A loose doublehung window sash may rattle during a windy day. It’ll also allow air and external noise to get into your home. Besides, a loose sash will cause drafts, thereby increasing your energy bills.

On the other hand, if the sash is extremely tight, it’ll be challenging to open or close it. Luckily, it’s possible to strike a balance. Simply follow the tips below to fix the problem.

fixing double hung window sashes


Step 1

Use your palm or a sturdy rubber mallet to hit the middle rail, just close to the lock. Hitting it may break any bond getting the window stuck, especially a bond resulting from paint.


Step 2

In case that fails to work, get a wooden block and use it to tap the sash on the sides to break any bond sticking the sash and the stops together. Be gentle enough when tapping the sash to avoid cracking the glass pane.


Step 3

A stuck sash resulting from a painted joint can be fixed by cutting the paint. Use a serrated window zipper, spackle knife, putty knife, or any other tool with a flat blade to cut the paint.

Push the edge of the blade into the painted joint and draw it along the paint to cut it.


Step 4

Get some talcum powder or candlewax to lubricate the sash channels. Lubrication will also assist in preventing the painted parts of the window from getting stuck together. That way, the window will operate more smoothly.


Step 5

In case the window has a V-shaped metallic spring weatherstripping within the channels, decrease its tension by tapping the stripping flatter with the help of a hammer or a piece of wood.

Increase the friction by opening the V-shaped metallic spring with the help of a screwdriver. Ensure the sash is fully open in both fixes.


Step 6

In case your window is loose and lacks weatherstripping, you can tighten it and keep away weather elements by applying weatherstripping.

Some types of weatherstripping are mounted within the channels, others are mounted on the window stops and sash, and others are mounted between the sash and the stops. Follow the manufacturer instructions that came with the weatherstripping when applying it.


Step 7

In case the stops or sash have excessive paint buildup, you’ll need to remove the excess paint. Get a paint scraper and scrape off excess paint off the window channel moldings, including the blind stop (exterior), the window stop (interior), and the middle parting strip.


Step 8

If the bottom sash is extremely tight, you can fix it by detaching the stop. Then scrape and sand the edge facing the sash before you reattach the stop.

Typically, the exterior blind stop in the top sash is locked with a trim casing such that you wouldn’t move it when adjusting friction between the sash and the channel.


Step 9

In case that fails, you’ll have to remove the sashes and scrape, strip off, or sand the paint until bare wood is revealed. Once done, repaint the sashes and allow the paint to dry completely. Once dry, reinstall them.


Step 10

Another option is to replace the friction channels with new ones. That way, you’ll eliminate uninsulated cavities in the weights.

Cavities in the weights account for huge heat loss, especially during cold seasons. To replace the friction channels, first, detach the window sashes, pulleys, and weights.


Step 11

Add fiberglass insulation material into the weight cavity. Use a flexible piece of rod or stick to push the insulation into the top section first and work downward.


Step 12

Make new channels for the sash. To do this, get a sharp chisel and hammer to make notches on the upper parting strip.


Step 13

Position the sashes into the channels. Tilt the assembly within the opening. Start with the bottom and tilt the assembly from within.


Step 14

Install the inner stops. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer when adjusting the tension. You’ll create more friction by pressing the stops harder against the window sash before you nail them in place.


Step 15

In case the sashes feel loose upon installing the stops, adjust the tension of the stops by hammering them. Drive in extra nails once you feel the tension on the stops is right.


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Related: The Basics of Double Hung Windows