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Home Security Tips For Moving Homes

Moving into a new home can be an exciting and extremely busy time in a person’s life. You have so many things to arrange such as paperwork, removal men, packing as well as possibly a new neighbourhood. In this article we will give you some of the best home security tips when you move to a new home, some are completely free and quick to complete – most of these tips can be completed on the first day.

Changing your locks and alarm codes

Whilst this may seem like a costly and delayable task for some people, you do not know who has lived there previously or has keys to your property. We would always suggest changing your locks, if you are in a rental property most landlords would understand, and as long as they are provided with a set of new keys usually won’t object.

If you are lucky enough to have a garage or shed with locks, these should also be replaced. People often store very high-value items within their garages such as cars, motorbikes, pushbikes, and garden tools – all of which can be stolen. If you have a ladder it may also be a good idea to either chain this securely to the roof of your garage or inside so that it doesn’t benefit any potential burglars.

Similarly to your locks, if there is an alarm fitted to your home it would also be a sensible idea to change the code. Usually, the previous tenant or owner can leave the code with solicitors or estate agents for the new residents.

Visual Checks

A quick and fairly easy way to check the security of your new home is to walk around the property from the outside as if you wanted to break in. Look for any broken or damaged doors, loose locks on gates and if you have large windows do you have high-value items on display? Anything that you find which could be an issue can be repaired or replaced.

If you have a dark pathway or would often be returning home late from work then installing an outdoor light can be helpful as well as deterring potential burglars who may hide in the darkness.

Are you doors upvc or composite?

Lock snapping is a technique that burglars are using to easily break into a property. This method is only successful on properties that don’t have snap safe locks installed. UPVC and composite doors are usually the target as the locks that they come installed with generally are not snap safe locks.
This method of breaking into a property is the most effective and common way of breaking into someone’s home. By applying a bit of force a burglar can snap the cylinder in half, they are then able to expose the locking mechanism by removing the outside of a lock, this then allows the door to be unlocked manually or by using a tool such as a screwdriver. It only takes less than ten seconds for an experienced burglar to get into a home using this method.

In order to protect your home from lock snapping you need to ensure that you have snap safe locks fitted. You can purchase a Diamond grade cylinder lock or a Level 3* TS007 lock from most hardware stores, however, if you doubt your DIY skills, you can call in your local locksmith to come and upgrade your locks and they will be able to supply and fit them for you. If you upgrade your locks it will enhance your home security no end.

Our Home Security Tips

When you take part in any of our locksmith training courses, you’ll learn about the different types of locks available to homes throughout the United Kingdom. Locks are a sound defence mechanism and are usually a suitable deterrent. In fact, they’re so important that, in some cases, insurance providers will only offer cover where British Standard locks are being used, such is their reliability.

However, as much as we love talking about locks (and training you to enter, utilise, and repair them), they’re not the only line of defence when it comes to security. Turns out, there are quite a few other simple methods that you can be using around your home to reduce the likelihood of any burglary or theft.

Here are just a few of our favourites – share them with customers with you’re on site (or, if you have no ambition to become a locksmith anytime soon, then make sure that you’re implementing as many of these tips as you can!).

Maintain Door and Window Security

Of course it begins with doors and windows! But we’re not just talking about the locks that you keep on them (although these should be regularly inspected and kept in top condition as well).

Instead, we’re looking at everything else – the materials, alignment, fitting, and quality of the doors and windows in your home. Even the smallest defect or sign of damage could present an opportunity to a burglar. Be sure to maintain the condition of every entry door and window in your property and you’ll greatly reduce the risk of anything happening.

Your home insurance provider will also be interested in the condition of doors and windows on your property.

Patio Door Security

Next up, make sure and spend some time checking the security of any patio doors or french doors on your property – burglars are particularly interested in using these as an entry and exit point inside your home.

First of all, ensure that the cylinders and handles are approved to the appropriate Sold Secure (SS) standards. Even if they are, then why not considering adding a Patlock? This simple mechanism is Neighbourhood Watch recommended and ensures that, even if the lock is damaged, the external handles won’t operate.

There are no keys and codes and it’s fitted within seconds – it doesn’t get any simpler than this.

