Common Issues with Sliding Windows and How to Fix Them | Brennan DFW
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Common Issues with Sliding Windows and How to Fix Them

Content Common Problems and Solutions for Sliding Windows
  1. Common Problems and Solutions for Sliding Windows
  2. Replacement Sliding Windows

Sliding windows are one of the more common windows you see on homes these days, but like every other type of window, they're not without their problems. Here are some of the more common sliding window problems as well as some solutions that might help.

Common Problems and Solutions for Sliding Windows 

First, let’s go over some of the most common problems that people with sliding windows come across. We’ll also include some solutions on how to fix these problems.

Window Gets Stuck

The most common problem people have with sliding windows is when they get stuck. This often happens when windows are older and poorly maintained, but it can also happen if your windows have a lot of expansion during very hot summers or if they are not slid smoothly and squarely. 

What are the repair options?

In most cases, this can be remedied by simply cleaning off any dirt or debris that’s been caught in the tracks. If your windows are clean and free of debris, but you are still having issues with a smooth glide, then you can also opt to lubricate them using a silicone-based lubricant to help ease the window sliding. 

Window Won't Stay Up

Most sliding windows have a latch or locking mechanism that allows them to stay up when they need to. However, over time these mechanisms can become damaged or broken, causing the window to not be able to stay up when it's supposed to. You can usually prop the window open as a temporary measure, but if you want a long-term solution, the window will need to be repaired or replaced.

What are the repair options?

The first thing you should check is your window balances. If your window is having trouble staying up, there’s a good chance that the balance is damaged or worn. Luckily this is a simple fix and you’ll only need to replace the window balance instead of the entire window. 

As mentioned before, cleaning the window of any dirt or debris that may be caught in the window mechanics can help your window glide smoother and even keep the window up. 


Difficult to Open and Close

Cheaper windows might also not be manufactured to the same level of precision, which might mean there's a slight misalignment between the window and the frame, which can lead to sticking.  This isn't because of any external issue; it's simply a design problem. 

While that's one of the more common reasons why your sliding windows might be harder to open and close, there are also some other things that might cause this problem, including:

  • Debris in the window or frame
  • Misalignment caused by physical damage or wear and tear
  • Worn out tracks

What are the repair options?

The good news is that if you have good-quality windows, these temporary problems might have a cheaper and easier solution than replacing the whole window. 

The first option, especially if you can see dirt and debris in the window frame and track, is to clean them carefully and thoroughly. 

If cleaning your window tracks and mechanisms doesn't solve the problem of a window that's hard to open and close, replacing the tracks might solve the problem. 

Water On Sill

When you find water anywhere in your home that it's not supposed to be, that's cause for concern, and your window sills are no different. Water should not be able to get through a well-fitted and well-maintained window, but there are a few reasons why this might be happening:

  • Glass seal failure - sometimes, the seal around the glass, between it and the window frame itself - might become damaged or even perish from the sun, allowing water through the window.
  • Improper insulation is another common cause of water on your window sill - this is usually an installation problem, so you probably need to speak to a contractor rather than the window manufacturer.
  • Improper drainage - this could be installation related, but it could also be a design flaw in your window. 

What are the repair options?

The first thing to do is to check to see whether there are gaps in the window or if the seals around the window are damaged. Be sure to also check the caulking and weatherstripping as well.

Once you’ve determined what part of the window is damaged and where the leak is coming from, then you’ll know how to best approach the problem.

If the window frame is cracked, you can apply new caulking to seal any gaps leaking air and water. 

One of the most straightforward fixes is to ensure your weep holes are unobstructed. If this is the case, just ensure all debris and blockage is cleared so the weep hole can work properly.

Poor Insulation

Your windows are a critical part of your home's insulation, and if they're not properly insulated, you will be letting cold air in and warm air out, and vice versa. Always choose windows that are designed for your climate, and make sure they're installed properly.

Window Condensation

Window condensation is a common occurrence with most windows in homes. It’s a common occurrence that usually just means your windows are working just fine, and the culprit is likely steam and humidity coming from inside the house (doing activities such as cooking or showering). 

However, if the condensation is occurring in between the window panes, this is a problem and it can result in problems like mold or rot. If this is the case, you’re going to likely be looking at a window replacement.

Replacement Sliding Windows

As you can see, there are a wide variety of things that can go wrong with sliding windows. 

Sometimes, these issues are related to the quality or design of the window. Sometimes, it's a problem with how the window is installed, and sometimes, it's simply related to the age of the window. 

Of course, you always want to explore cheaper options like repair or replacement of window parts, but sometimes, the problems with your windows can't be repaired, and you need to get replacement sliding windows. 

Always look for the highest quality sliding windows you can afford, and try to find sizes as close as possible to what you already have. This will eliminate the need for costly structural changes. Choose weather-resistant, high-quality, made-in-America windows like the ones from our Brennan sliding window catalog to get the best value for money and the longest window lifespan.

August 04, 2023
November 21, 2023


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