Along with letting in fresh air and light, windows are a big part of the visual character of a home. Once they start sticking or rotting develops, they become a detriment to your property.
When a window sticks, it is usually due to the fact that it wasn’t installed correctly or someone painted the window frame without taking their time. In the case of a window with a wooden frame, the wood can swell due to excess humidity and moisture.
Loosening A Stuck Window
If you’ve already tried using a block of wood wrapped in a cloth followed by gently tapping on it with a hammer around the window frame, here is another method:
1. Slide the putty knife into the cracks and tap the handle gently with a hammer.
2. Work your way around the window sash, tapping gently as you go.
3. Place a block of wood on the window sill. (On either the inside or outside sill.)
4. Put a pry bar under one end of the sash and rock the bar backward, over the block of wood.
5. Go back and put the bar under the sash on the first side.
6. Repeat these steps, working the pry bar toward the center, until you’ve lifted the entire bottom sash.
Vinyl windows that are made from PVC have minimal weather-related issues. However, when a wood window sill or sash has taken significant abuse from weather, you can first try repainting or using epoxy wood filler to repair the rotted area.
If the wood is severely rotted, though, you will have to remove the area and replace it. Here is a video that shows how to manage this process:
Fixing a stuck or rotted window is a common aspect of owning an older home, but if you decide to replace your windows, there are a lot of decisions to make. There are a number of common styles of windows:
- Double-hung windows
- Casement Windows
- Awning Windows
- Picture Windows
- Slider Windows
- Bay Windows
Choosing a window that is functional, decorative, and efficient is essential, but if the window isn’t installed correctly, even the most expensive window won’t perform effectively. Using shortcuts to get the window to fit well can lead to problems down the road.
Start the installation process by removing the old trim using a pry bar and hammer. Take out the old window by unscrewing it from the window jamb.
Make sure there is no damage and then measure the rough opening to be sure it works for your new window. It should be at least a quarter inch larger than the exterior dimensions of the window.
Next, set the window into the opening to make sure it will fit:
Before applying the silicone to the the window stop, dry fit the window to make sure there are no fitment issues. If you do have fitment issues, address them now and then dry fit the window again. When done properly the window should fit snugly into the opening. Do not move forward with the install until you are satisfied with the way the window fits in the opening.
Find out more here: How to Install a New Window
Once you are ready, run a bead of silicone and set the window in the opening. Screw it into place, add some insulation into the gaps, and replace the trim.
If you aren’t sure you want to take on the project, call a Denver building contractor to get an estimate.