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Photos8.com, Flickr

On the verge of a hernia trying to open that window that's stuck shut? Stop -- there's an easier way!

If you live in an older home, chances are your window frames have begun to warp as a result of changes in moisture and pressure over time. The result: windows that jam when you try to open them.

Another potential cause? Perhaps your paint job last summer has created a sticky situation. Always be sure your paint has fully dried before shutting any windows or doors.

The good news: getting that stuck window to glide smoothly on its tracks is a breeze. Here's what to do:

1. Check to be sure window is unlocked (I know, I know, but it must be said!).

2. Place the blade of a stiff metal putty knife into the joint where the window meets the window sill. If the blade doesn't easily fit into the joint, there may be a paint seal. Be sure to tap the handle lightly, rather than forcing it down into the crack.

3. If the metal putty life doesn't unstick the window, try a small pry bar carefully.

4. Once the window is unsealed, check the tracks in the window sash. Clean out excess paint with your putty knife or a paint scraper. If necessary, carefully use a hammer and chisel to remove any built up paint that may be obstructing the tracks.

5. Wipe off or vacuum dust or any other foreign materials that may have caused the window to stick. When cleaning out the track, be sure to avoid gouging the wood

Easy enough, right? To prevent future sticks, I'd recommend applying a lightweight lubricant on the track, such as Ultra Glide.

If your window is warped beyond repair, it may be time to consider replacing it. Click here to learn all about energy efficient replacement windows.



  • Debbie

    This will be funny but I thought this was a computer article, there was a picture of a laptop on the screen above this article so I clicked on it and had to laugh when I relized it was for a real glass window, that is what I get for reading the title too fast. Too funny;-)

    Reply
  • Ferd

    Who still has windows like that shown, unless you live in a home built in the 1920's and are restoring it. I want to know how to make vinyl casing windows that slide horizonatally slide real easy? They are really difficult to slide open and closed.

    Reply
  • tom

    Spray the bottom window track with wd40 or silicone spray.


  • Lisa

    My windows in my basement look just like that! My house was built in 1900. I can't afford to replace them right now so I will just leave mine stuck! Don't want them to come apart..yikes.


  • Brittany

    To the person who said "what house has windows like that? no one unless their house was built in the 1920's" a ton of houses have windows like that. The one I live in right now does, and so did the one before this, before that, and before that. I've only lived in one that didn't. They weren't as bad off as that one and as flakey and covered in paint but most arent. Not everyone lives in a brand new house. Especially not in New England.


  • Glenn H.

    Vynal and alum or painted metal casings. try some furiture polish such as Endust. Its slick and smells good.

    Reply
  • howard

    ALL TRIED AND TRUE ADVICE HOWEVER WITH THE NEW EPA LEAD LAWS THAT ARE COMING IN APRIL DONT GET CAUGHT DOING THIS FOR A CUSTOMER UNLESS YOUR PREPARED FOR THE $32,500.00 FINE THAT COULD GO WITH THE REPAIR

    Reply
  • rick shoe

    Take a block of wood and place it on top of the bottom window and give it a rap. (first right side and then left side). that should free it up, then use your silicones etc. to lubricate the sides.

    Rick

    Reply
  • handy andy

    Item 3 what is a putty life?
    If the block and hammer trick doesn't get results.
    This method will damage the interior sill, put something down so the blade doesn't make a mark on the sill and put the pry bar in a spot where the damage to the sash will not be obvious.

    Reply
  • Jennifer

    Well, DUH, I would have done that without reading this article. I thought this article was some magic trick but it isn't.

    Reply
  • zpainter

    whats a metal putty life?

    Reply
  • zpainter

    whats a putty life in #3?

    Reply
  • rickys

    The best part is your can apply the lightweight lubricant used on the track, such as Ultra Glide for other uses too :).

    Reply
  • 13 Comments / 1 Pages
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