If you have older double-hung wooden windows that move up and down, or sliders that open moving to the left and to the right, sooner or later you are likely to have problems with the windows that stick and refuse to open and close without problems.
There are many reasons for this, and some of them are quite serious. For example, the structural settlement of the house may cause the window frame to pinch the windows. Perhaps, the windows are tilting each other due to the age.
Fortunately, you don’t always need to reinstall a new window. Windows that refuse to slide on their tracks can often be remedied with very simple solutions.
#1 Clean the window tracks
Simple dirt and grime can increase friction and cause windows to get stuck in their tracks. Vacuum the rails to remove all dust and dirt, then clean them with a clean cloth moistened with furniture wax (for wooden windows) or with a household cleaner (for windows with vinyl rail). This simple step can only restore your windows to efficient operation.
Also, inspect the window prints for dry paint. Windows tracks are not designed to be painted, but often they are. If the previous paint job was neglected, you may have left paint drops on the tracks of wood.
Thus, older paint can crack and peel, which increases friction on the tracks. In this case, scraping the loose paint and lightly sanding the caterpillars of the window can loosen things enough to allow the window to move freely. If you choose to paint window rails, be sure to scrape the old paint first, and apply a very thin layer of paint.
It is even possible that the wooden windows have been painted closed inside their tracks. In this case, the windows will not move at all. In general, you can break the paint seal between the frame and the channel with a sharp knife, a spatula or a tool known as a paint zipper. Paint zipper is indeed, designed for this purpose.
#2 Lubricate the Wooden Tracks of The Window with Wax
Once you have cleaned the window rails, you can lubricate the window channels by rubbing the wood surfaces with common wax, such as a white candle. A light coat is all you need. Open and close the window several times to distribute the wax and lubricate the surfaces. The cleaning of the tracks and the application of wax once a year will keep your windows running smoothly.
Lubricate the vinyl window tracks with silicone lubricant
In windows with vinyl rail, the solution for bonding windows is to remove the window frames. Then, clean and lubricate them with a thin layer of silicone lubricant. You can apply this by rubbing it with a clean cloth. Repeat this maintenance routine once a year.
#3 Do not use lubricant oil
A very common solution, and a very bad one, is to lubricate the window rails with lubricant oil, such as the WD-40. The oils will offer only a temporary solution and will soon serve as magnets for dust and dirt, making your windows stickier than ever later on. Never use oil products on wood or vinyl windows.
#4 Broken Leaf Cords
In the oldest double-hanged wooden windows, a system of cords and pulleys attached to metal weights. This is used within the openings of the frame to counteract the weight of the window. It allows the window to move up and down easily.
When the lower window is difficult to lift up into its channel, or if the window does not stay in place and closes abruptly, it may be because the cable and weight system does not work properly. In most cases, this is because the cables linking the pocket weights and the window frame have been broken. The solution here is to remove the window and repair the broken blade cables.
Do you have a problem with installing a new window? Our team can help you fix that. Don’t be shy to contact us for a question!