There are a number of reasons a door or window may not open and close properly, and the best way to properly fix a door or window that’s sticking is to know what’s causing the issue. There’s almost no reason why a door or window will stick that can’t be fixed.
Be very careful about modifying the door window in any permanent way. The reason a door or window may have trouble opening or closing may be temporary, but modifying the door, window or structure can’t easily be undone.
Determine the Cause of a Window or Door That’s Not Working Properly
The first thing you’ll want to look for is the exact spot that the door or window sticks. Every single reason a door or window becomes difficult to open and close has to do with pressure and friction. Pressure may include hinges, framing, sashes and slides.
Check the area for dirt and debris; you’d be surprised how many sticky windows and doors are do to dirt and grime on tracks, hinges and slides, and a simple cleaning may be all that’s required to solve the issue. It’s important to maintain windows and doors (especially if it’s wood door maintenance).
Next, look for any obvious signs of wear and scratching. Repeated rubbing of any parts will leave a visible sign that there’s an issue. The more difficult it is to open and close, the more likely the damage will be obvious.
Lastly, check for any lose screws or parts. If the window or door is at all wobbly, it may just need some tightening up to work right again.
Humidity and Weather Causing Doors and Windows to Shrink and Expand
One of the biggest causes of sticking windows and doors is weather and humidity. Wood can expand or shrink depending on the moisture in the air. This doesn’t always have to do with the weather outside though. A sure-fire sign of humidity is moisture on the inside of the window that you can touch. (If you have moisture between the panes of glass, you may need new windows.)
If you have many plants in your home, or a humidifier, you’ll want to keep them away from windows and doors if you find they’re sticking. Plants give off some humidity during their life-cycle, and it’s just enough that it could cause a door or window to swell. You can also use your air conditioner if you have humid weather outside to combat swelling.
In some cases, you may need to trim some material once the wood adjusts to your home and climate. Remember, any physical changes you make are permanent and cannot be undone.
Lubricate the Hinges, Slides and Surfaces
The other main cause of sticky windows and doors is just plain old friction. You’ll have a much easier time opening and closing you windows and doors by reducing the friction they encounter. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of stopping any squeaking that’s occurring.
You’ll absolutely want to check with your window or manufacturer to find out what lubricant is safe to use on sashes and hinges, or else you can cause permanent damage. Plastic, wood, and metal will all react differently. (Find out more about window cladding types.) While it may be safe to use WD40 on hinges, it can eat away at plastics and destroy wood.
If you have any questions about sticky windows and doors, we’d be happy to help you sort out the issue. Give us a call or drop by our showroom and we’ll let you know what you can do to get your doors and windows working perfectly!