Sticky Double Hung Windows

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Old 07-07-08, 11:26 AM
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Sticky Double Hung Windows

Hello all -

I have double-hung windows -- no weights, just a vinyl channel that holds the window using side pressure -- and they don't have smooth action to them. After sitting for a while in position the sashes have to be pushed pretty hard to get moving again.

Is this a job for lubrication? What kind? I think I read somewhere wax will help, but not sure. Of course, I don't want to over-lubricate so they don't stay at all...

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 07-07-08, 04:14 PM
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For vinyl, you don't want to use a petroleum based product. Wax would likely help if a natural bees wax.
 
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Old 07-07-08, 05:29 PM
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I wouldn't recommend any type of wax or any oily lubricants. Instead, you will probably get good results if you remove the sashes and clean them thoroughly with some clean rags and a liquid cleanser such as soft scrub.

If the surface of the vinyl has not been deeply scratched that should yield good results. I have, on occasion, used silicone spray, but I don't feel it is a cure-all or a substitute for having a clean window. Dirt is an abrasive, so keeping vinyl windows clean will go a long ways in helping them last longer.
 
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Old 07-07-08, 06:00 PM
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I didn't see vinyl windows, just vinyl sash liners?? Never saw an all vinyl window w/o some sort of balance required by the large clearances.

Clean well with any standard cleaner like 409 or similar. Wipe any residue with a water damp rag. If it's still a little sticky moving, wipe the liners with a rag sprayed with silicone. I like wax candles or parafin also, but more when its wood on wood.
 
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Old 07-07-08, 08:26 PM
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Remove the word "windows" from my above reply, and the rest of the advice remains the same. I was merely thinking of vinyl window care as I wrote the reply.

I think that wax on the vinyl jamb liner would do more harm than good, (even if it was applied to the wood it would transfer onto the vinyl in areas where there is contact) which I why I wouldn't recommend it in his/her case. I agree that wax is better used in wood on wood situations, and only when there is enough room for slippage.
 
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Old 07-08-08, 06:24 AM
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Vinyl jamb liners are notirious for the problems you are having. After using one of the cleaning instructions above, apply Pledge to the tracks with a rag.
 
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Old 07-08-08, 06:34 AM
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Thanks for the good tips everyone. I was reluctant to remove the sashes but it sounds like that's the most effective solution.

Would it be roughly the same procedure with metal sash liners? These aren't as sticky as the vinyl ones but still not very smooth.
 
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Old 07-08-08, 07:03 AM
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You can always try cleaning w/o removing the sashes first. See if it gives you the amount of improvement you need. If these are not tilt in sashes, you could have more issues if you remove the stop to take the sashes out.

I forgot about the Pledge, I've seen that suggested before. It's mostly silicone, but it has naptha, butane and propane as the carriers and propellents in the areosols, even the trigger sprays have mineral oil and a hydocarbon solvent in them. You might want to use straight silicone sprayed on a rag instead. Again, that no petroleum thing.

And yes, you can treat the metal liners the same.

BTW, not that I've seen 'em all by any means, but I've seen a bunch. Yer sure there are no concealed balances on these?

2nd BTW What are these made of? Wood?
 
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Old 07-08-08, 07:32 AM
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Gunguy - Thanks for the tip.

These are wooden sashes. I am relatively new in this house and it looks to me like the prior owners replaced the sash liners in the house kind of randomly (like a lot of the work on this house it seems...). Some of the liners are vinyl (which definately have no weights) some are metal liners, and some are metal with balances (well, noisy springs that provide the same effect). I've replaced one of the jamb liners with one from WindowRenu, which are metal - but with unsatisfactory results (they seem to hold my sash too tight).

The windows once did have weights - the sashes are so equipped and there are weight pockets in every window I've removed so far.

They are not tilt windows - so I do have to remove the stops in order to get them out and thoroughly clean. It's a lot of work, can damage trim if I'm careless, and frankly I'm not sure if its worth it...
 
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Old 07-08-08, 07:45 AM
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I get it now, you have a Heinz house...57 varieties of everything..lol.

Well, I bet cleaning and light lubing will help a lot. Maybe you have to do it twice a year, but you prob clean the windows that often, so just add an extra few minutes to that job.

Good luck
 
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Old 07-08-08, 04:46 PM
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I suggested wax, but also suggested no petroleum based products, there are non-petroleum based waxes. And silicone may coat trim that may need to be painted in the future, not a good thing.
 
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