How to Deal With Jammed Windows

A window, be it a living room casement window or a sliding window in your bedroom, is a major irritant if it jams too often, especially if you want to close it because it’s getting cold and a chilly draft is invading your room. But the jam may not just be due to temperature changes that may have warped the wood. There is a very real possibility that your window is trying to tell you something about the structural integrity of your cherished home.  If the warping does not go away by itself over a period of time, it may be the harbinger of an ominous development, i.e. problems with the structure of the property you live in.

First and foremost, you have to figure out if you have a ‘sticky window’ or not. Here is how:

  • Your swinging windows randomly open at will or may seem to be ‘popping’ out of their frames
  • You require considerable muscle power to open and shut windows that were hitherto easily operated by even your young children
  • Your double hung windows seem warped out of shape
  • Small hairline cracks seemingly appear out of nowhere, on or near the frames

Any type of window that is resistant to opening or closing easily may be a signal to the owner of the property that there may be underlying problems regarding the foundation of his home.

There are certain ways to determine if the issue is simply a seasonal one, caused due to lack of lubrication or alternately, the structural integrity of your home itself, is under a threat.

· Seasonal warping

If your windows routinely suffer from seasonal expansion or contraction that it just might be a sign that they have become worn out and require replacement with new windows so as to ensure flawless functionality as well as aesthetic appeal.

· Corrosion and rust

This is another way of determining if the issue is simply cosmetic or more deep rooted.  Visible examination of the window would suffice to determine if the window is warping due to corrosion and rust or any other reason. If it is the former, consider investing in a new window since repairing and repainting the old one would be costly and time-consuming at best.

· Rain or snow

Precipitation of any sort as well as snowfall usually has a direct affect on wooden framed windows. The moisture causes it to bend out of shape and bloat or swell, thus leading to jamming issues. Hammering such frames back into alignment rarely ever works. They have essentially outlived their life and new windows such as double hung windows, or energy efficient windows such as triple pane windows may be installed in their stead.

· Visible cracks

Check the area around the frame thoroughly for minute cracks that may be either relatively straight or meandering in a spider web pattern.  Such cracks (Especially large ones) irrespective of where they are found, i.e. either outside your home or inside, are a sign that there is something inherently wrong with the foundation of your home.

However, very narrow ‘hairline’ sized cracks often denote a phenomenon known as  ‘shrinking concrete,’ which is part and parcel of concrete structures. The older a structure gets the more the concrete used in its construction would inevitably shrink.

However, large cracks both inside and outside your property, especially if the masonry around the cracks seems to be falling off while being centered around your jammed windows, may mean foundation trouble. Since your home is standing on its foundations, it is very necessary indeed to make sure you take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of your loved ones