Woodland Windows and Doors Blog

This is where we will post relevant articles, information, and how-to's related to all things windows and doors. Check back often for updates and new information!

Stuck Windows This Winter - What You Need to Know About Hard to Open Windows

The simple anatomy a window
 
Windows operate on simple mechanical principles. Understand these and you can diagnose your window problem.
 
Single and double hung windows simply move up and down in channels in the window frame. Balancing mechanisms, such as rope and pulley, spiral or block and tackle, assist in raising and lowering the window sashes, and prevent them from sliding downward.
 
Andersen Casement Crank
Casement and awning windows operate by a crank handle and a track. The windows are opened and closed by means of a crank mechanism, which resides against the frame on the inside. The crank houses a series of gears inside a metal housing, which moves a control arm, attached to the sash, which slides along a track.
 
Sliding windows rely on rollers and a sliding track, like a sliding door. To open and close simply requires just a push.
 
Eliminate obvious maintenance problems
 
Often, the reason windows are hard to open and shut is because they’ve not been properly maintained. Windows are finely engineered, rely on moving parts, withstand extreme weather, and are built to last a long time. A well-maintained window will operate smoothly, year after year.
Pella Sash Removal
 
Single and double hung windows become difficult to open if there’s a buildup of dirt, dust, and debris. Over the years, friction from the buildup increases making the windows difficult to open and close. Try cleaning the window frames and spray with a non-silicone, solvent-free lubricant, opening and closing the window several times to work the lubricant.
 
If you have old painted windows check the sides of the sash to be sure they have not been painted (never apply primer or paint to the edges of the sash). If excess paint has been applies around the window frame and sill, gently slide a putty knife between the sash and the frame to release the paint. You might try using a hair dryer to blow hot air around the edge of the sash until you can move the window. After successfully releasing the window, lubricate the window frame interiors, channel guides, with pure paraffin candle wax, such as an unscented white votive candle.
 
Casements and awnings that are difficult to open and shut will require removing the sash (consult the instruction manual for your windows) and checking for stripped or loose screws. Lubricate the hinges with a non-silicone, solvent-free lubricant, and then open and shut the windows several times to work in the lubricant. It is helpful to keep the gears lubricated to make turning easy by applying a few drops of oil around the base of the handle if it’s difficult to turn.
 
Easy to clean sliders
Sliders that are difficult to open and close may simply require cleaning the roller system and track with a simple soap and water solution. If this doesn’t solve the problem, try lubricating the rolling system.
 
If the problem persists
 
After eliminating the obvious causes of hard to operate windows if you windows still don’t open with little effort, you’ll need to eliminate the most common repair problems. Failed or worn out pulleys or tension springs are common repairs for single and double hung windows. Chipped, broken or bent gears require you to buy a whole new casement crank unit for your casement window. Broken wheels may need replacing on sliding windows.
Double Hung Balancer: ProSalesMag
 
Windows are basically simple mechanisms requiring only regular maintenance to work well.  Mechanisms can be faulty or wear out, which requires replacing parts, re-installing the frame or other repair.  These repairs may appear easy enough, but they can actually be tedious challenges better left to professionals who have mastered the art and science of window repair.
 
Woodland’s window manufacturer’s websites offer tips on window maintenance; check out Marvin, Andersen, and Pella.
Don’t get stuck inside this winter.
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Versetta Stone and Insulated Vinyl Siding Transforms this Old House

 

Nothing lasts forever and that includes siding. When the day comes that your old siding makes your home look tired and dated, don’t just replace your existing siding, instead, with a little creativity you can transform your old house into a neighborhood gem. How can you transform your home and budget for the cost of the project?

2b After edit1

 

Watch the makeover of this home in Elmhurst.

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Window Condensation in Winter

 

Why does condensation appears on my windows and what can be done?oldwindows condensation blog72

Condensation on your windows operates on the same principle as steamed up bathroom mirrors after taking a shower. The steam from the shower is too heavy to be carried away in the air, so it condenses onto the coldest surfaces in the room and you get a steamy mirror. Likewise, if the moisture in your home is too dense to remain in the air, it too will condense onto the coldest surfaces in your home, which are most likely your windows.

In a nutshell, if you see condensation on your windows you most likely have too much humidity in your home and you’ll want to focus on reducing the sources of humidity. Typically, winter is more troublesome than summer when it comes to condensation because you home is closed up to keep the heat in. Warmer air holds more moisture than cold air, which is why condensation will appear on your window more often during the winter months.

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Foggy Windows? Condensation or A Broken Window Seal.

As soon as fall breaks toward winter and outside temperatures drop, some windows in your home may appear a bit cloudy. Depending on where the fog is occurring, the problem may be as simple as excess moisture developing due to the difference in indoor and outdoor temperature or it might be more serious because the window seal is failing.

WindowCondensation 1

 

Condensation on the Glass Surface

Condensation on glass surfaces happens, for example, on a hot humid day when moisture may accumulate on the exterior side of your windows. Likewise, on a very cold day, moisture can build up on the interior side of your windows. Condensation on your windows can be worse when the outside temperature is below the dew point of the indoor air. Water or frost appears when warm moist air comes in contact with colder dry air.

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Avoid Costly Window Repair With a Simple Walk

 
It’s enjoyable to walk neighborhoods and look at beautiful homes and landscapes. Since windows are my business, my trained eye can’t help but notice potential trouble spots on some homes.
 
Topping the list of trouble spots are window sills. They’re in various stages of disrepair from peeling paint to unpainted exposed wood to rotting to rotted trim boards. As a homeowner, you can avoid costly window repairs if you take a simple walk around your home.

Older homes with original windows are likely to be made from wood. The woods used were typically hardwoods, giving them an enduring quality if maintained. Over time, wood windows were manufactured from softer woods that may not be as rot resistant as the hardwoods. In either case, quality wood windows will last a long time if maintained.

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Stuck Windows This Winter – What you need to know about hard to open windows.

If you find yourself crouched low to gravity, feet hip width apart, abs firm, elbows tucked, arms ready to lift and you’re not a sumo wrestler, you may have a problem of stuck windows.
Windows
Don’t get stuck inside this winter. If you’re wrestling with old or new windows you can do something about it before winter arrives. First, understand that humidity causes wood windows to swell, accumulated dust causes tracks to increase friction, and loose or faulty tension springs fail. It’s also possible that the installation wasn’t done correctly. If the window wasn’t installed perfectly square, if too much insulating foam was compressed in the wall cavity, or if setscrews weren’t properly adjusted - your window can be hard to open.
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