Security Lights

The next handy tip focuses on the exterior of your home in the form of security lights. These lights are growing in popularity – and it’s easy to see why. Motion-sensor lights are very reasonable and offer great value-for-money.

If any burglar decides to have a sneak peek around your property, they’ll be quick to flee the scene when motion-activated lights shine a bright light straight down on them. You’ll know exactly when the lights go off – and so will your neighbours.

Indoors, timers and other remote-control devices can switch lights on and off to provide the illusion of somebody being home.

Additional Door Security

There’s more to your door than the locking mechanism, and our next home security tip illustrates that perfectly.

Adding something as straightforward as a chain can provide another level of security to your front door. At the very least, it will frustrate any burglar and delay something they want to perform quickly. Ideally, it adds enough security to prevent a theft altogether.

Another idea is to add a letterbox guard. Again, this is something which is relatively cheap to install, and it could prevent burglars from using any ‘fishing’ style approaches where they can manipulate your lock (or even steal keys left inside the door).

Visible Burglar Alarms

Our final home security tip is one that everybody should have already considered by now –installing a home security system. It’s important that your alarm system is configured correctly. Trust us when we tell you that you don’t want the dog starting the alarm at 3AM.

Get a high-quality and dependable home security system installed. It’s especially important that the alarm is visible from the outside of your home. If a burglar can see it, then there’s a very good chance that they won’t attempt to steal anything from your property – it simply isn’t worth it.

CCTV is another option that can be tied into your home alarm system and provides an additional level of security and evidence.

To find out more about home security tips and advice from the experts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team.

Alternatively, if you’re a young locksmith new to the industry and you’re looking to add to your skillset with our uPVC door or auto locksmithing courses, then why not get in touch with our team?

Which Type Of Safe Is Best For Me?

Deposit Safe

A Deposit Safe is usually an individual metal container that is typically stored within a bank. Many years ago you would request your branch manager to store valuable items such as watches or family keepsakes within your deposit safe. Unfortunately, you often didn’t get to see your items physically put into these, and record-keeping wasn’t always accurate- resulting in lost items. Their popularity has been increasing in recent years within the UK although some banks such as Barclays will only allow existing deposit safe customers this option.

The cost of having a deposit safe will vary on the size you require as well as the individual bank you wish to use. Prices can range from around £20 a month up to £70 in banks such as Metro and you are required to have insurance on the box and contents. Each bank will also have rules around what you can or can’t store within your deposit safe, for example, most banks will not allow you to store: cash, food, or weapons. You will also need to provide identification to enter the vault or security box meaning it is unlikely anyone else could have access to your deposit safe.

Security Safe

A security safe often has a lock and key or a number secured box which you can store within your home. There is often an override security key and anyone who has this key or the code could get into your safe. A bonus of a security safe is that they are often fire-resistant so if the worst should happen, your items inside would be protected. These are often a good option to store birth certificates, marriage licenses, and items of jewellery within your own home.

You can often find security safes to match most budgets, meaning this could be a cost-effective option for you. Unless your safe is bolted to your floor it does mean that potential burglars could remove the entire safe. You may wish to consider bolting the security safe to the floor and you will also need to have insurance for the contents of the security safe.

Floor Safe

A floor safe is a type of safe which is usually put into your homes concrete foundations. Installing a floor safe can often be difficult and cause a lot of dust and dirt however they are a very secure option against burglars and fires. Due to the nature of these floor safes being underground they are more likely to be damaged if there is a flood or a fire that is extinguished by fire hoses. You may wish to get additional water-tight protection for documentation stored within.

If you wish to have regular access to items within your safe then a floor safe may not be a practical option for you to choose. You may also require a professional locksmith and safe manufacturers when installing this type of safe.

Home Safe

With burglaries, particularly home burglaries increasing, it is important to protect your valuable possessions. Hiding your valuables in drawers or a cupboard is usually one of the first places a burglar would choose to look. With the market for home safes growing in popularity you have a huge choice of home safes. You can choose a home safe that is concealable, can be hidden in your wardrobes, or bolted to the floor to go undetected by a burglar. As most home safes are extremely heavy you may need assistance to install them or if you moved house. Most home insurance companies will need you to store valuable items within your home safe or on your person such as engagement rings or watches to cover your insurance policy.

