Rekeying a lock is an alternative to replacing the lock, and it involves a locksmith reconfiguring the pin tumblers inside the mechanism of a cylinder lock so that a new key becomes necessary. It's a way of securing a lock when you're concerned that there might be copies of your key that you're unaware of, or when you suspect that someone has tried to pick your lock. It's a simple task for a locksmith to perform, but when is it necessary?
A New Home
Rekeying your locks isn't always going to be necessary when you move into a new home, but it really depends on this history of the property. Your real estate agent should be able to shed some light on the ownership history of the property, and also when you consider that the average length of time most Australians live in a property is 7.5 years, you'll be able to roughly work out how many people have lived there before you. It's not as though there will be numerous sets of keys floating around out there for most residential properties, so rekeying is generally not required. However, if you should discover that the property used to be a rental home, or even a holiday rental, then you might not be able to accurately ascertain how many sets of keys were issued for the lock you're now relying on, so rekeying can be a simple way of securing your home.
An Attempted Break-In
You can also opt to rekey your locks after an attempted break-in. If the locks were breached or significantly damaged to the point that they have become compromised, then a replacement can be a wise idea. However, even if the locks were not damaged during the attempted break-in, then you might wish to rekey your lock to make it more difficult for any subsequent thieves to try their luck again. In this event, a locksmith should inspect the lock just to confirm that it's still operational.
The Same Key for Multiple Locks
Another reason to rekey your locks is if you're someone who is regularly misplacing your keys. You can have all locks in your home configured to accept the same key, essentially creating a universal key that can be used to access your home from any entry point.
Rekeying is far more convenient (and less expensive) than replacing a lock, and there are some circumstances when rekeying has some clear benefits.