4 Common Reasons Why Your Window Won’t Open or Close
Do you have to strain and struggle to get the windows in your home to open? Do you feel like you are fighting your house (literally) when it’s time to close them?
If so, you may have a bigger problem than just a stubborn window. If you have a window that won’t open, or if your window won’t close, you may need a bit of professional assistance.
However, before assuming the worse, it’s a good idea to learn how to troubleshoot difficult to use windows. If those methods don’t work, then the next step is to learn more about the causes of stuck or sticky windows.
Troubleshooting Hard-to-Open Windows
Before assuming there is a bigger issue, it’s a good idea to take a few troubleshooting steps to see if there is a problem with the window itself. The steps you take are going to depend on the type of window you have.
Hard to Open Double and Single Hung Windows
The most common issue related to single or double hung windows not opening or closing is the build-up of dust and dirt. As time passes, dirt, dust, and other debris can accumulate on the window frame, resulting in more friction.
This is going to make it hard to open and close with ease. The best solution is to clean the window frames and to spray them with a lubricant.
Be sure to open and close your windows a few times to spread the lubricant and see if the issue has been solved. If not, the problem may be with the spring.
The spring is found inside of the window jamb. It may become too tight and make it hard to lower or raise the sash. If you adjust the spring on your window, it should return the sash to its proper, working order.
Hard to Open Casement Windows
If you have casement windows that are difficult to open, then you have to find the root cause. This can vary based on who manufacturer your windows.
As a result, you may need to consult your owner’s manual.
One option is to remove the sash and check for any stripped or loose screws. If there are some, tighten them up and see if this helps.
If the issue persists, then you need to lubricate the hinges. Consider using a dry Teflon spray lube or a silicone lube.
Hard to Open Sliding Windows
For hard to open and close sliding windows, the first step is to remove the sash. This gives you full, unobstructed access to the sliding track.
Be sure to clean the track with soap and water. You may also need to lubricate the rollers and track area. If this doesn’t help, then it may be that the rollers are bad. Replacing these should solve the problem.
Other Reasons Your Window Won’t Close or Open Smoothly
While troubleshooting the issue by looking at the type of window you have and making the repairs/adjustments described is a great first step, it may not solve the problem. If this is the case, you may have a more serious problem on your hands.
Get to know some of the other reasons your windows may not open and close easily here.
1. Shifting Foundation
If the foundation of your home has begun to shift, your windows may stick. When your house shifts, there will be pressure exerted on the window frames.
This results in the frames moving out of alignment. If this happens, then the window sash channels aren’t going to line up properly with the window. As a result, you won’t be able to full open or close it.
Keep in mind, if this is the issue, there are going to be other signs of a shifting foundation. Make sure to contact a professional for help.
2. Warped Wood
If the caulk around your window is worn or old, it is going to eliminate the waterproof seal that’s protecting the walls and frame of the window from moisture, and that stops air leaks. If moisture accumulates in and on a wood frame, the paint is going to start to crack and water is going to penetrate the wood.
When moisture is absorbed, the window frame is going to swell. This is going to put pressure on your window, making it unable to open, close, or lock.
Even if the wood dries out, it may remain distorted and keep the window from aligning properly.
If there are debris accumulated in your window’s track or if you have a shabby window screen, then this is going to block the path of the window. Over time, metal locks may corrode due to condensation, as well.
You can try to add lubrication to the window to fix this issue, you may need to replace the locking mechanism or the entire window.
4. Damaged Window or Frame
If your window frame or window itself is damaged, then replacing it may be the only way to fix the problem. In most cases, hiring the professionals to take care of this for you is the best course of action.
Solving Your Sticking Window Situation
If you have noticed that your window won’t close or open, it may be time to take action. The fact is, in most cases, this isn’t a situation that is going to clear up on its own.
While you can try and fix the problem yourself, this may not always be a viable option. If you need service, or just want to have your windows evaluated, be sure to contact us. We can help with any window situation you have, as our team has provided service for more than 30 years in and around the Chicago area.