5 Common Locksmith Questions

It goes without saying that, when you join one of our many locksmith training courses, you’ll be in the best place possible to learn either the skills you need for your new career, or some additional locksmithing skills in specialised areas. Both experienced locksmiths and young locksmiths that are new to the industry can learn everything they need to know, from auto-locksmithing to lock-picking, and even to uPVC door work, courtesy of our professional instructors.

But on top of that, we share valuable business skills and lessons that will help you hit the ground running once you graduate. After all, there’s no use in being able to unpick any residential lock in the United Kingdom if you don’t have any customers!

That being the case, we’ve put together 5 of the most common questions related to locksmithing. You may want to browse these questions before you join one of our courses, or you may explore the question so that you can help a customer when the question is inevitably asked of you.

With the answers in mind, you can reassure customers, quickly acquire the information you need, and make sure that you can complete your jobs in a timely and cost-effective way.

How Long Does It Take to Fix a Broken Lock?

How long is a piece of string? In all honesty, this is a difficult question to answer – but that won’t stop it becoming a regular question.

The length of time it will take you to fix a broken lock depends on the type of lock, the damage inflicted upon the lock, the conditions, and even the lock’s location. Take our word for it when we tell you that some locks are easier to repair than others.

Yale locks will usually take anywhere between 20-30 minutes. Mortice locks take slightly longer to repair, and you can usually aim to repair them within an hour. Auto locks and more complicated locks may require even more time – you’ll learn about all of the most common lock types and how to repair them quickly on our locksmith training courses.

You will also learn how to quickly inspect the lock upon arrival and advise the customer regarding how long the repair could take.

Should You Change the Locks When You Move into a New Home?

Yes! This is one of the simpler locksmithing questions to answer. Don’t be surprised to find that you receive calls from many homeowners that have recently moved into a new property and are concerned about the new locks and keys they’ve inherited.

We would always recommend changing the locks on the front door, as you never know how many copies of the original lock are still in circulation. It simply isn’t worth the risk – change the locks and give yourself some peace of mind.

Thankfully, this can often be a very simple job by re-keying the lock instead of changing the lock completely. By changing the cylinder of the existing lock, the lock has a new key, with much of the original apparatus remaining. This will make for a happy customer, and your work life will be considerably easier too.

Are Locksmiths Available 24/7?

This one is entirely up to you and your business desires. Often, locksmiths are required round the clock, and when the unthinkable should happen, customers understand that there are costs to addressing a lost key or broken lock at anti-social hours.

However, you may decide that you would rather work more comfortable hours instead. If you’re operating as a sole trader or own the business you’re working under, then it’s a matter of choosing the hours that work for you.

What Are the Front Door Lock Requirements for Insurance?

We’re written about this in the past (*link to insurance article), and this is something that both customers and locksmiths should be aware of.

Many insurance providers will require that British Standard Kitemark locks (BS3621) are fitted to the front door of UK homes. These locks are known for their durability and security, and will reduce insurance premiums. It’s important that you learn how to answer this common question – many customers will be interested in purchasing locks that help them settle insurance policies. The additional security is a bonus as well.

“My Key Has Snapped in My Lock. What Should I Do?”

As an accredited locksmith, you’ll come across every situation imaginable. One of the more common scenarios is a panicked customer that has snapped a key inside their lock.

It’s important that you know how to stay calm, reassure your customer, and set about your work in an orderly way. Approaching customers and maintaining a sense of calm are valuable skills that you’ll learn on our locksmith training courses.

As for fixing the lock, there are a few options here, but it will depend on the severity of the snap and the type of lock. It may be possible to remove the split key, but with more severe snaps, the lock itself may be damaged beyond repair, and lock replacement may be required.

What is a Nightlatch?

Our MPL staff have been in the industry for a very long time. They know about every major type of lock used in the United Kingdom and the advantages and disadvantages of each of them. No matter which MPL Locksmith training course you join us for, you’ll quickly learn everything there is to know about repairing, installing, and servicing locks in homes and businesses throughout the United Kingdom.

