Often over time locks require maintenance to perform properly and being as they are mechanical devices, are just as prone to lack of maintenance as your car or any other precision piece of engineering. If your key is sticking in the lock here are a few pointers to look out for:
If your lock is working on the catch but not on the key, then examine your key to see if there is anything missing, check its straight and flat along its length, ensure there is nothing catching on it like an oversize keyring and also make sure its spotlessly clean and there is no debris caught in the flutes and the key edge. Also ensure the barrel is not loose in the body which can point to internal damage. In order to work properly a key and it s lock must be in good condition and nice and clean.
If your key is stuck in the lock try holding your finger on the cover plate on the barrel if on a high security front door lock and then try and remove the key, as sometimes the plate can catch the key preventing removal.
If they key is stuck try gently jiggling it left to right and back and forth while trying to either remove or turn it, if it then comes out or the lock opens, then your lock may be old and worn or the mechanism may need a clean. Do not force it, if it wont come out without a minimum of pressure then its best to call me as your lock may sustain damage if you are too heavy handed. To clean a lock you can use specialist sprays but be careful of using things like WD40 as this can cause dirt to stick to the inside and make the problem worse. A good quality silicone spray, specifically made for locks is the best option.
If your key is bent, never insert it into a lock as this can cause damage. Also never insert a dirty key into a lock. Sometimes a lock can be problematic simply because it needs a good clean and some lubrication. If you cannot release a key from a lock after you have applied lubrication then this usually points to lock damage and its probably best to call in a specialist.
Never force a key as you can snap it off in the barrel which can mean the whole lock being replaced. If its a mortise style lock that is not working properly then a good clean and lubrication can remedy the problem but if not the levers may be worn and need replacing.
As with all precision items locks need to be maintained and kept clean in order to work properly and they are quite delicate inside. With many years of experience I can almost immediately test your lock and advise whether it just needs some tlc or if it needs replacement. I carry spares for most types of locks so any faults and parts can be sorted out then and there.
I can also audit your locks to ensure that you are maintaining the best level of security for your home, office or insurance policy requirements.