Casement windows--those that open outward by means of a hinge along one side--can be commonly found on a wide variety of homes. While these windows add a touch of class unlike any other, older ones are also prone to becoming stuck in place. If you have a stubborn casement window in your home, read on. This article will teach you about three of the most common causes--and how to solve them.
Loose screws can impede the proper movement of the sash--that is, the main assemblage containing the frame and glass. This often leads to a window that opens only with great difficulty. Fortunately, the problem is fairly simple to address. First, however, you'll need to coax the window open so that you can gain access to the screws, which are hidden by the sash when closed.
If you're lucky, you can fix the problem simply by tightening up the screw heads protruding from the hinge. In many cases, however, the screw holes have become stripped. This problem can be remedied using some wood glue and toothpicks. Remove the screws, fill the holes with wood glue, and then insert toothpicks in them.
Once the glue has dried, snip the toothpicks flush with the hinge. Now reinstall the screw. The glued-in-place toothpicks will provide the extra "substance" needed to get the screws nice and tight, and prevent them from working loose again.
The older your casement window, the more likely the chances that it has been exposed to some form of moisture damage over the years. The likelihood of this problem developing skyrockets for those windows with hinges mounted on the exterior side. Constant exposure to the elements will soon lead to rust and corrosion developing on the hinge.
If the rust doesn't seem too severe, you may be able to get the window working right by applying a squirt or two of silicone spray lubricant. If the binding problem soon recurs, however, it may be necessary to remove the hinge and install a fresh replacement.
The operator is the name of the assembly containing the rotating handle used to open and close your casement window. Over the years, dust and dirt can work its way inside of the operator, thus causing unwanted binding and stubbornness. Slide a screwdriver or flat pry bar under one side the operator's top cover. Then gently repeat the process on the other side; in this manner, you should be able to pop off the cover, revealing the inside of the operator.
Remove any dust or debris with a paintbrush or a can of condensed air. Then apply a small amount of lithium grease to the gear wheels. Now reattach the cover and try operating the window once more.