Rollout Window Repair
I have been helping a friend take care of some "minor" repairs and this one has us both in a snit. We cannot get a rollout window, probably installed in the late 1950's, to close properly. The bar at the bottom was bent and we were able to unbend it, but it seems to be catching on something that prevents it from closing the last 2 to 3 inches- any ideas and help would be appreciated especially with winter coming on.
PC from Rochester, NY
By rollout window, I assume you mean casement... a single window sash that swings out either to the left or the right. Though I have little experience with windows of 50's vintage, I know that modern windows such as Andersen casements develop a similar problem as they age. The problem is often related to the actual cranking mechanism, or "operator".
First, of course, you should try and eliminate the more obvious culprits… loose screws or rubbing wood. By trying to push the window shut from the outside while someone inside operates the crank, you should be able to either identify and/or eliminate these physical obstructions. You might have to disconnect the operator to swing the window open wide enough to do the repairs.
In cases like yours of "partial" failure, the window closes most of the way but stops short of full closure. Why this happens in understandable when you look at how the operator arms that pull the window work. In order for the arm to move out of the way as the window closes, it folds up or slides to a position that is almost parallel to the window. In this position, the operator is under the most mechanical stress and thus gear slippage or even breakage can occur.
Unfortunately, there is no repair for these mechanisms... just replacement. If you can determine the manufacturer, you just might get lucky and find parts available. If not, I am afraid that you may have to replace the window.
For the time being though, you should be able to push the window shut from the outside. Lock it if you can… or tape, nail or screw it shut so it doesn't blow open at an inconvenient time... like during one of your famous snow storms!
copyright 2000 G.G. Alonzy
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