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How to Fix Windows That are Painted Shut

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Tim in Virginia is dealing with some stuck windows. Tell us what’s going on.

    TIM: Hi. Run into an issue a lot of times, with some of the older homes that I had, with the windows. For some reason, they are painted shut or nailed shut. But I’d like to know how I can resolve that, as well as some of these windows being dual-pane windows with condensation already in them. Next to replacing them, what can I do to resolve that problem?

    TOM: Alright. Two separate issues. First of all, I presume we’re talking about old, wood windows being painted shut? Is that correct?

    TIM: That is correct.

    TOM: You’re going to need three things. You’re going to need a putty knife, a wood block and a hammer.

    Here’s what you do. First of all, you take the putty knife and you run it in between the wood window sash and the frame, all the way around, as many places as you can. Wherever you can get that in there, wiggle it in there, that will free it up.

    And you take the block of wood and from the inside, you put it on top of the sash and you take the hammer and you take a – make a quick rap. We’re actually driving the window down, as if you’re trying to close it more. Do that on both sides, on both ends. And what that quick rap does is it tends to break the paint seam that’s sticking it to the sides. So if you run the putty knife around and you take the block of wood, give it a quick rap downward, that should free up the bottom sash.

    A lot of people try to get their hands under the window and push up. That tends to pull the wood frame of the window apart. But if you give it a shot down, which is somewhat counterintuitive, that works very well.

    Now, as far as the windows that you’re dealing with that are thermal-pane and the seals are failed, can’t do anything about that. When they’re failed, they’re failed. And those windows would have to be replaced if you want them to be clear again.

    TIM: OK, OK. Alright. I will certainly put that to use probably within the next week or so with the new unit Pella just purchased. Thank you so very much.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Tim. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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