Nightlatches are some of the UK’s most common Yale locks and, even if you’ve never heard of them, we’re sure you’ll soon know exactly what they are. Let’s take a closer look at what nightlatches are, whether or not there are different types, and what they’re used for.

What is a Nightlatch?

Locks and security latches can quickly become complicated. Thankfully, this one is rather simple. A nightlatch is a Yale lock most commonly used on the front doors of homes. It’s mounted on the inner surface of a door that opens inward. As the door closes and meets the latch, it automatically locks.

The lock can be unlocked using the lever from the inside, or a key from the outside. Simple.

The latch includes an unlock feature where the user can choose to disable the locking mechanism altogether and leave the door opened. These locks are commonly found on doors in older style tenement flats.

Are There Different Types of Nightlatch?

Now it gets more interesting – of course there are different types of nightlatches. There are a few different types of nightlatches, varying in security, style, and mechanism. Typically, there are only two sizes of nightlatch (narrow and standard). However, there are several different companies that offer their own version of a nightlatch locking mechanism.

Non-Deadlocking Nightlatch
The non-deadlocking nightlatch is one of the most popular nightlatch mechanisms, and it can only be activated via a switch on the inside.

Although it remains a popular solution, it’s far from the most secure lock. It’s always a good idea to combine this with a BS5 lever deadlock just in case.

Key Deadlocking Yale Nightlatch
This type of nightlatch is very similar in design, but one with a crucial difference: it can be unlocked from the outside using a key. Similar to the non-deadlocking nightlatch, this should also be combined with a more secure lever deadlock.

Automatic deadlocking nightlatches are also used throughout the United Kingdom.

BS3621 Nightlatch
The British Standard (BS) Nightlatch is by far the most secure. Since it meets the security standards set out by BS3621, its security and protection will also be recognised by insurance providers.

It uses the auto deadlock mentioned with the previous two types of nightlatch, but it also includes an anti-drill feature to protect against forced entry. A key and lever are used inside to operate the door. From the outside, it will only operate with the correct key.

Different Types of Nightlatch and Your Needs
We could go on and on! There are many different types of nightlatch available, each with their own specific pros and cons.

While certain arrangements will offer stronger security than others, the convenience of automatic deadlocking or non-deadlocking mechanisms may make more sense depending on your access and your unique needs.

You may prefer to have a keyless exit, or a stronger security rating. More often than not, the best type of nightlatch depends on the other locks found on your window or door. Nightlatches can be used to either increase security, or provide convenience where security isn’t an issue.

Nightlatches and Training Courses with MPL

Nightlatches are just one of the many types of lock you’ll quickly learn to master on our MPL Locksmith training courses. It takes a trained eye to quickly analyse a locking arrangement, identify weaknesses, and choose the best type of nightlatch to install.

Speak to our team today and find out where the next available places are on our courses. Our professional, experienced staff can help you get your new career started today.

Which Locks Should I Keep On My Vehicle?

At times, we take the locking mechanism on our cars for granted. Whether we’re jumping into a local convenience shop or we’re leaving the car unattended for hours at a time, we barely think twice about the way we lock our car doors. Surprising, considering that our car is often one of our most valuable possessions and one that we rely on the most.

Let’s look at the different types of auto locks available, and which ones provide the most security to your vehicle. On our Specialist Auto Locksmith Training Course, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to gain emergency access to 95% of the vehicles on British roads. But on top of that, we teach you how they work, how to strip them down, and how to service, repair, and rebuild them, too.

Auto Locks on British Streets

As you might imagine, there are several different types of vehicle door lock across the wide range of automotive brands that are popular in the United Kingdom. The technology used in a Ford, for example, is different from that used in an Audi or a Kia.

You might not be able to do much about upgrading the lock on your car, but it certainly doesn’t do any harm to learn a little more about how secure your door lock is.

Standard Key Entry

This is the most basic car door locking system, and it’s generally found on older cars. As well as using a key to operate the locking mechanism, there’s usually a knob inside that moves up and down.

While more modern locks provide better security, standard key entry locks are still a solid choice. They’re not difficult to change, fix, or upgrade, and cutting a spare key isn’t an issue either.

