How to Perform Minor Window Repairs

Quick Window Repairs

window-repairsIf the windows in your home stick or squeak when you open them, the opening mechanisms may just need a little cleaning to get them working properly again. There are four basic types of house windows; double-hung windows that raise upward, sliding windows that slide to the side, casement windows that swing open on hinges and awning windows which swing out from the bottom to open. Most house windows are the double-hung variety and often are very simple to repair.

Sliding, Casement and Awning Windows

All three of these window types have tracks and/or hardware with which they open. Cleaning the tracks and applying a little oil to the moving hardware parts is usually all that’s needed to get them to open and close easily.

Anything a little cleaning and lube can’t fix is usually caused by the house settling or too much insulation used in the walls above the windows. Neither is a minor D.I.Y. fix and will require a professional to come in to evaluate the problem and get the window repairs done.

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows are the type most of us are familiar with – there are two parts to the window and the bottom half raises up. These windows work by having weights, called sashes, hidden inside each side of the window frame. The sashes balance the windows and prevent them from slamming down when we raise the window.

Older Homes

Double-hung windows have frames usually made from wood, but they can also be made from metal or wood covered with vinyl. Older homes can have windows that can’t be opened due to being painted shut. Layers of paint have sealed the windows shut and the only way to get them open again is with a lot of elbow grease. The paint must be removed, layer by layer, to get down to the bare wood window frame and seal.

Newer Homes

If a double-hung window is sticking or squeaking in a newly constructed home, it may be due in part to the home settling after construction. If it’s a minor problem, a little jiggling and applying some lube to each side of the window track after it’s opened should help it to open and close more efficiently. Such a small window repairs are done in no time, so it’s better to D.I.Y.

If that doesn’t help, debris may have gotten down into the sash jambs (the hidden compartments on each side where the sashes are located) and need to be cleaned out.

To clean out the jambs, remove the side molding of the interior window frame. Remove insulation or other debris that may be hindering the window from opening properly. Apply a lubricant, like silicone, to the sash channels, to help them work smoothly. Then replace window molding after window cleaning done.

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