Windows freezing shut
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Thread: Windows freezing shut

  1. #1
    Senior Member Binkalette's Avatar
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    Windows freezing shut

    Does anyone have a good solution for keeping the windows in your home from freezing shut in the winter? We have a new home (built in 04) with very nice pvc type windows (I think it's PVC? Whatever it is it's white.. plastic-y like stuff). Anyway since the temperatures have dipped below zero (-8F tonight) the windows have been freezing shut. There isn't any condensation or ice on them anywhere, but they are still frozen shut. My husband took one off the track tonight and said he thinks it's the seal on the window that is getting wet from the outside and freezing. The windows are really quite good insulation wise, I've never lived in a place with better windows, but they slide open horizontally, and not vertically, and I think it's the seal on the bottom part that is freezing. Does anyone have any ideas how to keep it from freezing?

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    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: Windows freezing shut

    I wish I could help, Bink. The sliding side doors on my van are frozen Shut....I'm having to load Strauss in through the trunk and have him jump over my row seeting...

    Sympathy from a fellow (freezing) northener.
    S Konzert vom Drachenberg CD, RN, CGC, TC, retired service dog "Strauss"
    Mana's 5 Cents for Advice Marcato TC "Wesson"
    Marcato's Turn the Page "Mikasa"

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    Senior Member ShadowSky's Avatar
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    Re: Windows freezing shut

    I don't know how well it would work on windows, but after my car doors froze shut during our cold snap last month(I was toting buckets of hot water outside to open them, then yanking them open quickly before THAT froze... -20 is fun when water is involved lol) my dad has had me putting WD-40 I think it was on the locks and such and I haven't had the problem since. I don't know if that's coincidence or not. sorry to hear about your windows!

    Thank you so much for the sig, Blizzard!

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    Re: Windows freezing shut

    Not a great idea to pour hot water on a frozen car door or window. The ΔT can cause the glass to crack.

    Get some spray de-icer (a lot of it if you live way north) and spray it in the channels to unfreeze the window or door. Prevention is better, though. Spray alcohol de-icer on all the weather stripping to displace the water and dry the surface, and then spray a dry film silicone lubricant on them.

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    Senior Member DJsMom's Avatar
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    Re: Windows freezing shut

    I think what you may be talking about are vinyl windows? I'm not sure, but perhaps the material expands with cold weather. I would try to contact the manufacturer.
    Cathy

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    Senior Member ShadowSky's Avatar
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    Re: Windows freezing shut

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsh Muppet View Post
    Not a great idea to pour hot water on a frozen car door or window. The ΔT can cause the glass to crack.
    I realize that now, which is why I wasn't suggesting for her to try that, just relaying my experience. At the time I was desperate and had to get to school

    Thank you so much for the sig, Blizzard!

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    Re: Windows freezing shut

    Quote Originally Posted by DJsMom View Post
    I think what you may be talking about are vinyl windows? I'm not sure, but perhaps the material expands with cold weather. I would try to contact the manufacturer.
    Actually vinyl contracts in the cold expands in the heat. wd-40, de-icing spray, brine solution, graphite are all things that should help keep them from freezing but honestly I don't really see the point if it's winter why would you want to open them anyway? The heat produced from inside the house versus the cold produced from the outside of your house makes your window frames and jams the perfect breeding ground for condensation. Any time cold meets heat condensation forms which leaves you vunerable to freezing. It doesn't matter how well the windows insulate your home or are draft proof... all that is moot when you're talking about the laws of condensation. Your windows are the transition point between hot and cold so there is bound to be condensation build up somewhere. Maybe not a lot but obviously enough to freeze. I would make sure that the windows are insulated all the way round the window jam, in the channels around the wo-window frame itself, and at least a foot into the walls if you really want the best opportunity to prevent freezing but even doing all that is no guarantee. Aside of that contact the manufacturer. If they're double pane windows with argon gas between the panes of glass you might have a leak and lost the gas between the panes. That in itself is suppose to act as an insulating barrier to prevent that hot to cold condensation issue. (can ya tell I use to work for thermal twin windows AGES ago )

  9. #8
    Senior Member Binkalette's Avatar
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    Re: Windows freezing shut

    Well, there isn't any condensation on the inside of the windows. It's on the outside part of the window where there is a felt (or some sort of softer material) seal of some sort.. I think what has happened is that last week when it snowed, it had piled up on the screens, and then melted. I'm thinking the water hit the felt on the bottom part of the window and froze and that's what's making it so hard to open.

    Also the only reason we want them to open is because we like to have our bedroom window cracked open at night. We both sleep better if it's really chilly in the room.

    I'm going to ask my dad this weekend and see what he thinks.. The windows in their house are old and also freeze shut, but he covers them with plastic stuff in the winter to keep them from getting condensation on them and ruining the wood around it.

  10. #9
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    Re: Windows freezing shut

    No the condensation would not likely be on the inside of the wondow. It starts at the edges and works it's way inward. If the glass is double pain and insulated with argon gas then you would not likely see any condensation onthe glass. The screens cause A LOT of problems when it comes to snow. It does soak that insulating fuzzy strip and does cause the problems you are experiencing. Screens should be removed in the winter if you live in a snow region. My windows are fairly new. tilt in to clean reinforced pane but not double and I still cover them with plastic regardless. My reasoning is that they are 84 inches tall and one HUGE cold surface. The barrier of air beetween the plastic and the glass prevent any condensation from forming and although I don't remove my screens since they slide up when I bring the storm windows down, I never have an issue with freezing.

    Hopefully your dad will be able to provide you with some further insight as to how to handle this problem.

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