It would be a mistake to jump straight to replacing an entire lock--any locksmith worth hiring can tell you this, like Key One Inc. Rekeying a lock is often a simpler process that can be done more quickly, and is thus more affordable to have done. So, here are some of the situations where you need rekeying versus when you need to replace an entire lock.
Rekeying Should Be Done Regularly
First of all, rekeying service is a good thing to do every few years. For every person you loan your key to, whether it be a maintenance person or a guest, you run a little bit more risk that someone has copied the key and left your home vulnerable.
When You Move, or Someone Else Moves
If you have a roommate move out, or you move to a new place, always rekey the locks. You just don't want to have any unknowns when it comes to your home security.
When You Lose a Key
If you have lost a key, the good news is that you probably don't need to replace the entire lock. You can have the locks rekeyed so that a new key fits in the door. It's possible to have several locks rekeyed to the same key as wee so that you only need to hold onto a single key.
When the Lock is Vulnerable
So, we've covered many different situations where you don't truly need to replace a locking mechanism. But there are some situations where you genuinely should change an entire lock. The first of these is when the locking mechanism has been degraded. Locks can break gradually over time through one too many vigorous turns of the the handle or one too many times fiddling with the key. If you think the lock is not in the same condition that it once was, you could go ahead and replace the lock. If the lock feels weak or lose, consider replacing it.
Another obvious case is when there was a break-in attempt. Even if an intruder was not successful, they may have used excessive force to try and enter your house. That lock is then more vulnerable to a second break-in attempt, and you probably want to replace it with something stronger.
When You Want to Upgrade Your Security
Sometimes, you are simply ready to upgrade to a stronger lock that includes electrical components or has a stronger locking system. In that case, by all means, call in a locksmith to help you improve the whole system by replacing a lock.