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How to Open a Stuck Window

How to Open a Stuck Window

When heat and humidity start to build up in your bedroom, the first thing to do is to open a window.

You place your hand on the lock handle, switch it to unlock, and give it a pull. But this time, your efforts are in vain, as the window will not budge.

How can you open a stuck window?

To open a stuck window, get ready to use your muscles. Depending on why the window is stuck, gently tap the frame, apply lubricant or paint remover, or clean all the built-up muck and grime.

To prevent a window from getting stuck, keep the frame clean and open and close the window once a week at least.

Do not try to force the window open without inspecting it first. You could break the glass or the pane around the glass.

Also, wear heavy gloves so you do not cut or scrape your skin or fingernails.

Old windows

5 Reasons Why Windows Get Stuck

Have you had serious trouble opening the windows in your home? Are you not sure why the windows are getting stuck?

Here are 5 issues that could prevent a window from opening.

1. Dirt and Grime Buildup

We all have that one window in our home we never open. We don’t open it because it is in a bad position. It is difficult to reach over the furniture and the curtains.

This poor neglected window will have dust and grime around the edges, which will seal it shut and prevent it from opening.

Make sure you keep your window clean so it can easily open.

2. The Lock and Latch Are Uneven

There are two reasons why a lock and its latch are not unaligned. The first reason is bad construction. If the lock and latch are not parallel to each other, opening the widows will be much harder, even if the window lock is only off its alignment by a few millimeters.

The second reason is the cold.

During the wintertime, the temperature can cause the building materials of the house to constrict. So, the window might become a tiny bit smaller than the window frame.

3. The Window Is Constricted or Warped

Windows made out of metal do not wrap when exposed to moisture, but a window with a wooden frame does.

Wooden frames should be coated with an environment and moisture-proof seal.

If the solution wears away, then it is exposed to the elements. Exposed wood and moisture are not a good combination.

Wood can warp and bloat. If the entire wooden window frame warps, you may not be able to open the window at all.

Even a bit of rain can damage the wood and warp it into an unusable shape. Once the wood warps, there is no way to unwarp it. You’ll have to hire a contractor to build a brand-new window.

4. Wintertime Has Sealed the Window Shut

Be careful when opening a window in the wintertime.

The cold temperature will make the glass more delicate. Also, moisture from the ice can seep into the window frame and around any window cracks.

When the temperature drops, the moisture will freeze and fill the small cracks and crevices inside the window. It will also seal the window shut.

The wintertime usually brings temperatures of at least 30 degrees Fahrenheit below and even lower.

5. Dripping Paint Has Sealed the Window

If you use a bit too much paint while redoing your windows, then it will form small drips and slide down the wall. If your window is directly underneath, the dripping paint can fall on the window frame.

Once the paint is dried, it will glue the window in its place. If there’s a lot of paint, you may need to use a paint remover to unstick your window.

Paint is not as strong as construction grade glue, so if you use enough force, you can open the window.

Ways to Open a Stuck Window

Now that you know why a window can get stuck, here are a few methods to get the windows to open.

1. Press Against the Window Frame

Sliding the window frame over just a few centimeters can unstick the window at the hello you to open it easily.

When you press against the window frame, do not press against the glass. Press against the edging around the glass.

2. Gently, But Firmly, Tap the Window Frame

Unless you are in an emergency and you need to open the window now, do not slam against the window frame with all your strength.

You can easily break part of the window and shatter the glass.

3. Apply WD-40 or Another Lubricant

Keep in mind, however, that it would not be a good idea to add lubricant or WD-40 to a window that has dirt build-up around the edges.

You could end up making a paste and sealing the window shut even more.

4. Pour Warm Water on the Frozen Windowpane

In order to unstick a window that is frozen from the cold, you need to pour warm water around part of the window that the frame slides on. Do not pour hot water.

As a general rule, do not pour water on the window if it is too hot for you to touch.

Actually, you will not need water that is over 80 degrees.  

Slowly pour the warm water around the bottom of the window and the railing. You should also pour the hot water on the lock in case the lock is not opening.

Fixing window frames

How to Prevent a Window From Getting Stuck

There are a few things you can do in order to keep your window from getting stuck in the future.

1. Keep the Window Clean

Neither dirty rain, leaves, and sand can build up around the window. If you live somewhere where there is a lot of rain or sandstorms around your home, check every window after every storm.

Always check your windows after a major storm or heavy winds especially.

2. Open the Window At Least Once a Week

As you open each window, just give it a quick inspection and see if there’s any obstructions like grease, dirt, or damage that could block the window from opening.

Spray some WD-40 on the window railing just in case. Apply an anti-rust spray once or twice a year as well.

If the window frame is metal, then the frame needs to be protected from moisture damage. When unprotected metal is exposed to moisture or humidity, it will quickly rust.

Rust quickly corrodes metal, which means that there will be a large repair bill for you in the future. Spray an anti-rust solution on your window frame to protect it from rust and damage.

Conclusion to Opening a Stuck Window

Protect metal windows from rusting with anti-rust spray. When there’s rust on the metal frame, it can stop the window from opening.

Windows will get stuck when the wood warps, if ice has frozen the window into place, or if it has not been opened for a while.

Also, paint or construction glue can drip onto the window railing and glue the window shut.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.