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Why are My Windows Difficult to Open?

Inspecting difficult to open windows

Are your windows difficult to open? Follow this series of tips from Lees Glass & Window Works to know when it’s time to replace your windows.

Unless you know what to look for, it’s not always clear when your windows need replacing. Most homeowners know that outdated styles like Jalousie or single pane windows are highly inefficient and should be replaced. Modern replacements like impact rated vinyl windows provide much better insulation and can make a big difference in your utility bills.

Likewise, windows with obvious damage are easy to identify. Broken sashes and cracked glass are hard to miss and should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Older homes may even have windows that have stopped opening altogether.

Other signs of malfunctioning windows may not be as apparent to the casual observer. Follow these inspection tips to get a better understanding of the condition of your existing windows and know when it’s time to call in the professionals.

Inspecting Difficult to Open Windows

For single hung, double hung, casement and sliding windows, one of the easiest inspections you can perform is to simply open and close them. Pay close attention to how the window sounds and feels to get a good idea of the condition of the mechanism.

When you open your window, does it make any unusual sounds? Listen for any rubs, squeaks, rattles or squeals as these can be an indication of frames that are out of alignment or have damaged sashes or hardware. Windows that open with cranks or gears should operate smoothly and be free of grinding or creaky sounds.

While some squeaks and squeals can be fixed with a quick application of lubricant or adjustment to the hardware, noisy operation can also be the sign of a more serious problem. If your windows are talking to you, listen!

How difficult is it to open and close your windows? Most types of windows should open with little effort. Feel for windows that are loose, require excessive force to open or become jammed. These are likely signs that your frame or sash is in need of repair or replacement.

Lee’s Glass Pro Tip: When inspecting difficult to open windows, take a moment to look over the locking mechanism as well. Properly functioning locks ensure that your windows create tight seals when closed. If your locks will not close, you may be leaving a gap through which drafts can enter your home.

For windows that are meant to open but refuse to do so, inspect the inside and outside if possible. Take a look at the edges where the sash and frame meet. If the edge seems filled in or rounded over, the window may be sealed with one or more layers of paint. In other cases, the sash may actually be nailed or screwed into the frame. Look for tell-tale circular bumps or indentations from these fasteners along the sides or bottom of the sash.

Call a Window Specialist

If you are unable to identify the source of any issues you may be having with your windows, call the specialists at Lee’s Glass & Window Works. They have years of experience in addressing these problems and can quickly tell you whether your window needs a bit of upkeep, a total replacement, or anything in between.

"The Lee's installation crew was very clean, polite and professional. We cannot believe the difference the new windows made to our house."
- Bobby