Electronic Locks

Electronic locks are a car lock that we’re sure you’ll be much more familiar with – but don’t be surprised to find electronic locks combined with standard key entry systems as well. Often, car manufacturers incorporate an entry key onto the electronic key itself so that when the electronics let you down, you can still gain access with the standard key.

These locks are found on newer models, and your car can be locked or unlocked with the push of a button. It’s a more efficient and more convenient lock than standard entry keys and it typically offers better security. However, replacement keys are considerably more difficult and costly.

Keyless Locks

This is probably the most advanced locking mechanism found on vehicles today. Interestingly, there’s no key at all. Instead, an electronic key fob has a unique code that partners with the electronics inside your car and will grant access when you’re within a certain distance. The car won’t start until the fob is in the right place.

While it may be true that it’s much more difficult to break into a car that doesn’t even have a locking mechanism, and offers a high level of security, more capable criminals can still manipulate the coding in the electronic fob.

Other Options

So those are the three types of locks that you can have fitted to your vehicle, and all three will offer a decent level of security. Standard entry locks are slowly being phased out (due to their lower level of protection), but electronic and keyless locks are certainly recommended in order to keep your vehicle safe.

There are, however, another few options that you should consider when it comes to locks on your vehicle.

Steering Wheel Locks

You might laugh at such an old-school suggestion, but steering wheel locks are highly effective. It’s one of the simplest theft deterrents you can buy, and it will always add another layer of protection.

Since it fits directly onto the steering wheel, it prevents any movement of the car wheels. They’re often manufactured with bright colours, and clearly visible to deter potential burglars.

There are a variety of different locks available. These range all the way from the most elementary steering wheel locks to heavy-duty, highly advanced locks that are very difficult to manipulate.

Wheel Clamps

Wheel clamps are another traditional type of door lock and, although they involve slightly more effort, they still provide owners with priceless peace of mind.

They attach to a car’s wheels in a Y-shaped lock, completely immobilising the vehicle. They’re very secure and almost guaranteed to keep your car safe, but you’ll need your own set of tools to lock and unlock the wheel clamps.

Blocking Pouches

We mentioned earlier that burglars can manipulate keyless entry electronic fobs. Thieves can use electronic devices to create a clone of your electronic fob. Their device effectively ‘steals’ the coding from your fob, and allows them to use the coding as soon as they’re within a certain distance of your car. After that, access to your car couldn’t be simpler.

So, this solution isn’t a lock at all – we highly recommend storing your fobs in a Signal Blocking Pouch (also known as a Faraday bag), or an Anti RFID wallet. That way your fob will always be secure, and it won’t be transmitting any signals that could potentially be copied.

Auto Locksmith Training with MPL

There’s a lot to cover on our Auto Locksmith Training Course. It’s an intense 3-day course, but you’ll leave with all of the knowledge you need to pick, service, and repair more than 95% of vehicle locks you’ll come across.

Whether you’re brand new to the industry and looking to establish an area of expertise, or you’re an experienced locksmith that would like to learn a new skill, our course is for you. And our professional course is even City & Guilds accredited, so you’ll leave with a course certificate and a programme number.

Contact our team today to find out how you can secure a place on our popular auto locksmith course.

How to Find a Good Locksmith

We cover a lot of information on our MPL locksmith training courses. While some of our courses are specifically designed for experienced locksmiths looking to brush up on their skills or even to learn some new ones, many of our courses are designed for locksmiths new to the industry. And as everybody in the industry knows, there’s more to becoming a locksmith than simply learning the locks.

Of course, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about the most common locks in Britain. But, crucially, we’ll also teach you how to start your business and market yourself. You could be the best-trained locksmith in the country, but if nobody knows how to find you, then you won’t find yourself booked for any jobs.

Let’s figure out how to find a good, reliable locksmith close to you. Once you’re fully trained as a locksmith, these are the methods and techniques that customers will use to find you, so you need to make sure that you’ll meet these expectations.

Accreditation and Verification

This is the number one thing that people should be looking for when they search for a sound and dependable locksmith. Unfortunately, this has recently become something of a grey area.

