The do it yourself resource for homeowners from home improvement professionals.

How to Fix a Stuck Window

Opening a stuck window requires a gentle touch because you don’t want to break the glass. For this reason, you should be very careful and take the right approach depending on the situation. The directions for how to fix a stuck window vary according to which problem you’re experiencing. A window might be swollen shut due to temperature and humidity changes. Sometimes, many layers of paint have sealed the sashes against the frame. In this article, the window experts at PJ Fitzpatrick explain how to open a stuck window step by step.

How to Fix a Stuck Window

For windows swollen by moisture:

  1. Plug in a blow dryer and aim the hot air at the seam between the window and frame.
  2. Continue working along edges for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Try to open the window.
  4. If the window remains stuck, repeat the blow drying process and try again.

For windows painted shut:

  1. Check for paint buildup on the interior and exterior. You’ll need to cut the paint on both sides.
  2. For heavy paint buildup, you may need to score it with a sharp utility knife.
  3. Otherwise, start with a putty knife at one corner by sliding it between the window sash and frame.
  4. Work around the window inside and out until paint has been cut.
  5. Wrap a cloth over a hammer and very gently bang the frame to loosen the seal.
  6. Lift open the window.

For very stubborn windows:

  1. Go outside and tap a pry bar with a hammer between the bottom sash and sill.
  2. Protect the lower surface from the pry bar with a block of wood.
  3. Pull on the pry bar or hit it with a hammer to move the window.
  4. Once the window is open, lubricate the tracks with WD-40, paraffin or beeswax. If the tracks are especially rough, smooth them down with sandpaper.

Tools & Materials

Before proceeding, do yourself a favor and check to see if the window has been nailed shut. If that's the case, you’ll need to carefully extract the nails. Depending on the situation, you may need the following tools:
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Block of wood
  • Sandpaper
  • WD-40, Paraffin or beeswax
  • Cloth
  • Hair blow dryer

PJ Fitzpatrick Can Repair Your Windows

A home that has settled might force the window frames out of square. That problem may require a window replacement. Homeowners who are tired of struggling with window problems can rely on PJ Fitzpatrick. We’ve been fixing and replacing windows since 1980. Request an estimate from us today.

Need help with this project?

We have trained professionals that can help. Contact us today. 1-877-246-4354

Get Estimate