Double Hung Window Sash Locks don't Meet: How to Repair

What You'll Need
Hair dryer
Wood shim

When double hung window sash frames are in storage for extended periods of time, the frames may slightly warp, which can translate into difficult when it comes time to close the windows in your home. You may find that the locks simply don’t match up. Fortunately, you don’t need to call the manufacturer to get your windows replaced just yet; there are a variety of simple ways that you can take steps to try and rectify the situation yourself. Keep reading to learn how.

Step 1 – Force the Windows Shut

One way that you can try to help the vinyl recover its “memory” and force the locks to align correctly is to force the windows shut, lock them, and leave them in place for as long as possible. If you’re about to leave on vacation, this is a particularly viable method. The extended period of time in the correct alignment should influence the form of the interlock, and then the vinyl should stick to that form continuously after that.

 Step 2 - Help Unwrap the Vinyl

Applying heat helps to make the vinyl more malleable, so that you can straighten it out and thus get the locks to match up. Try taking a hair dryer, running it on high and blowing it on the vinyl interlock. Then, take a wood shim and manipulate the interlock as you’re blow drying it, and gently slide the window shut into place. You may need to take some time stretching the vinyl out into the shape that you need it.

Step3 – Careful How You do it

It also helps to be aware of how you manipulate your windows. If you tug and push and pull, you may be inadvertently forcing the window out of alignment yourself. Even after you’ve done all that work to unwarp the vinyl, you could just as easily undo it but mistreating the windows.