That’s because the UK Government doesn’t regulate locksmith services. There are currently no requirements in the UK for licensing through the government, or for other authorities to operate as a locksmith. We hope that this will change in the years to come because, currently, there are thought to be thousands of untrained, uncertified UK-based locksmiths.

Uncertified locksmiths aren’t dependable, and there’s no guarantee that the job they do will meet the industry standards. That being the case, clients should always be looking to confirm that their locksmith has some form of locksmith training accreditation.

City & Guilds

City & Guilds is a leader in global skills development and has been active in the UK for more than 140 years. The association “works with education providers, employers and governments in over 100 countries across the world to help people, businesses, and economies grow by shaping skills systems and supporting skills development.”

Our Specialist 5 Day Locksmith Training Programme and Specialist Auto Locksmith Training Course are both fully City & Guilds Accredited. You’ll need to pass an exit exam and, when you do, you’ll have a City & Guilds Accredited Programme Number to show to clients.

Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE)

Finally, we also offer a 3-day and 5-day NCFE Approved training course. The NCFE is another not-for-profit organisation and is a leading provider of educational services. Once you’ve completed either one of these intense courses, you’ll leave with a level 3 certificate, accredited by NCFE as well as MPL.

By accrediting your locksmith services with any of these associations, you’ll immediately gain the trust of prospective clients.

Recommendations and Word-of-Mouth

How do you get a name to check in the first place? As traditional as ever, word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective communication when it comes to recommendations in trade. And that means that both good work – and bad work – travels far.

Our training team will make sure that you leave with a detailed knowledge of British locks and all the skills you need to flourish. There won’t be such a thing as a ‘bad job’, and we expect you to quickly develop a positive reputation with your new skillset.

Compare Quotes

Another thing that customers should be looking to do is compare a few different quotes. Money talks, and it often shows with quotes from different locksmiths.

We’ll teach you how to properly identify, survey, and estimate the cost involved with each job. That way, you can present a clear breakdown of the costs to your client. Other, lesser trained locksmiths, won’t be able to do the same.

And when your competitors submit unclear quotes that are too low, your client should immediately be able to distinguish between their lack of accreditation and your show of quality.

Analyse the Specialist Skills

Customers also need to check the specialist skills of the locksmith they contact. Have they accidentally contacted a locksmith that specialises in uPVC repair? What if they only deal with auto and electronic services? On top of your fundamental locksmith training, you can always add to your skillset with MPL, so that you can reach even more customers.

Check the Reviews

Finally, customers should be looking to check a locksmith’s reviews. As with many other purchases, we check the reviews and references before we hand over the cash. Why should locksmithing be any different?

On your locksmith training course, we’ll teach you all about the different review platforms, and which ones are worth your investment. By the time you leave our building, you’ll know how to tackle any locksmith issue, and how to market yourself to get yourself started in the industry.

Speak to our team today and find out how you can book a place on any of our NCFE-approved and City & Guilds accredited training courses. We have the quality, experience, and business know-how to help get your new career started with a bang.

Andrew – Leeds Locksmiths

I did the full 5 day course with MPL and found it great. Marc the trainer really knew his stuff not just on the technical side but the business side also (many locksmiths are perfectly good but don’t know how to market etc, knowing this is just as important).

There are online ‘locksmith courses’ around online which I have actually tried myself prior to coming to MPL. However nothing can beat learning in person which is why I went to MPL.

Having made the money back that I paid for the course very quickly it’s looking good from here!

I should also note that it’s not just the knowledge learned that impressed me. But also the contacts gained from the course were just as valuable. I was introduced to a company that works with the police in securing doors after break ins etc. This company ONLY hires people who have undertaken a professional locksmith course (of which MPL’s is City & Guilds + NCFE registered). I have also undertaken work for places such as schools & businesses who absolutely insist to see your credentials before trusting you with dealing with their locks. Even the best locksmiths out there could physically not get this work without having the qualifications which MPL provides, so it’s well worth having. Oh and the MPL technical assistance line has helped me get out of fair few tricky situations.

In the future I will be aiming to book on their access control installation course in order to expand my services once I have some time as I have no doubt it will pay for itself.

Should you wish to call me for a chat regarding questions about the course I would be happy to help. You can find me at Leeds Locksmith.

