A stuck door latch can be very frustrating to deal with, regardless of if you’re trying to open or close the door. If anything, it can get in your way of functioning correctly that’s why Calling a Locksmith like us is a good idea. In this article, we’ll examine the most common reasons why latches stick and how to fix them.

A Misaligned Strike Plate

Do you experience the latch sticking only when attempting to latch the door, but not an issue when you open it? Chances are you have a misaligned strike plate. Usually, it is moisture that has caused the door to bloat, or there is probably an issue with your home’s foundation.

If the problem is that the wood has expanded, then maybe redo the door’s finish to prevent it from affecting the shape of the door. If the issue is the foundation of your home, then look into a way to secure the foundation or possibly remove all the tree roots that push the house up from underneath.

A Jammed Latch

Usually, this is caused by a build-up of materials within the latch itself. Latches are made from metal, and over time, it starts to rust, and the rusty residue can get stuck within the latch, making it challenging to lock and unlock.

The best solution in our experience, having repaired loads of similar latches, is to dismantle the lock and clean it. One way to do it would be to let the components sit in vinegar for around an hour or so. Doing this will make removing all the rusted metal gunk from within the latch easier. You can then wipe the latch down and polish it, making it look brand new.

Polish the lock properly so that it does not rust anytime soon. Something like car wax can be used to seal all the imperfections in the metal, which are what begin to rust. However, before applying polish, allow the latch to dry. Also, be sure to remove all the excess polish so that it does not cause the latch to stick.

Broken or Damaged Internal Mechanism

When you have a Part of The Lock Breaking or is Broken, there could be numerous things that go wrong. A common sign that something is broken in the lock is when the latch gets stuck but only when you try to move the handle to open or close it. You can also press on the latch, which will cause it to slide in or slide out of the way.

The problem is usually a broken spindle, which means that actuating handle isn’t being properly transmitted to the latch. The easiest solution is to Change The Locks. It is a cheaper solution than having a locksmith trying to repair it by replacing damaged parts.


While there are many other reasons for a lock sticking, the above are the most common ones in our professional experience. As Professional Locksmiths, we’ve dealt with many similar issues in the past and are a call away if you need our help.