Windows at my nephew's home won't close unless one pushes it with
substantial force from outside. I looked into it a bit. I first
thought it was paint buildup, but ruled this out after cleaning the
buildup did not help.
I have photos of the windows at:
I think the windows are slightly warped over time --this is a 60-year-
old home. I am thinking that if he can replace the pins in hinges (one
of the hinges is marked with "B") with a smaller diameter one, the
"A" side of the window would be slightly pushed out, and the "D" edge
then would get to touch the mating frame (it now stands 1/4" or so
Alternately if the lateral edges can be bent inwards a bit this would
also get the Edge D closer. But I cannot think of an easy way of
bending these edges in a controlled manner, and without breaking the
Can you remove the brace at the bottom of the window? Looks like it
also has heavy paint
build-up ...... hard telling from here, but if the brace has thick paint
on it, it might be pushing
on the hinge when it closes. As for bending the frame, take out the
glass, bend, replace
glass. Have you used a straight-edge to make sure only one edge of the
frame is not straight?
Glass shouldn't bend much, so perhaps the mating edge against "D" is
also warped (with,
perhaps, too much weight from above?). Perhaps the framing is warped
from too much
wind against the open window over time?
The title of this post is "Older metal windows won't close" - it's not
obvious from the pictures that the window frames are metal. You don't say
what the metal is, but I'll bet it's aluminum.
I doubt that the aluminum and glass have warped on their own. More likely,
in my estimation, is that the house has settled since the windows where
installed, and the dimensions/orientation of the frame have changed over the
Possibly, taking the windows off the house entirely, and reinstalling them
as though they were new (shiming and sawing as needed), would fix the
problem - unless of course, the house continues to settle.
They are steel windows. And I think you are right about the cause. I
also think that removing and reinstalling the windows can help.
However, this is beyond my and the nephew's skill set... Having some
else do it would be costly--this is the first home nephew got, and he
does not have much funds left to hire someone.
What do you think of putting slightly undersized pins at the hinges--
say 10 or 20 mil smaller in diameter? This would make the Edge A go
out slightly, which in turn should get Edge D closer to the window
frame when closing.
Clearly nothing is warped because it is steel. Changing to smaller
pins will only make the window sloppy. The opportunity to move the
window that way is very minimal. The window is not moving to the left
as it should when cranked in. Assuming all the edges are clean of
paint as you say, I believe those main brackets that mount to the
house or frame are either bent or out of adjustment. If you can clean
all the paint off where they mount, you may see slots that have
gradually allowed the window to fall out of the original mounting
position. Clean everything up and remount it properly. Check similar
windows on the house to compare measurements of the distance from the
bracket to the closing edge.
These old casement windows have a tendency to hang up. The gears in the
mechanism get a little worn, the hinges get a little dirty, and the
whole thing gets balky. One symptom of a worn mechanism is that the
window has lots of play--you can move it in and out with your hand
without turning the crank. The window shouldn't move more than half an
inch this way.
Others have recommended cleaning off the paint. I concur. The
mechanisms should never have been painted, but everyone does it for
My recommendation: Replace the mechanism, assuming they're worn. You'll
have to hunt for the hardware.
If these are common windows in his neighborhood, the local hardware stores
should have parts. Have a rental house with them and even the Home Depot and
True Value in the neighborhood have parts for the windows.
Guy I know has these windows. He cut off all the brackets and had new
sliding double pane windows made that fit into the old frame. In his house
the frame were buily into the brick. Would have been a mess to get them out
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