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Old 07-07-2007, 01:40 PM   #1
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Stuck Windows on 3rd floor


I have a 3 story 85 yr old home and both windows on the 3rd floor are stuck. When I go up there it is 5-10 degrees hotter then the rest of the house so I would really like to get some ventilation going.

A little more background; the windows are old wood single hung windows with counter weights in the wall (maybe original to the house?). It looks like I am not the first person to attempt to open these windows because I can see scars from where someone missed with a knife, as well as scars from what looks like someone attempting to wedge the window open with a pry bar. I am guessing the windows are painted shut on the outside but because they are on the 3rd floor I can't tell for sure.

What I have tried:
- Running a knife all the way around the sash on the inside.
- Put a very small wedge between the sash and the frame and sliding it around.
- Lightly tapping all around the sash with a rubber mallet
- Wiggling up then down then up then down, etc.
- Sweating on them (it is really hot up there).

What I haven't tried:
- Going up on a really tall ladder and attempting to attack it from the outside.

Help please.

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Old 07-07-2007, 02:01 PM   #2
Eibwen
 
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Stuck Windows on 3rd floor


Have you tried pushing the top sash down versus always working on the bottom sash trying to get it to go up?

Cords on the weights may be broken which always makes em a pain.

If getting three stories up on the ouside is the issue, [ I dont like heights either] you can try pulling off the stop trim on the sides which will allow the sashes to pull directly into the room. Then you can clean up the outside and replace. If the cords are broken, you will need to do this anyway to replace them.

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Old 07-07-2007, 03:46 PM   #3
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Stuck Windows on 3rd floor


If you remove the two side trim (sash stops) pieces then that will give you more area to try and loosen the outside paint.

If you are able to remove the window sill then that you give you more area to loosen the window.

After you remove side pieces use a large screw driver and wedge it between the upper and lower sash and slow a carefully work the sashes away from each other. You may need two large screw drivers with one on each side to try and free up the paint and or caulk on the outside. Take your time and do it slow or you make crack the window pane. You may have to use a small flat pry bar to get under the sash where the sill was and try and pry it upwards. Slow work the lower sash until the unit is free and you are able to pull it into the room and clean it up.

If you have a friend that is able to go up on a ladder and use a utility knife to cut the paint and caulk free from the window sash then that will make it easier.

Is there an attic in this home?

Is the attic vented?

Is the attic insulated?
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:09 PM   #4
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Stuck Windows on 3rd floor


Quote:
Have you tried pushing the top sash down versus always working on the bottom sash trying to get it to go up?
That was part of the rubber mallet tapping. I couldn't get it to move in any direction (including down).

Quote:
Cords on the weights may be broken which always makes em a pain.
The cords are actually attached and in working order (unlike the window).

Quote:
If getting three stories up on the ouside is the issue, [ I dont like heights either] you can try pulling off the stop trim on the sides which will allow the sashes to pull directly into the room. Then you can clean up the outside and replace. If the cords are broken, you will need to do this anyway to replace them.
That is a great idea. Looking at the window that doesn't look very hard and it should go a long way towards solving the problem. Thanks!

Quote:
After you remove side pieces use a large screw driver and wedge it between the upper and lower sash and slow a carefully work the sashes away from each other. You may need two large screw drivers with one on each side to try and free up the paint and or caulk on the outside. Take your time and do it slow or you make crack the window pane. You may have to use a small flat pry bar to get under the sash where the sill was and try and pry it upwards. Slow work the lower sash until the unit is free and you are able to pull it into the room and clean it up.
Once I get the sash stops off I will try that. Thanks!

Quote:
If you have a friend that is able to go up on a ladder and use a utility knife to cut the paint and caulk free from the window sash then that will make it easier.
I don't mind going up on the ladder (I am a rock climber); the problem is I don't know anyone with a ladder that big.

Quote:
Is there an attic in this home?
Is the attic vented?
Is the attic insulated?
No on all 3, and LOL on the last one. There is almost nothing in this house insulated, in fact in one of the storage areas on the 3rd floor I can actually touch the underside of the roof.
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:42 PM   #5
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Stuck Windows on 3rd floor


Technically speaking, the attic/third floor is ventilated. There's the finished room, and then there are two storage areas under the roof. (As mentioned, this is where you can touch the roof.) One of the storage areas has a fan through the roof with a switch attached to it. It doesn't work though. We haven't tested it yet to determine whether the problem is the electric going up, the switch, or the fan.

...and I don't think anyone who's lived here knew what insulation is.
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:54 PM   #6
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Stuck Windows on 3rd floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by ciera View Post
One of the storage areas has a fan through the roof with a switch attached to it. It doesn't work though. We haven't tested it yet to determine whether the problem is the electric going up, the switch, or the fan.
I would try to get the fan working. Keeping the underside of the roof cool will extend the life of the roof.
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:37 AM   #7
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Stuck Windows on 3rd floor


If you are unable to get the window loose then I may have more ideas.

Can you post a photo of the window?
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:55 PM   #8
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Stuck Windows on 3rd floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by redline View Post
If you are unable to get the window loose then I may have more ideas.

Can you post a photo of the window?
Sorry I was away on a business trip and just got back 2 days ago. Yesterday I went to the hardware store and bought a molding bar and in 10 minutes had the side sash stops off both windows. 10 minutes later I had both windows open and 10 minutes after that I had the windows put back together. It is always amazing how easy projects can be with the right tools and the right knowledge. Thanks guys!

Quote:
I would try to get the fan working. Keeping the underside of the roof cool will extend the life of the roof.
While I was up there I fixed that too. It was a productive day
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:35 PM   #9
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Stuck Windows on 3rd floor


Cool!

Ya can always fix anything with a big enough prybar!

Glad it worked out!

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