If you haven't inspected your locks lately, it might be time to take care of that, especially if you don't want to get stuck outside in the cold. Winter weather can wreak havoc on your locks, especially if they were already affected by minor problems. Before winter gets into full swing, take the time to inspect your locks. If you identify any of the issues described below, contact a locksmith right away. 

Your Key Doesn't Have a Snug Fit

When you insert your key into the lock, there should be a snug fit. The snug fit ensures that the key fits into the locking mechanism properly. If your locks are getting older, or have suffered weather damage over the years, your keys may wiggle instead of being held snug. If that's the case, it's just a matter of time before your lock won't work at all. Before you're faced with an emergency situation, have your lock replaced. 

Your Locks are Rusted

If your locks are rusted, now's a good time to replace them. Rust on the outside of the locks may seem like an issue that only affects the appearance, but that's not the case. Rust on the outside of the locks could be an indication that the entire locking mechanism has rusted as well. If that has happened, your locks could be falling apart from the inside out. To avoid a serious situation, have your locks replaced as soon as possible. 

Your Key Won't Turn in the Lock

If your key won't turn in the lock, you have an issue involving a jam. Unfortunately, jams can prevent your locks from working. In some cases, a jammed lock just means that it needs to be lubricated. However, there are other serious causes of lock jams. For instance, the locking mechanism inside the lock could have broken. Tampering is another reason that locks can jam. Unfortunately, tampering can be a sign that someone has tried to break into your home. If your key won't turn in the lock, you need to contact a locksmith right away. 

Your Lock Cylinder Turns

Finally, if you turned the key in the lock and the entire cylinder turned with it, you have a problem with the set screw. A damaged or loose set screw will cause the entire cylinder to come loose from the housing. When that happens, your lock will no longer work properly. If your cylinder is damaged, it's time to contact a locksmith for more information.