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What to Know About Modern Double Hung Window Sash’s – Our Guide

Posted by
Jul 05, 2019

Double-hung windows are used in areas with warmer climates to increase airflow and ventilation in one’s home. With windows like these, the interior of your house can remain cool during the day, even if the air conditioning system has been turned off. These windows make a home more energy efficient. Nevertheless, rain, mud, and dust can cause them to look dull over time. This is why double-hung window sashes need to be removed and cleaned at least twice a year. Fortunately, modern double-hung windows are easier to remove than the rope-and-pulley type. When removing a double-hung window sash for cleaning, here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Open the window and begin with the lower sash

Unlatch the sash lock located on top of the lower sash. If your window has an opening device, you have to disable it as well before opening the window by lifting the bottom rail of the lower sash.

Step 2: Slide and rotate the sash inward

A modern double-hung window contains tilt latch buttons on the left and right sides of the sash. These buttons make it easy to remove. Once you have lifted the lower sash, grasp the tilt latch buttons found on the left and right sides of the sash’s top rail and press both of them at the same time. This should make the sash swing inward, and it should no longer be connected with the balance shoes found on the sides of the window. Rotate the sash inward until it is perpendicular to the wall, then detach the sash from the window casing by lifting the pivoted sides upward, one at a time.

Step 3: Remove the upper sash

After you have removed the lower sash, you can pull down the upper sash. Once it is around six inches above the window sill, press both tilt latch buttons found on its top rail until it clicks, then rotate the sash inward as you did with the lower sash and detach it from the window casing.

Step 4: Reinstall the upper sash

After you have washed and dried your window sashes, it’s time to reinstall them. Begin with the upper sash. The upper sash has pivot bars adjacent to the tilt latch buttons. You have to connect the pivot bars on the balance shoes found on both sides of the window casing. Hold the sash horizontally on the wall as you do this.

Step 5: Make sure the upper sash is securely fastened

The upper sash should not slide down, so make sure that the pivot bars are securely fastened to the balance shoes. Giving the lower rail of the upper sash an upward thud could help hold the upper sash firmly in place. If the sash’s tilt latches have attached themselves properly onto the case, it shouldn’t move even if you tug it downward gently. If it does slide down, even a little, you have to push it upward again so that the pivot bars and tilt latches will stick to the frame.

Step 6: Reinstall the lower sash

The lower sash also contains a pair of pivot bars on both sides. Hold the sash horizontally and connect its pivot bars to the balance shoes. Slide it up and see if the tilt latches stick themselves to the balance shoes successfully. The lower sash should just move upward when you lift it. If it didn’t, make sure that the upper sash is fully fitted in its position as it might be sliding down slowly, preventing the lower sash from sticking to the window frame. The lower sash’s tilt latches may also not work if the lower sash itself is not snug in its position. So you have to adjust the lower sash and make it fit in its frame as well.

In case the sashes don’t latch…

You need to call a window service provider as the sashes could be damaged, in which case they will need to be repaired or replaced. If the tilt latches and pivot bars still refuse to link up with the balance shoes and the frame, a call to a window service provider might be in order. The frame or balance shoes themselves could have a problem as well.

Custom Contracting is a family-owned company that provides custom window installation services in and around Burlington and Hamilton Ontario – get in touch today to see how we can help!


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Roofing • Siding • Windows & Doors • Eavestroughs
169–1235 Fairview St., Burlington, ON L7S 2K9. Canada