Why Wont My UPVC Window Close?

UPVC windows are inexpensive both to own and to fix. If you’re having trouble with it closing, here are the key things that you need to check and possibly repair.

UPVC is a wood replacement substance that’s typically found as the framework for windows. It’s very cheap and requires little to no maintenance so it’s become a popular choice for replacing windows and as a construction material. But what do you do when your UPVC window is no longer closing?

There are a lot of potential reasons for the UPVC material in your window failing to seal or completely close. 

  • The style of your window could indicate the problem
  • Check your hinges
  • See if the sash has dropped
  • Check over your locks

Fortunately, this isn’t going to end up being a problem that requires you to sell your car in order to afford the fix. Since UPVC is so inexpensive, it’s also inexpensive to repair. Oftentimes, it’s not even the UPVC that’s the focus of the problem—as indicated above. 

Troubleshooting a UPVC Window That Won’t Close

Much depends on what kind of window that you’re using. There are roughly 18 -20 different types of windows and, of course, they all operate differently and have different problems, regardless of what kind of material went into their manufacturing process. 

The vast majority of windows in newly constructed homes have a sash—which is the clear, square section that is built into the frame and usually doesn’t move—however, there are also casement windows and those of similar types that utilize hinges and different locking mechanisms.

Check Your Hinges

Hinges are typically metal and, even though the ones that are exposed to the outside are usually protected against the weather, that doesn’t mean that they won’t have corrosion problems.

Whether they’re on the inside or the outside, you should check them over for debris or anything that could come between the frame and the wall that would cause the defect. 

You should also eye them or use a level to determine if the wood frame has swollen or if the hinges are no longer securely flush against the window frame and the window itself. 

You also don’t want to see a huge gap between your closed sash and the frame of the window. If there is a large gap, then your hinges are no longer closing it enough to settle flush up against the frame.

Check Your Sash

If you have a swing open sash, you should close it and ensure that it is completely flush with the frame. If you can see through a tiny crack between the upper corner of the sash and the frame of the window, then it’s dropped some and will need to be returned to flush. 

If it looks flush and you can’t see light through a crack in the upper corner or around the handle, check the entire outline carefully to make sure that it is solid all the way around. Over time, sashes will eventually drop.

Gravity always has its way against screws and hardware over time, especially with a sash that swings open like a door. 

Check Over Your Locks

The best way to do this is to close the sash and lock it. You can take a credit card or any other flat instrument that has roughly the same thickness as a driver’s license or credit card. Slide the card, as if you were scanning it, between the sash and frame.

If the card doesn’t present you with a tight fit, then you need to adjust the lock so that it presses the window down sufficiently. 

How To Make The Proper Fixes

Of course, if the window isn’t closing correctly, you have to deal with the fact that hot air will get in during the summer and cold air during the winter, driving up your heating and cooling costs. So it’s definitely something that you want to fix, especially since it’s pretty easy to do.

Fixing The Hinges

Fixing the hinges is a fairly simple job, you just have to find the time to do it. Fixing them is a matter of removing the old ones from both the frame and the sash and replacing them with new ones.

  • Unscrew the hinges from the frame
  • Remove the sash
  • There will likely be an outline of where the originals once were
  • Relace the old ones on the sash
  • Replace the sash
  • Screw the hinges back into the frame

And that’s pretty much all there is to it. You can usually see the original outline from where the hinges used to remain. Since the originals were on there so long, the outline is likely residue from the originals or impressions.

It’s only mentioned because it makes it pretty simple to realign the new hinges. However, before you remove the old hinges, you should use a pencil to outline the hinges prior to removing them so that you have a good guideline no matter what. 

Fixing The Sash

The job is as simple as changing the hinges but a little more labor-intensive. You want to remove the glass from the sash and check all around it and the sash frame for defects. The most important thing you need to do when you put it back in is make sure everything is lined up.

When you replace the glass, you want to make sure the glass is in there as solid as can be. Use plastic packers all the way around to make sure it’s not going anywhere.

The most common cause for a sash that has dropped is a poor fitting and you can take care of that with the plastic packers.

Fixing The Locks

The locks are really simple and all you need is an Allen wrench with the right fitting key.

Access the cams by opening the window and looking into the rails. 

Use the Allen wrench to tighten them clockwise and this will result in the sash being pulled closer to the window.

All Things Considered

UPVC is popular because it’s inexpensive and very easy to fix. Thankfully, if your UPVC window isn’t closing properly, it’s going to be a very simple and relatively quick fix.

It’s always important to make sure that your windows close properly, especially when it comes to cooling and heating costs. Proper maintenance is always a good thing and will avoid a lot of potential problems in the future.