Fix a Stuck Window

 

Reasons for a Stuck Window

Fixing a stuck window is not difficult as windows can become stuck for different reasons:
  • Timber framed windows may warp in wet, humid conditions.
  • A stuck window can become difficult to open from a build-up of dirt or too many layers of paint applied over many years.
  • Check around the window, both inside and outside the house to see if there is any obvious cause for the window sticking.
For example, is there a nail or screw driven into the window frame or a lock stopping the window from opening?   All that may be required is to remove these and the window will open.

How to open a stuck window

Method 1

  • Use a utility knife or paint scraper and run the edge of the blade around the edge of the window and window frame, inside and outside the window.
  • Check if the window now opens.

Method 2

  • Take a hammer and small block of wood.
  • Lay the wood against the window frame and with the hammer GENTLY tap the wood around the window frame to free up the window.
  • Check to see if the window opens.
 

Method 3

  • With an sash window (lifts up/down) use a crowbar (also known as a prybar).
  • With a block of wood see if you can pry open the window using a crowbar to gently lever under the lip of the window.
  • The purpose of the block of wood is to prevent damage to the window frame.
 

Stuck Window Preventative Maintenance

Option 1 – Build up dirt in the window track

Often a stuck window is due to a build up of dirt in the tracks over the years.  This is a simple fix.
  • Open the window as far as it will go.
  • Take a tooth-brush or similar hard bristle brush, household cleaner and clean any dirt and grime in the window channels. Allow to dry.
  • Spray the window channel with a silicone lubricant spray. Let the spray dry.
  • Check to see if the window now opens and closes freely.
To maintain the window opening and closing easily clean the window tracks once or twice a year.

Option 2 – Build up of layers of paint

If you have a stuck window it may be caused by a build-up of layers of paint over many years.  You will need to strip back the layers of paint in the window. Tools required:
  1. Paint stripper and paint brush to fit the width of the window channel
  2. Rubber gloves
  3. Dust mask (to avoid breathing in fumes)
  4. Cleaning cloth
  5. Sandpaper
  6. Undercoat and topcoat paint with brush and paint clean-up liquid
Steps:
  • Open the window as far as possible
  • Put on rubber gloves and dust mask
  • Brush on a paint stripper along the window channels.
  • After the required waiting time for the paint stripper to work, scrape off the excess paint and dispose of correctly.
  • Sand the channels to remove any loose paint.
  • Check to see if the window now opens and closes freely.
  • Allow enough clearance for reapplying an undercoat and top coat of paint to the sanded surface.
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