can always attain security and peace of mind by having a locksmith rekey the locks on your new property.
Deciding Whether to Rekey
If you aren’t sure whether to rekey the locks in your home/business/apartment or have them replaced entirely, ask your locksmith. He or she will be able to tell you whether the locks can be rekeyed and advise you on choosing between rekeying services and complete lock replacements.