[SOLVED] Why your uPVC windows are not closing properly?
Closing problems may occur with windows installed 10+ years ago.
However, you need to understand that even the most sophisticated windows made of premium materials will fail to function smoothly if the installation was done inappropriately.
That's why we want to highlight some of the common issues that prevent a window from closing and give you tips on fixing a window that won't close all the way.
It's a big problem if you can't close your window
Windows that will not close often pose a lot of problems to homeowners: from drafts, condensation, leakage to a surge in energy bills and HVAC overuse.
The most common reasons for causing the window not to close correctly include:
Window tracks are clogged and need to be cleaned
Thining of gaskets
Inaccuracies during installation
Old or low-quality window hardware or profile
Deformation of the window sash, which may be caused by the shrinkage cracks in the foundation
#1 Check if the sash is sagging when in full aperture
The heavier the sash and the higher the frequency of operation, the greater the likelihood of a window sash to sag.
How does it happen?
If your uPVC window doesn't have an opening restrictor installed, then you can accidentally turn the handle incorrectly, and thus, the sash will be hanging on the lower hinge.
Upon removing your hands and leaving the sash in a free position, you may see how it falls inward, making the lower hinge prone to be torn out.
To avoid such trouble, you should install the restrictor.
In case your windows don't have the stopper or it's not possible to install one at this moment, then press the sash tightly to the window frame, and only then turn the handle.
If you still notice the gap in the lower part of the window, keep reading.
#2 Broken window hinges
Hinges play a vital role in facilitating a window's smooth transition between open and closed positions.
When either top, bottom or side hinges are broken, they hinder the sash from closing completely. It's another reason why your window may not be shutting fitly.
As hinges come in various sizes and strengths depending on the weight of the sash, you need to understand which side is causing the troubles.
To locate the hinges in a standard uPVC window with a restrictor version, check if it's:
Awning window, then hinges are on each side that secure it from falls;
Casement windows only have one restrictor at the bottom.
Normally, the hinges break because of water accumulation inside the window frame or the arms rusting out.
These issues are found in casement or awning windows that stuck open.
#3 Window Tracks Are Clogged
Another widespread issue with windows not being able to close comes to dirty tracks.
Check the tracks for dirt or gunk, as this will prevent the movement when you raise or lower the window.
Dirt particles can make their way into the track when you leave windows open during the summer months.
Picked up by the wind, the dirt eventually ends up in the window tracks.
That's why it's critical to thoroughly clean the tracks and any gaps in the opening mechanism once a year to extend the service life of your windows.
The buildup of dirt forms into a mixture of oil and moisture.
This may cause problems and potential damage such as cracks and a swollen plastic frame.
You may be surprised to hear that over the years, we've discovered the presence of foliage, twigs, pebbles and small debris.
Certainly, when the tracks are congested with so much dirt, it becomes impossible to operate windows flawlessly.
#4 Broken Pulleys on a window
Broken pulleys are a common problem in old houses.
The pulleys must remain intact in order for the window to open or close properly.
When pulleys are broken, it may feel a lot heavier than normal to open the window, and once you release the window, it might fail to hold its position.
When the window is unstable and slowly slides back or shuts with a thud, it's a dangerous situation, especially when situated two or more stories above the ground.
The sash can break the fastenings under its own weight and fall down on people putting to risk their lives.
We've seen pulleys wear down over the years due to moisture or rust. The latter occurs typically in the metal pulleys.
Fortunately, it's an easy fix to swap the pulleys out for new ones, but unless you feel uncertain about fixing the problem yourself, get some help.
We recommend replacing the malfunctioned window by contracting a local windows company.
Be sure to check our collection windows, and get in touch with us to help sort the problem out for you.
#5 Window Needs to Be Lubricated
Did you know that your windows can fail to move smoothly up or down if the tracks are insufficiently lubricated?
Unlike more critical issues like broken pulleys or sagging sash, the lack of lubrication will not pose any damage other than an annoying squeaking sound.
It's due to the friction caused by two metal parts rubbing against one another.
As you continue to force the window up and down, the impurities, which are the dried lube residue, spread long the tracks and further hinder the window's functionality.
Thankfully, it's easy to fix the lubrication issue.
Inspect the tracks on your problem window. Once you spotted any impurities, simply clear the area off any residue.
Wipe the area out and only then apply the lubricant in a few key spots along the vertical or horizontal inner-length of the window from both sides. ZERUST is a great brand that will remove easily any residue. It comes with one-year outdoor protection and two years indoors.
Next, slide your window along both verticals to let the lubricant spread along the tracks to smooth the movement.
In case the problem persists, reapply the new lubricant.
#6 Window Handle Is Loose
It may happen so that a window handle is not fully engaged with its locking part, and the lock is slightly ajar when you try to close it.
In this case, many people have trouble seeing whether the window is in the locked position.
In some cases, the expansion within the corresponding metal parts disables the two ends to grip, which causes the handle to become loose.
In this case, we usually recommend applying more force when closing the window.
However, we've noticed that the handle might move unobstructedly, but the window itself remains closed. This is caused by the broken handle.
(!) Beware of not using force if the handle is broken.
Otherwise, you risk damaging the mechanism, even making it necessary to replace the entire window hardware, not just the handle.
Still, experiencing problems?
Consider doing the following to replace the handle:
At full aperture, remove the protective strip and unscrew the screws that secure the handle to the sash
Gently remove the screws, followed by the broken handle.
Next, installed the handle in the same hole and fasten it with the same set of screws
#7 Window Isn't Centered
We see this issue quite often in both old and new houses – the window is slightly ajar when closed.
It's caused by the sash not being in alignment within the tracks. Further damage can be incurred if you repeatedly apply excessive force to open and shut the window.
Have you dented or bent the inner tracks on one side of the window, it can lead to broken pulleys, stoppers and lopsidedness.
Check the inner tracks on fractures and the frame itself on lopsidedness.
Sometimes all you need is another set of eyes to detect problems with your windows.
Our team of professionals with 15+ years of experience is here to support you all the way through your window and door replacement project.