How to Adjust a uPVC Door

Have you felt a draught coming through your front door? Perhaps the door isn’t sitting correctly, it’s scuffing the floor, or worse – its not locking at all. And if that applies to your front door, then you’ve got a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

In today’s article, we’re going to take a look at how to adjust a uPVC Door. These adjustments can be complicated tasks, so let’s focus on the high-level details of how to get it done. When you take part in one of our MPL Locksmith Training courses, however, you’ll learn everything there is to know about uPVC doors and how to adjust them in moments.

What Are uPVC Doors?

Let’s start at the very beginning: what are uPVC doors? uPVC stands for unplasticised polyvinyl chloride. It’s a tough plastic material that hasn’t been combined with any additives during manufacture.

uPVC doors are extremely popular doors throughout the United Kingdom as they make for secure, robust, and budget-friendly front doors. Although they won’t last as long as composite doors (or keep your home as warm), they’re still fantastic value-for-money front doors.

Why Might They Need Adjustment?

Unfortunately, sometimes, you get what you pay for. This doesn’t mean that uPVC doors are low-quality, it’s just that they may require slightly more maintenance than more expensive doors.

Over time, uPVC doors may lose their alignment within the door frame and need to be adjusted. Unusual and irritating sounds and scuffs probably mean that the door is out of alignment, and if the lock has stopped working, then immediate action needs to be taken.

There could also be natural wear-and-tear to your door, or it could have been installed incorrectly to begin with.

Before You Begin

Don’t just get the toolbox and start attacking your door. First of all, check the manufacturer’s warranty on your door – is it still valid? If so, then any work that you attempt on your door could invalidate that guarantee.

Once you’re sure that you won’t be voiding a guarantee, try and figure out the issue before you begin. There’s nothing worse than dismantling a door and realising that you’ve misdiagnosed the issue.

The most common reason to adjust a uPVC door is a misalignment of the door within its frame. But in order to resolve that, you might need to adjust the door’s compression, the door’s frame, the door’s lock, or even the door’s hinges. If you’re really unlucky, then your door could be warped, and the only realistic solution is a replacement.

As we said, we’ll keep this guide high level to avoid any confusion.

How Are They Adjusted?

First up, check the alignment of your door. Are the corners of the door and the door frame all aligned? Is the door level? If you’re not sure, stick a spirit level on top of the door and see how it reads.

The gaps between the door and the door frame should be consistent everywhere you look. If they’re not, then you need to do some adjusting.

The Door Lock

Begin with the door lock. If it’s failing to correctly meet the frame, then your door lock may need to be tightened. Remove the plastic cover on the main hinge area of the lock and turn an Allen key until you see the door pulling back toward the hinge.

Do the same with the middle hinge and align the lock correctly. Double-check that the door still opens and closes, and that the locking mechanism works.

The Door Hinges

If that hasn’t resolved the issue, then there could be an issue with the door hinges instead. There are a few different types of uPVC door hinges, namely flag hinges, T hinges, and butt hinges, and they’re all adjusted differently.

As a rule of thumb, the screw at the top of the hinge will adjust the compression, and the screw at the bottom will adjust the height. There could also be a pin in the centre face that you could adjust. Try each adjustment and see if that helps to re-align your door within the frame.

Clean the Door Frame

Alternatively, there could just be a build-up of dirt within the door frame itself. There are two drainage areas at the bottom of the door frame, and if these are blocked, they’ll need to be emptied. Otherwise, the rubber seals that run along the edges of your door frame could be old and worn – consider replacing them before you commit to replacing the entire door.

You could also attempt to tighten the seal on your door (to reduce draughts) or adjust the latching of the door (to reduce the gap between door and frame).

uPVC Doors and MPL Locksmith Training Courses

But if none of these solutions work, then a full repair is likely to require the assistance of a professional locksmith.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways that uPVC doors require adjustment. After attending one of our courses, our newly-trained locksmiths have all the tools and knowledge they need to tackle the majority of uPVC door issues.

Our 1 Day uPVC Repair Course is perfect for experienced locksmiths looking to brush up on their skills. Find out everything you need to know about what the course involves online, or contact our team to find out how we can get you signed up.