Casement windows, sometimes called a crank out window, may not be as popular in new construction these days, but they are quite common in twentieth century homes. One of the best advantages of casement windows is their range of motion; no other window opens as much as they do. When you are depending on open windows for cross-ventilation in your home, this type of window is the best choice. With traditional double-hung windows, you can only open them halfway, decreasing substantially the breeze allowed in. Casement windows are also a good, energy-efficient solution in the northern latitudes where air conditioning isn't necessarily needed, but the summers still get hot and humid enough to require a breeze to keep the house more comfortable.
Like any type of window, however, they do require the occasional repair or maintenance to keep them in good working order. Here is what you need to know.
Clean The Casement Window Track
Because casements windows are typically used to create cross-ventilation, buildup can occur in the tracks, making them difficult to open and close. This is especially true on beach houses, where sand and grit may be blowing in.
To solve this issue, fully open each window and unhinge the hinge or hinges and slide them out of their respective tracks. Use a whisk broom or a wire brush to sweep out the track, then replace the hinges.
Check For Hinge Problems
Sometimes, the problem with difficult to open casement windows lies with the hinges. If the windows are left open during heavy wind gusts, the hinge can become bent at the elbow. While you could remove it and pound it straight again, it is simpler to just replace the hinge completely. It may also be a matter of they simply need lubrication. Clean the tracks, and then apply an all-purpose penetrating oil to all moving parts.
Inspect The Crank
If the problem isn't a dirty track or a problem with the hinges and extension arms, it is most likely a dirty or broken crank. Disconnect the extension arms, then find the little screw holding the crankshaft in place. Remove it and inspect the gears. If the gears look fine other than dirty, put it in a small bucket of kerosene to soak for an hour. Use an old toothbrush to clean it, lubricate, and reinstall. If the gears look worn, replace it with a new crankshaft.
If you are not able to perform these tasks yourself, you can have a window repair professional come and do routine maintenance on your windows for a nominal fee.