Sticky Windows and Doors can be a Nightmare!

by Rob Carlton

Doors are supposed to open very easily, if someone knocks at your door then you want to open it quickly so that you can talk to them. Sometimes though doors can become stuck for no apparent reason, it can take a lot of effort to open doors and windows, so why do they become stuck?


Windows can become stuck for a number of different reasons. If you have wooden window frames then the wood can sell or contract depending on the weather and season. This can cause the window to become stiff to open.

Common problems affecting windows are:

The gap where the window is supposed to open has been painted over. To resolve this use a window zipper to cut this paint. Alternatively you could use a putty knife.

If you repaint your windows on a regular basis then this can create more friction as the windows are bigger than they used to. You should use a paint stripper to remove some of the extra paint from the window jam.

If you have sash windows then a reason for them not opening is because there is too much friction. Try lubricating the mechanism to allow the window panels to slide easier. This method can also be used to prevent painted surfaces from sticking to one another.

Sometimes if you just tap the centre rail quite firmly it can break any excess paint which is preventing the window from opening. Use the palm of your hand to do this, but make sure you concentrate, you don’t want to go through the window.

Stuck Doors

Doors can also get themselves stuck, there are a number of reasons that this can happen. The most popular being people painting over the parts which are supposed to be able to move. There are also other reasons for stuck doors.

Door is too tight against jamb. The door might be rubbing against the jamb of your door, the solution will mainly depend on the side of the door which is catching. If it’s hitting on the hinge side then you will need to adjust the hinges. Simply pack out the bottom hinge a little if it is catching at the bottom for example. This may resolve the problem.

If the door rubs against the frame on the opposite side of the door then you may need to modify the door itself so that it will fit properly into place. Use a scribe line to mark up the door, remove the door and then plane it. Plane all of the surfaces needed until the door fits into place.

Loose screws. The screws holding the hinge onto the door may be loose, in this case put something under the door while it is open and remove all of the screws. Put pieces of wood into the holes where the original screws came out of. Glue these in and make sure they are flush with the door. Drill new holes and install new screws.

About the Author: