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How to Open a Window that Sticks

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: We’ve got Carolyn who’s got a sticky window. What’s going on?

    CAROLYN: I do have a sticky window in a 70-year-old tenant’s house that I – I don’t want to break the window. How do I get it open?

    TOM: Alright, here’s what you do. First of all, go outside – go out and get yourself a putty knife. You know what that is?

    CAROLYN: Yes.

    TOM: Alright, and you want to work the putty knife in between the window sash and the window jamb all the way around.


    TOM: If it’s a 70-year-old window you can bet that there’s paint that’s making it stick. So even tap it in there lightly with a hammer if you have to and wiggle it back and forth. Work that all the way around, including the space between the upper sash and the lower sash, then gently try to open the window.

    Now, if that still doesn’t work I’m going to give you another trick of the trade. Take a block of the …


    TOM: Take a block of wood and put it over the lower window on the outside edge where the frame comes together, on the corner …


    TOM: … and tap – you’re using the block of the wood to protect the window from the hammer – and then tap the window down as if you’re making it tighter; as if you’re closing it tighter. A couple of quick raps on both corners; that tends to break the paint seal and it’s counter-intuitive because you think, “Well, I want to open the window. Don’t I want to tap it up?” No.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, “Why should I close it more?”

    TOM: Right, because what happens is you’ll separate the actual frame of the glass; but if you tap it down, a couple of quick raps, it’ll break that paint seal and it should open right up.

    CAROLYN: Well, great. I’ll sure try that.

    TOM: Alright, give it a shot.

    CAROLYN: Thank you so much.

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

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