Anyone that owns a historic home will confess to having dealt with the annoyance of the antique sliding windows not functioning properly. Most see the removal of these units as a good decision, albeit very costly. Nonetheless one should consider the fact that many are over 120 years old and may just need sash window repairs in order to function again.
Made by hand means that the panels tend to be extremely heavy and therefore if not looked after over long periods of time glitches occur. Despite what one may think, repairing these windows is not that difficult. Normally comprising of two separate panels known as a sash which slides into position individually.
These parts are designed to move the entire length of the wooden box frame, this is done by means of a counterbalance system. Besides not opening properly many also tend to let in a lot of exterior noise and draughts, as a result of the wooden frames settling over many years. As for the first problem mentioned this too is easily remedied.
To facilitate the successful repairs of such an aged window one simply needs to complete the following few steps. Firstly the sashes have to be removed from the frame. Inside the frame there is a wooden strip that will have to be carefully removed. On successfully removing it the bottom panel can be slipped out of the frame.
If it is attached to a sash cord then simply cut the cord while holding the weight to prevent it from falling into a bottom cavity. To remove the upper sash one has to remove another vertical piece of wood by repeating the same steps. It is recommended that the cord be replaced throughout, at the same time so as to prevent having to redo this all over again with in a short period of space.
The frame has lower compartments that house the main iron weight; another wood panel must be removed in order to expose these long heavy bars. These panels should not be difficult to remove unless some one else screwed it into place then it may take a little more time to expose this pocket.
Here individuals will also find another main component; the pulley which depending on age will be made from brass, iron or copper. Part of the poor operation can be evident here especially if the mechanism is covered in grime. Thoroughly cleaning all the dirt off followed by the application of some oil may get it working perfectly again. On the other hand if it turns out to be broken there are durable plastic versions available at most hardware stores.
Next is the usual obvious problem and that is the replacement of a broken cord. As mentioned before it is best to do the full length and one must make sure that a thick 8-string cord is purchased. The cord must be cut into 2 pieces, make sure to add extra length and then put it through the pulley at the top.
Feed the cord into the hole at the top of each long weight and back out the side before tying a stop-knot to prevent it from pulling back through. Nautical styled knots seem to be the most effective when doing this. Cut off the excess cord and pull it taut so as to reinsert the iron weights and then put the panel back together. Finally re attach the cording to the sash window using a series of knots or nails, then slide the pane back in place but first pull the weights taut against the pulley.
Once these steps have been completed for both sections, and all the beadings are put back, all repairs are completed, guaranteeing that the units will operate without any further hindrance. Smaller tasks that can be done are to add a molding seal or type of brush pile in order to stop noise and draughts that may be present.
Generally, sash window repairs need to be carried out at least every 12-15 years to ensure that they can last another 100 years or maybe more. If you are unsure of what to do, rather get assistance and advice from a professional. The last thing you want is to land up paying more than necessary because you were not certain of how to carry out the job.
Author: Candida LewisThis author has published 1 articles so far.