Window Won’t Open – Could it be the Foundation?
By: Architectural Visions
A stuck window can be a standard household inconvenience, but it also may be a sign of a more significant issue. If a window won’t open, the house foundation may be to blame. If there is movement in the foundation, this may present itself in cracks around the window frame and doors. However, cracks around windows may also signify a window issue. There are several ways to determine if the problems opening your windows result from an issue with the windows or issues with the foundation. Read on to understand why your windows may not be opening and if you need to call a window professional or a foundation professional.
- If you know the window sustained damage, it’s likely an issue with the window. Check to see if the frame is damaged or if the window hardware or lock is damaged.
- A shifting foundation is a leading cause of sticking windows. This is particularly common with concrete slab foundation.
- Foundation settlement is unique to every home, primarily due to the varying soil types, so it’s essential to bring in a foundation repair professional to assess the damage.
- A foundation repair professional will offer underpinning solutions, which will strengthen the foundation of an existing home, to level the foundation and give it increased stability. The repairs will prevent further settling, the cracks in the wall may close, and the windows should close normally again.
Is it the window?
If you’re having difficulty opening a window, the first step is to assess if it’s an issue with the window itself. If you know the window sustained damage, it’s likely an issue with the window. Check to see if the frame is damaged or the window handle moves, but the window won’t open. This may mean the window hardware or lock is damaged.
Or, if you find dirt or debris in the window’s sliding track, a simple cleaning may have your window functioning properly again. Rust is another cause of window obstructions if it accumulates on the window’s metal tracks.
Consulting with a window professional, like those at AVI Windows & Doors, is the best first step to help assess any damage. Checking your home or window warranty can help explain if the repair costs will be covered. However, before replacing any windows, it’s essential to determine if the root cause of the damage is from shifting foundation. You don’t want to replace the windows, only to find out that the foundation is responsible for the issue.
Is it the foundation?
A shifting foundation is a leading cause of sticking windows. This is particularly common with concrete slab foundation. When a house shifts, the window frames experience this pressure, forcing them out of alignment. When the window frames aren’t aligned, they will have difficulty opening. Fixing the windows is mainly dependent on how severe the shifting in the foundation is. Lifting and pushing the area around the lock can often help it get back into place. Or, using a lubricant may fix the issue, as well.
While there are temporary solutions to open the window in a pinch, a foundation repair professional should do an accurate assessment. They will assess the damage and make recommendations about the necessary foundation repair.
Repairing the foundation
Foundation settlement is unique to every home, mainly due to the varying soil types. Uneven settlement causes sections of the foundation to crack and shift over time. The framing will also shift when the foundation cracks, resulting in imbalanced windows. If you have a stone or brick home, cracks may appear in this masonry. Since drywall isn’t a flexible material, drywall cracks around windows and cracks in walls around windows will become visible.
A foundation repair professional will offer underpinning solutions, which will strengthen the foundation of an existing home, to level the foundation and give it increased stability. The repairs will prevent further settling, the cracks in the wall may close, and the windows should close normally again. Most importantly, repairing the foundation may prevent further damage.
AVI Windows & Doors
Turn to a professional when you’re experiencing issues with the functionality of your windows by contacting the experts at AVI. AVI is your one-stop-shop repairing your windows, with in-person and online service options. Please don’t hesitate to contact us online or come by one of our Southeast locations and let us help you!