How To Repair An Old Window

Date: 23 Jun 2024

Learn how to fix common casement window problems. Free up a sticking window, replace a broken crank operator or sagging hinge, or even replace an entire sash. Repairs are simple and much cheaper than replacing the whole window.

Thinking about replacing your casement windows because they’re drafty, fogged up, or just hard to open? Consider this: you can fix most of these problems yourself for a fraction of the cost of new windows—and it won’t take more than an hour or two per window.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the fixes for the most common casement window problems. Casement windows swing like doors, and while your windows may look different from the ones shown here, the techniques for removing the sash and fixing problems are similar. You won’t need any specialty tools, and the materials are available from most window manufacturers or online window supply companies.

When you turn the handle, the operator moves the crank arm and the split arm operator, which then opens the window sash. Casement window operators come in several styles. They may look complex, but they’re easy to disconnect, remove, and replace.

Fix a Stripped Crank Handle

File the Shaft: If turning your window handle does nothing, the gears on your handle, crank operator shaft, or both are probably stripped. Take off the handle and look for signs of wear. Replace the handle if the teeth are worn, or replace the whole operator if the shaft is worn. A home remedy to try first: back out the setscrew to remove the handle, file the shaft so the setscrew can lock onto it, then reattach the handle with a longer setscrew.

Replace a Stubborn Crank Operator

Pop Out the Crank Arm: Open the window until the crank arm bushing is aligned with the guide track notch. Push down on the arm to pop the bushing out of the track.

If the splines on the crank operator shaft are worn or broken, replace the crank operator. Take a picture of your current operator and email it to a window replacement parts company to find a match. To replace the operator, remove the crank arm from the sash, slide or pry off the operator cover, unscrew the old crank operator, and install the new one.

Fix a Sticking Window

Disconnect the Arms: Open the sash and disconnect the crank arm. Pry the split arm operator off the top and bottom of the sash with a screwdriver. If the window drags against the frame when you open it, close the window and examine it from the outside. Adjust the position of the sash by moving the hinge channel slightly. Remove the sash, mark the hinge channel location on the frame, unscrew the channel, fill the screw holes with epoxy or wood filler, scrape the filled holes smooth, reposition the channel, drill new pilot holes, and reinstall it.

Replace a Sagging Hinge

Fasten the New Hinge: Over time, hinge arms that support heavy windows can sag. Replace the hinge arms at the top and bottom of the window if the sash is square and centered in the window opening. Remove the sash, unscrew the hinge arms, install the new ones in the same locations, and reattach the sash.

Seal a Drafty Window: Weather Stripping Casement Windows

Remove Weather Stripping: Weather stripping often becomes loose, worn, or distorted. Remove the sash, set it on a work surface, and replace the weather stripping if needed. Remove the old weather strip, clean the groove, and install the new strip.

Replace a Fogged Sash

Remove the Sash: If you have broken glass or fogging between the glass panes, replace the glass or the entire sash. Contact your window manufacturer to see if glass replacement is an option. Remove the old sash, remove any hardware, and install it on the new sash.

Required Tools for this Project

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Cordless drill
  • Drill bit set
  • File
  • Pry bar
  • Utility knife
  • Skilled handyman from The Handyman Group

Required Materials for this Project

  • Replacement window hardware
  • Silicone lubricant
How To Repair An Old Window

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