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How To Fix a Squeaky House Window in 6 Steps (With Pictures)

Pella window

It happens to all of us; you go to open a window on a nice cool day, and when you do, you hear this awful squeaking sound. It is annoying, but it could also be worrying. Squeaking windows could be indicative of growing problems lurking under the surface. Dealing with squeaking windows in a timely manner is imperative for the long-term health of your windows.

The fix is relatively simple and does not take long to complete. Afterward, your windows will be gliding along silently as intended.

Here is how to fix a squeaky house window in six easy steps.

divider 5 Preparation

These methods will only work on sliding windows. Most windows are sliding windows, so that should not be a problem, but there are other kinds of windows that may or may not squeak that also do not slide. Before you start, inspect the window to ensure it is a sliding window.

There are a few things you will need to complete this simple fix. The items require include:
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Rag
  • Soap
  • WD-40
Items you may need:
  • Replacement wheels
  • Steel wool
  • Rust guard

If all goes well, this repair should take no more than 2 hours and cost less than $40.

Champion Windows
Photo Credit: Champion windows,com

How to Fix a Squeaky Window (6 Steps)

1. Remove The Squeaky Window

The first step to fixing a squeaky window is to remove the window itself from the track. To do this, push up on the window and then pull out from the bottom. The window should swing free, revealing the wheels along the sides. If the window is old or corroded, this step could take some elbow grease. Be sure not to jerk too hard or yank the window from side to side. You do not want to crack the glass and add to your woes.

2. Examine the Window

Once the window is out, it is time to examine the unit. Carefully check the frame along the sides, the bottom, and the top. You should see wheels that allow the window to slide during operation. It is also an excellent time to examine the window frame. Look for dirt, dust, rust, and signs of corrosion or damage. Make a note of anything that looks particularly bad or out of place later. Keep an eye out for signs of rust. Rust is a common culprit for squeaking, and it might require extra work in a future step.

handyman installing window
Photo Credit: Hryshchyshen Serhii, Shutterstock

3. Clean Window Tracks and Wheels

The first step will be to clean the window track and the wheels on the inside of the window. Use a wet rag with some ordinary dish soap to wash out any accumulated grit and grime that has built up inside the window. The squeaking you hear is often caused by rust and dirt, causing the wheels to make noise when they slide.

If the window looks mostly intact without any signs of rust build-up or damage to the wheels, you can try to replace the window and see if it works after a good cleaning.

4. Replace Wheels If Needed

In many cases, the wheels in the window will have degraded. This is common. Windows see a lot of moisture and temperature changes that can cause the wheels to wear out over time. If you see chewed-up wheels or ones that won’t spin, you might need to replace them. You can find standard window wheels online or at your local hardware store. You can also look up the window’s manufacturer and model to see if you can get wheels specifically made for your particular window.

Use the flathead screwdriver to pry the wheels free from the track. Some wheels will be secured to the window with small screws. If that is the case, grab your other screwdriver and carefully unscrew the wheels. Be sure not to lose the screws in case you need them again.

Once the old wheels are out, you can simply put the new wheels into place. Ensure everything is secured and that the wheels spin freely inside the window track.

man removing old window
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

5. Lubricate and Dry Window Tracks

After the new wheels are in, it is a good time to lubricate the tracks. Using WD-40, or something similar, spray out the cleaned tracks and wheels to keep everything fresh. Do not put the window back in until the tracks are dry. It might not dry appropriately once the window is put back before it has a chance in the open air. Leaving moisture inside the window can lead to problems down the road again or cause the windows to ooze over time.

6. Return and Check Window

After everything is clean and dry, replace the window. Once the window is back in place, slide it up and down a few times. Make sure that the window slides well. Then check to see if the squeaking is gone. If you follow these steps, very few windows will continue to squeak after these fixes.

Once the window is working to your satisfaction, congratulations, you are finished. If you have more than one squeaky window, repeat the process until the squeaking is resolved.

divider 5 What To Do In Case of Severe Rust or Erosion?

In some cases, there might be heavy rust built-up on the windows, especially if the frames are made from old metal. That poses a more significant problem but should still be fixable. The first step is to remove as much rust as possible. Using steel wool and some water, begin to scrub off the rust. It should flake off with some good scrubbing. This can take a bit of time and a lot of force, but you should see noticeable results after a few minutes.

You might not be able to get all of the rust off of the window frame, and that is okay. The more rust removed, the better.

However, in some cases, the rust will have caused more severe erosion. Some of the tracks might be damaged beyond repair, and the new wheels might not be able to spin in a track clogged with years of rust build-up. If that is the case, do what you can, but the window might ultimately need to be replaced sooner rather than later.

Once you have removed as much rust as possible, shake out the window and wipe it down again. Be sure to let it dry out completely before trying to replace it. You can spray some rust guard on the windows to prevent the rust from spreading for a time which will help prolong the life of an old window.

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