When the Dallas heat finally starts to subside and the cooler temps bring much needed relief, there’s nothing better than opening the windows to let in some fresh air. But what happens when your windows are stuck? While this is a common household issue and in most cases a minor annoyance, it could be one that ultimately leads to even bigger problems. For instance, a window that can’t open or close properly might also have issues locking, which could be a more serious cause for concern. If you’re dealing with this issue in your home, here’s what you need to know.

What causes stuck windows?

Foundation Shifts

One of the most common reasons windows will stick is a house’s foundation shifting. When this happens, it exerts pressure on the window frames, distorting them. This can cause misalignment of the window sash channels (the tracks in which the window slides up and down), preventing it from opening and closing properly.

Warped Wood

Wooden windows can swell when exposed to harsh elements, like humidity or rain. Ongoing exposure to moisture can also cause the paint around the window to crack, which may allow water to penetrate the wood, warping and even possibly rotting it.


When parts of a window become damaged, such as the frame or window itself, it can cause it to stick. There’s also the possibility of broken, loose or out-of-place hardware, like a metal catch or window lock. Any of these issues can lead to difficulty closing or opening windows.

Dirt and Debris

When dirt and other debris gets into the sliding track of a window, it can lead to movement problems. Over time, rust can also accumulate on a window’s metal sliding tracks, which can cause obstructions when opening or closing.

What should you do about stuck windows?

How you deal with stuck windows will ultimately depend on the root cause. For instance, if a window isn’t opening or closing properly and you identify the presence of dirt or debris, a simple cleaning might do the trick. Once you’ve figured out what’s causing the problem, there are three main ways you can address it.

Minor Adjustments

If the cause of your stuck window is something small and simple, such as misalignment, you may be able to fix the issue by lifting and pushing the window back into place. Other quick fixes, such as cleaning or lubricating the sliding track may be sufficient as well.

Window Repair

If the problem with your windows is more severe, you may need to invest in some repair work. For example, if the wood around your window is warped or rotting, replacing the damaged section might be enough to resolve the problem. Likewise, loose locks or fasteners may need to be replaced or repaired. (If you’re unsure about how to proceed, a window expert should be able to help.)

Window Replacement

If you’re having a problem opening or closing most or all of the windows in your home, it could be a sign of a larger issue altogether – especially if your home is old and the windows are original (or haven’t been replaced in decades). Further, if you’re finding yourself regularly having to fix stuck windows, an upgrade might be a wiser investment. Upgrading to replacement windows will solve the issue of sticking while also cutting your energy costs and improving the look, comfort and value of your home.

Depending on the situation, stuck windows can range from a minor irritation to a major safety concern. If you’re having issues with your windows not opening or closing, or you think a stuck window might be a sign of a larger problem, contact the experts at My Affordable Glass. We can help you determine what the best and most affordable course of action will be.