How to Fix a Louver That Doesn't Stay Open How to Fix a Louver That Doesn't Stay Open

What You'll Need
Screwdriver (usually Phillips)
Drill
Tension washers
Screws

Sometimes, over time, you will find that you have a louver that just will not stay open like you need it to. Louvers, or plantation blinds, may become loosened over time for a number of reasons. If this annoyance has happened to you, you will want to fix them as quickly and efficiently as possible. This simple guide will walk you through the steps you will need to take.

Step 1: Understand and Diagnose the Problem

The most common cause of loose or stubborn louvers is as simple as a change in the seasons. Most louvers, being made of wood, will be affected, however slightly, by changes in air pressure, temperature and humidity that change from season to season. When winter changes to spring and spring turns to summer, wood expands and contracts.  When this happens, the space between the louvers themselves and the vertical pieces of wood that hold them up (called “stiles”) changes as well. To compensate for this, you will need to adjust the tension between these wooden parts.

Step 2: Adjust Tension Screw

On the vast majority of louver setups, there will be a small hole in the side of the stiles. Inside this hole you will find a simple screw. This screw acts as a tension system for the louver system, and can be adjusted to compensate for changes in tension. As you would expect, turning this screw to the right will tighten the tension system in the louver, while turning the screw to the left will loosen the system. The one precaution you will want to take is to never overturn the screws—this means no more than a full turn to tighten the blinds. Overturning this screw can strip the threading on the tension system and can cause your louver to become permanently loose or tight. Also remember that there will be tension screws on each stile, so be sure to tighten all of them before giving up.

Step 3: Adjust Stiles and Rails

If adjusting the tension screws did not fix your problem, there may be a separation between the stiles and the rails themselves. In cases like these, you will need to drill a hole through the stiles and into the ends of the rails. 

Step 4: Drilling and Screwing

First, use a clamp to tightly secure the stiles to the ends of the rails. Use a 1/8 inch drill bit to drill through the stiles and into one of the rails of the louver. Drill two parallel holes into the ends of the rail. After drilling the holes, insert tension washers into the gap between the stiles and the rails before screwing in screws. If the gap remains too big, insert another tension washer to close the gap. Finally, adjust screws to make sure that a tight seal has been created. This should fix your problem if the previous technique failed.

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