Windows connect your home to the outside world allowing natural light to flow through and while keeping the internal temperature at the desired level. Depending on how they are designed, windows also add to the personality of a house. For windows to serve their intended purpose however, they must be functioning properly. Luckily most windows require minimal maintenance if properly installed and most homeowners are rarely forced to replace windows.
Windows come in all sizes and designs. Casement windows are more common and it is rare to find a house without at least one casement window. Casement windows are simply windows that open and swing just like doors. Over time such windows start becoming hard to open, get fogged up or start becoming drafty. So how do you solve these problems and ensure that you windows are functioning as they are designed to?
Well, unless a pane is broken, these problems can be easily solved without necessarily involving a professional. If you have some casement windows that may need some fixing or repairs but have no idea how to get started below is a guide that covers most common casement window problems and explains how these problems can be resolved.
Fixing a jammed handle
If your window handle stops working then it is highly likely that the teeth of the crank shaft or the handle gears are chewed up. To identify where the problem with the handle lies, you should remove the handle from the window and check for wear and tear signs. If the crank shaft teeth are worn out then you will need to find a replacement. In the case of a worn out handle gears then you would have no option but to replace the handle. Replacement parts can be purchased from your local hardware or you can find these parts from online traders who sell parts and fix windows.
For a quick fix before you can get some handle replacement you can file the handle shaft to reduce or flatten the worn out part. You can close the window and fold up the handle to get point where the operator shaft and the setscrew meet. This method works best if the window handle is held together using a setscrew. All you do is to remove the setscrew and file shaft so that the setscrew locks on the shaft. You can use any rotary tool that comes with a grinder bit to do the filling. This job will take you about 15 minutes. The outcome will be a flat side on the shaft that can then be reattached using a longer setscrew. This method only works for older handle models. Most modern handles do not come with setscrews.
Fixing a sticking window
As the name suggests, a sticking window will drag against the window frame when you try to open or close it. To identify what the problem could be you should first of all close the window in question and check for any obstructions from the outside. The problem could be location of the frame sash. Normally the sash should sit at the center of the frame. The channel screw may however get loose over time and realign from the original position and in the process causes the sash to move from its original position. If the sash has been slightly moved you can simply move it back to the center by slightly adjusting the hinge channel. Depending on where the problem with the sash is you can either use the hinge channel at the top or at the bottom to put back the sash in place.
You can fill the channel screw holes with wood filler if the windows are made of wood or with epoxy in the case of vinyl windows to permanently fix windows. You should not forget to mark the location of the hinge channel on the window frame so that you will have an easy time putting the channel back. The channel should be reinstalled about an eighth of an inch from its original position moving away from the side affected by the drag. Have a device to drill some pilot holes on the jamb before reinstalling the channel.
Sealing a drafty window
A drafty window may arise from a dragging sash that prevents the window from closing completely or a sticky weather strip that gets attached to the window frame and gets loose once the sash is opened.
The solution above explains how you can take care of a dragging sash. In the case of a sticky weather strip, you can opt to replace the entire weather stripping especially if the existing one is worn out. To ensure that you get the right fit take the sash width and height measurements. You should also get the window brand and glass manufacturer’s information either from the corner of the glass or from the space between the window panes. Remove the sash to install the new weather strip.
If your window stripping is not worn out, and you are not yet ready to buy some replacement you can get some polyurethane sealant from a hardware store and use it to put back the strip in place.
Whether you replace the entire stripping or you just get to address the problem areas to fix your windows, you should ensure that you use some silicon lubricant to prevent the weather stripping from sticking in the future. Use a rag to wipe excess lubricant from the weather stripping. You should keep off oil lubricants as these act as dust magnets.
You may want to consider replacing old doors and windows rather than fixing them. Call us today for a free estimate before you put a lot of time and money into fixing old windows.
MBHS Windows, Doors & Enclosures
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577