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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide

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[#1] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 09:38:22 AM
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Did a house where every single slider and single-hung window were really tough to slide open / closed.

They are Milgard; IMO, one of the best windows on the market.

Has anyone established a threshold for what constitutes "inadequate" sliding? I suppose it could also be bad installation?

We've also been having heavy rain combined with warm temps--a bit unusual for our area. Maybe its weather related?

Randy Navarro
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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide
[#2] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 10:15:31 AM
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Can't find the link, but a national study a couple years ago indicated that 87% of all window problems or defects are installation related, and approx. 94% of all windows are installed improperly. Pretty much says what we all know......

I'd be leaning toward messed up install; there's not many ways to screw up a vinyl window, but "pinching" it will always make it slide hard.

Kurt in Chicago

"If I smell it, it goes in the report".............Phillip Smith...2012


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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide
[#3] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 10:18:05 AM
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Hi Randy,

It's possible that the rough openings were too small and that they're binding due to pressure. Vinyl expands at twice the rate of aluminum, wood, or fiberglass, so it's necessary to allow more room for expansion in the rough opening during construction.

Sometimes, it's that stainless steel bar and insert in the window tray that's causing the problem. They builder gets sawdust and other crud in the tray, snaps in the insert and the window, and calls it a day. Later on, rain gets into the bottom of the tray causes the crud to swell and causes the window to bind.

Sometimes it's just that the rollers on the bottom of the door aren't carrying the door and the door itself is rubbing on the tray liner. A simple turn of a phillips in the hole at either end of the door at the bottom, the dolly lifts the door and it rolls better.

Lots of possible causes. If you can't spot an immediate cause and effect, it's best to refer it off to a window/door installer for investigation and correction.

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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide
[#4] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 2:50:14 PM
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I'm cynical, so I'd blame the installation.

But the windows might slide just fine if somebody rubs a soap bar in the tracks.

Sometimes, low-tech rules.

WJ

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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide
[#5] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 3:56:40 PM
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I've heard Armor-all works wonders.

Let me clarify; the majority of the windows were single hung units (up and down).

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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide
[#6] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 4:39:44 PM
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Randy,
I am not usually one to tell my client that I don't know and pass the buck, but on this one I think I would do just that. When a "problem" is pretty much through-out the house, then I would suspect poor workmanship or a bad batch of windows. Either way, an inspector might be prudent to just report the poor operation of units.

Les
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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide
[#7] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 5:54:55 PM
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Could be Crazy Foam (Great Stuff). Someone may have used the expando type; I've seen it crush windows.

This is all academic though; Les' recommendation is best; just say all the windows stick.

You could figure it out if you could dismantle the joint, but we know that isn't happening.

Kurt in Chicago

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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide
[#8] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 6:36:16 PM
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When I had a construction company, my men installed a steel door frame in a block wall. They figured they'd insulate the cavity between the jamb and the wall with Great Stuff so they attached the straw/tuby-thing and started spraying. Before I had time to process what they were doing and yell, "Stop," the steel frame buckled outward and was destroyed.
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[#9] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 7:16:30 PM
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Ditto Kurt/ I heard of a local home inspector who overzealously sprayed that expando-foam stuff around all his windows and froze them all in their frames.
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[#10] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 7:30:52 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by randynavarro

I've heard Armor-all works wonders.

Let me clarify; the majority of the windows were single hung units (up and down).
Okay, now we're talking something totally different than I was imagining. How old was the house?

Did you check to see if the balances were installed, and, if they were, whether they are broken or not. I find the springs broken all the time and then the balance twine just gets all wrapped around those little pulleys and causes the balances to bind them.

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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide
[#11] Posted: 08/21/2007 - 9:13:41 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by randynavarro

I've heard Armor-all works wonders.

Let me clarify; the majority of the windows were single hung units (up and down).


The insulating crew put too much insulation between the window frame and the rough opening. Around here, most of the crews use fiberglass. Even slightly overstuffing it in there will cause vinyl single-hung windows to bind. If they used foam, they were supposed to use the low-expanding, low-density type. If they just used something like Great Stuff, it'll guarantee a binding window.

Try teflon spray.

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[#12] Posted: 08/22/2007 - 02:26:05 AM
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Rubbing wax paper in the tracks is another possible remedy.
John Dirks Jr - Arundel Home Inspection LLC - MD license: 29827
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[#13] Posted: 08/22/2007 - 08:12:13 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by hausdok
Okay, now we're talking something totally different than I was imagining. How old was the house?
2001
Quote: Did you check to see if the balances were installed, and, if they were, whether they are broken or not. I find the springs broken all the time and then the balance twine just gets all wrapped around those little pulleys and causes the balances to bind them.

Yes. All were installed and working correctly.

I'm digging the foam expansion theory. I also see it a lot.

This was a Quadrant home. I found other interesting and atypical things as well. Par for the course, in my opinion, for this company.

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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide
[#14] Posted: 09/20/2007 - 7:10:23 PM
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When reporting window issues, keep in mind that a small child may need to open one in time of emergency. If windows are at all difficult to open or don't stay in position, I always report on them for safety reasons and explain to the client that a window may be the only means of escape in case of fire, for example, and repairs are needed.
Matthew Steger
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[#15] Posted: 09/22/2007 - 7:31:38 PM
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... and then there is WD-40.

Someone once told me it also helped his grandmother's arthritis.

Go figure.



Cheers,

Nolan E. Kienitz
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Vinyl Sliders that Don't Slide
[#16] Posted: 09/23/2007 - 08:25:48 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Nolan Kienitz

... and then there is WD-40.

Someone once told me it also helped his grandmother's arthritis.

Go figure.




Uhhh...would that be applied topically or injected directly in the joint???

Kevin

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[#17] Posted: 09/23/2007 - 09:18:09 AM
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Suppository
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[#18] Posted: 09/23/2007 - 10:01:35 AM
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75% percent of the windows I inspect are sticky, binding or just plain hard to open and springs also snap. I blame the installation as being poor and the supervisor for most frequently absent from the site. Also homeowners do not open or close their windows often (or ever) to help keep them from binding.
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