If you have old wooden windows that slide up and down or side to side, you may encounter issues with them sticking and becoming difficult to operate. This can be caused by several factors, such as settling of the house or the windows themselves becoming misaligned due to their age.
Luckily, replacing the windows is not always necessary. Often, the problem can be solved with simple solutions.
The first step is to clean the tracks of any dirt or grime that may have accumulated
This can be done by vacuuming the tracks and then wiping them down with a clean cloth that has been moistened with furniture wax (for wooden windows) or a household cleaner (for vinyl windows). This simple step can often restore the smooth operation of the windows.
If there is dry paint on the tracks, it may be necessary to scrape and sand the area to remove the old, cracked paint and reduce the friction on the tracks. If you choose to repaint the tracks, make sure to scrape off the old paint first and apply a very thin layer of new paint.
In some cases, the windows may have been painted shut inside their tracks. In this case, it may be necessary to break the seal between the frame and the channel with a sharp knife, spatula, or a tool designed for this purpose called a paint zipper.
By taking these simple steps, you can often restore the smooth operation of your wooden windows without the need for expensive replacements.
After cleaning the window rails, it is important to lubricate them properly
For wooden windows, a simple solution is to rub a white candle along the wood surfaces. This will provide a light coat of wax that will help the window move smoothly. Open and close the window several times to distribute the wax evenly. Repeat this process annually to keep your windows running smoothly.
For vinyl windows, the best lubricant to use is silicone. To apply it, remove the window frame, clean the vinyl tracks thoroughly, and apply a thin layer of silicone lubricant using a clean cloth. Repeat this process once a year to ensure your windows continue to operate smoothly.
One solution you should avoid is using lubricant oil, such as WD-40, as it only provides a temporary fix and can attract dust and dirt, making your windows even more difficult to operate in the long run. Therefore, it is not recommended to use oil-based products on wood or vinyl windows.
In older double-hung wooden windows, a system of cords and pulleys attached to metal weights helps to counterbalance the weight of the window and allows it to move up and down easily. If you encounter difficulty lifting the lower window into its channel or if the window does not stay in place and closes abruptly, it could be due to broken cables. In most cases, the cables linking the pocket weights and the window frame have been broken. The best solution here is to remove the window and repair the broken blade cables.
While DIY window repair may seem like a good idea, it’s always best to trust the professionals
GoodWindowWorks.com’s window repair experts are dedicated to providing exceptional service and top-notch workmanship, ensuring your windows are repaired with the highest level of care and attention to detail. By choosing a professional window repair service like GoodWindowWorks.com, you can be confident that your home is safe from the elements and that your windows are restored to their original functionality and splendor. Contact us today for a stress-free experience and guaranteed customer satisfaction.