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Tip: Repair Window Hardware

Window hardware basics:

The latch is found on operable windows and its purpose it to open and close the window.

Tracks are found on operable windows. A track holds or contains a window sash and allows it to move back and forth.

Each side of each sash on a double-hung window is counter-weighted to balance the sash’s movement. A cord, rope or chain is secured to each weight, threaded over a pulley and attached to the sash. If the sash won’t stay open, one or both of the ropes may be broken or the pulley may be stuck.

Hinges are the movable joints on operable windows that allow a sash to swing open. They are normally found on casement or awning windows.

A crank is found on casement windows. By turning the crank, you can open or close a window. If a sash won’t open fully, odds are that the arm or the slot in which it moves is clogged with debris. The crank may also need lubrication.

A sticking window is a problem only on operable windows that open and close. The most common causes of a stuck sash are paint-bound edges, accumulated dirt and warped or swollen wood.

A jammed window is another problem only found on operable windows. Sticks and jams may be caused by debris (dirt, paint, rocks) stuck in the window track.

Over the years, both good and bad weather can damage window frames and seals. Leaks can occur in both operable and fixed windows. With operable windows, leaks can occur between the frame and the sash. Some leaks occur between the glass and the frame.

Whether you use glass or plastic, replacing a broken pane in a single-glazed window is fairly simple and possibly a do-it-yourself project. For double or triple-glazed windows, get a new sash from a building supplier or the manufacturer.

Like car windows, your home windows can be tinted to filter out certain aspects of sunlight.

Screens are only needed with operable windows. Screens can keep bugs and leaves out of your house when the window is open.

Moisture can be found on double or triple-glazed windows that have more than one layer of glass and can be caused by a crack in the outer glass or a leak within the seal.

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