Are your home windows hard to open and close? Do they slam shut when you open them, or refuse to move smoothly along their tracks?
It’s not unusual for Michigan homeowners to face problems with windows that stick in place. And since your windows keep your home secure, comfortable, and safe from the elements, you can’t afford to ignore it when those windows aren’t performing properly.
Our windows experts often get questions about windows that stick or don’t work smoothly, and we want you to know what you’re dealing with—so you can make good decisions that keep your home attractive and easy to maintain. Here’s why you may be having issues with your windows, and what to do about it.
Reasons Your Windows Don’t Properly Open and Close
As windows get older, they start to deteriorate. As a result, you can end up dealing with windows that simply don’t work. Many Ann Arbor area homeowners switch from wood windows to affordable, attractive vinyl windows—which last longer than wood, without the need for constant upkeep.
Broken Inner Workings
The springs, cords and balances that move window sashes can get broken through repeated use. These mechanisms can unravel, come loose, become too tight, snap in two, or have other damage—resulting in sashes that won’t stay open.
Wood frames can leak, rot, or get eaten by termites and woodpeckers. When window frames are damaged, the sashes won’t move up and down easily. This is one of many reasons homeowners switch from wood to vinyl windows, which resist moisture and pest damage.
Changes in temperature and weather make the dirt around and under a home expand and contract. This settling process may cause windows to stick. The more the foundation is damaged, the greater the likelihood is that you’ll find it difficult to open and close your home’s windows.
If your windows were installed by contractors who cut corners, a host of issues can result. For example, a failure to add proper caulking can allow moisture to get inside the windows, resulting in damaged frames—and window sashes that don’t move up and down.
Lack of Care
All windows need regular care to perform their best. Sometimes, issues can arise simply because dirt and debris have gummed up the mechanisms, leading to the windows getting stuck or jammed. The tracks in which the sashes move up and down may need lubrication.
Mistakes Made during Home Maintenance
Window parts can sometimes be damaged during home renovations. For example, there are pins that can be removed from the window sash when tilting the sash inwards. If these pins are removed or fall out, and aren’t properly put back, the windows will stop functioning as they should.
It’s also possible for home repairs to push windows off-center, which will cause them not to open and close properly. And if not careful, painters can paint over the window sashes, which can make the windows stick in place.
Why It Matters that Your Windows Aren’t Working
Windows that get stuck, won’t stay open, or won’t fully close aren’t just annoying—they can cause you major problems. Here’s why you shouldn’t ignore it when your windows aren’t performing correctly.
1. Moisture Leaks
Moisture damage can do a real number on a home. And with Michigan’s cold, wet winters and humid summers, many homeowners struggle with leaky windows. The moisture can get into a window’s inner mechanisms, the window frames, and even your exterior walls, leading to wood rot, rust, mold, mildew—and costly repairs.
2. Higher Energy Costs
Are you noticing that your window glass is fogging up? This is a sign of condensation—moisture that occurs because the temperature outside your home is much warmer or cooler than your inside temperature. Condensation is a sign that your windows aren’t properly insulating your house, making your heat and A/C work harder.
3. Lessened Safety
Windows do more than give you great views and fresh air. They’re also a vital part of a home’s safety—keeping unwanted intruders out, and offering escape routes in case of a fire or other emergency. Windows that won’t open or that won’t stay closed compromise your security and should be repaired or replaced promptly.
Repair or Replace Windows: What’s the Better Solution?
When to Choose Window Repair
If you’re facing an issue with just one window, or if the windows are still under warranty, then a repair may be an option to consider.
There are a few simple DIY repair tips you can safely attempt on your own. If it looks like the windows are painted shut, run a utility knife gently around sash joints to loosen things up. If the tracks look dirty, clean them and add a little beeswax or silicone spray to lubricate them.
If these DIY techniques don’t work, call on a windows company that is experienced in caring for the brand you have. They can identify your problem and guide you on whether repair or replacement is a smarter option.
When to Choose Window Replacement
Installing replacement windows is often a better option than repairs—especially if the windows are out of warranty, old, unattractive, or just not giving you the performance you deserve.
Today’s new windows offer many features and styles to fit your lifestyle better than underperforming, outdated windows. They offer energy-efficient designs, secure locks, and modern appearances that offer strong curb appeal and lasting performance.
And since replacement windows boost your home’s overall value, you’ll also enjoy the return on investment they offer.
Get New Windows that Make You Love Your Home
There’s no reason to deal with dissatisfying windows that don’t open or close, leak, or are drafty. Our team makes it simple to find new windows that are stylish, secure, and energy-efficient. We’ll guide you so you can find the perfect window replacements to match your home architecture, whether it’s a historical Tudor, a quaint Craftsman, or a relaxed Ranch.
Reach out to us for a complimentary consultation and free quote.