How to Repair Horizontal Sliding Windows

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Some sliding window repairs you can easily complete yourself.
Some sliding window repairs you can easily complete yourself. (Image: tools #3 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com)

Sliding windows can vary greatly in quality. Some are high quality durable windows, while others are cheaply constructed and prone to problems. Depending on the quality of your windows and the nature of your problem, it may make more sense to replace the sliding window with a higher quality window. However, there are some basic repairs for some common problems with sliding windows that you can do yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag
  • Wire brush
  • Vacuum
  • Mineral spirits
  • Silicone lubricant or wax
  • Replacement window pane
  • Rubber gasket
  • Garden hose
  • Putty
  • Drill

Sticking Window

Begin with a rag and a small wire brush and clean around the entire window including the top, sides and bottom as well as the tracks and the channel. Vacuum up any loose dirt and debris.

Clean any sliding parts thoroughly with mineral spirits.

Lubricate the track by spraying with a silicone lubricant. If a silicone lubricant is not available you may rub this area using paraffin wax. Clean up any extra wax or lubricant.

Broken Glass

Carefully remove the broken window pane from the frame and safely dispose of the glass. Make sure to remove any small pieces of glass or other debris that are in the frame.

Remove the old rubber gasket from the window frame.

Install the new rubber gasket into the window frame, then install the replacement window into the gasket.

Leaking Window

Determine where water is coming into the house. Do this by having one person outside spray water onto the window using a garden hose. A second person should be inside and observe where water is leaking into the house.

Seal any leaks, if possible. If the leak is small and can be easily sealed using putty this may work to stop water leaking into the house. Larger leaks or leaks that are due to a missing or faulty flashing will likely require a professional repair.

Drill drain holes into the window track as a short term fix for water leaking in through the window. This will work if the water that is leaking in is pooling in the window track.

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