Problem: Window won’t open be
cause of paint, dirt, or moisture problems.
Background: Though windows can become stuck in
periods of high humidity, they often stick because they
are painted shut. Windows may also stick because their
channels or guides need cleaning and/or lubricating.
What to do: If the window is stuck because it has
been painted shut, use a utility knife and insert it
between the window stop and the sash (wood part of the
window). Slide it along the crack all the way around the
window. Local hardware stores or home centers may carry
other tools designed for this purpose; one is called a
window zipper. Next, if the window still appears to be
stuck, use a short piece of scrap lumber, such as a 2x2,
and place it against the sash. Tap lightly on the scrap
wood with a hammer.
Special advice: To free the window you may have to
take out the window stops by removing any visible screws.
If the stops are nailed, use a thin pry bar to remove
them, working close to the nail locations. After removing
the stops, sand or lightly plane them so the window will
Helpful hint: When
painting or repainting windows, make sure you move the
window once or twice while the paint is drying to prevent
the stuck-window syndrome.