Anybody that owns a period home will have been through the frustration of having the older sliding windows that just will not work properly. Most resort to removing the offensive panes and replacing it with modern versions. However when one considers that many have been around for more than 120 years it may seem that undertaking sash window repairs a much better decision.
Frames like these were hand made and are usually very heavy, which is one of the reasons that if it is not regularly maintained then problems will be encountered. All of these windows, despite preconceived ideas, are actually quite easy to repair. A typical pane is made up of a top and bottom sash which slides into a closed or open position.
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.
On both sides of the frame at the lower ends there are compartments that house the long heavy iron weights, to get to this another slither of wood needs to be pried free. This should not have any nails or screws but if it does then it may take a lot more patience before exposing the inner workings of the 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 task of replacing the cording, this can be purchased at any hardware store, however as the width of cords vary considerably, be sure to purchase an 8-string cord. Cut two long sections of cord and feed each one through the top of the pulley so that there are two loose ends hanging at the bottom.
Thread the loose end into the long weights from the top out through the side and then tie a secure knot in place to stop it from pulling back through the hole. Cut the extra cord from the knots and use the cord to pull the long weight back inside the pocket. Close the compartment up and then tie the other end of the cording onto the sash. To make this easier it is best that the window sashes are angled while both ends are aligned by drawing the weight up into the pulley for accuracy.
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.
In general, if a person carries out sash window repairs in this manner every twelve to fifteen years, they are guaranteed to last for the next 100 years or so. Before starting any work, make sure you know exactly what you are doing. There are many experts out there who specialize in this work, so consider giving them a call to ask for advice and to find out how they recommend you get on with the job.