How to Repair Sliding Windows

October 10, 2010

If your home has a sliding window that is stuck or broken, you may be able to solve the problem yourself. Here are some common window issues and some simple solutions:

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Sliding Windows That Do Not Open

If your window does not open, first make sure that it has not been painted shut. If it has, usually you can break the paint seal by cutting along the edge of the operable window sash with a razor knife. Another common problem is a bent or damaged frame track, because this is where the window slides back and forth. If the frame is made of aluminum, you may be able to straiten the track by tapping on it gently with a hammer and a block of wood.

Windows That Open But Don't Slide Freely

A sliding window that does not open easily may need a new roller. To replace a window roller, you need to remove the window sash from the frame. Lift the frame up within the track and then tilt it outward from the bottom. Make sure the track is clean and there is nothing in it that can interfere with the sliding of the window. On the bottom of the frame, there are two rollers held in place by screws. Simply unscrew the broken roller and replace it with a new one. Reposition the sash within the track and make sure the window opens and closes smoothly.

Sliding Windows With Broken Glass

If the window pane is broken within the operable sash, then remove the sash as described, and bring it to a window shop to be replaced. While some types of window sashes can be taken apart to accept a new pane of glass, others do not come apart and must be replaced entirely.

If you are unsure about how to complete a repair, you can always enlist the help of a window specialist.

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