Things breaking or falling apart at the worst time is unfortunately a fact of life. Even while the province is shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the winter weather continues to rage on, you’ll find that things have a way of breaking, malfunctioning, and generally doing whatever it takes to push you to your boiling point. Fortunately, DIY repairs are quite simple and effective thanks to the wonders of the internet, especially in the short term.
Whether a latch or lock on your window has just broken or if you’ve been meaning to find the time to fix a long-broken piece of window hardware, fret not – it’s usually not as difficult as it seems, and you probably won’t have to think about a window replacement for some time. Here’s how you can quickly and effectively fix a broken window latch or lock.
The trick is to actually get your window to open
Fixing a broken or non-functioning window latch is much easier than you might think – all it takes is a replacement latch keeper (preferably purchased from the manufacturer of the window in question), a putty knife (or similar tool), screwdriver, hammer, and a healthy dose of patience. The biggest challenge you’ll likely face is getting the window open, since the latch isn’t doing its job. In order to open the window, you’ll need to:
- Crank the window open as you normally would, despite it not functioning as it usually would – this step is intended to relieve mechanical pressure to make opening the window easier.
- Slide your putty knife between the window frame and gasket from above the window latch, gradually working your way down – if your latch functions by moving up, slide the knife below the latch.
- Use a hammer to very gently tap the putty knife in a downward direction, while of course manually maneuvering around obstructions as you go.
- Once you’ve reached as far as you can go, tap the putty knife with your hammer with slightly more pressure to allow it to disengage the latch studs.
- If done right, your window should open slightly and allow you to manually crank it open – open it as far as you can in order to access the mechanism.
Replacing a broken latch
Once your window has been carefully opened you should have direct access to the latch mechanism, allowing you to easily remove and replace the broken latch. In order to replace the latch, simply:
- Remove the screws holding the old latch to the window frame – dispose of the old broken latch.
- Install the new latch.
- If desired, use silicone lubricant on the mechanism to improve its performance and ensure its longevity.
- Test the new window latch to ensure smooth operation by cranking your window closed and operating the latch – if you’ve done everything correctly, the window should close as it did before and operate easily.
Voila! Your window should be functioning as good as new, saving you money and probably only testing your patience slightly (if all went according to plan). Since the latch on your window is a vital part of its anatomy, this is a repair that should be tackled as soon as possible so you can enjoy the coming spring and summer with your window open wide, or at least enjoy the option of being able to open it on demand.
Let’s face it – unfortunately, not everything can be fixed with a DIY solution. There will always be instances where homeowners are unsure of how to go about fixing a broken window or door. Sometimes it’s even difficult to determine if the problem can be “fixed” in the first place. If you’ve come up against a problem you just can’t seem to fix, Muskoka Window & Door Centre is here for you.
Our team of window and door experts has tackled just about every issue a window or door can present – from broken hardware to damaged door and window units, there’s nothing we can’t solve. If you just can’t seem to figure it out, call on our window installation and repair professionals to solve the problem. Find out more about how the team at Muskoka Window & Door Centre can repair and replace your doors and windows by getting in touch with us for a quote today.