How to Open a Locked Window (3 Types of Locks)

The home is one of the places we hope for safety and rest whenever we need one. But you will surely feel uncomfortable when you can’t open the window to enjoy natural ventilation. That would make you begin to think of how to open the locked window without breaking it.

However, the task may not be as simple as it sounds because not all window locks are the same. Except you are a window maker, there is no way to know how every window works. That’s why you need to understand different types of window locks and find the best ways to open a locked window.

Common Types of Locks in Different Windows

Every window has locks, and the type of lock depends on the kind of window you are using. Let’s look at some of the types of window locks that you will find in different windows.

Double-Hung Sash Windows

Double-Hung Sash Windows

These windows can slide in up and down directions. Understanding how they work will help in figuring out how to open top sash window even if it’s your first. These windows have the following characteristics:

  • A rotating cam right on the frame top of the outside part of the window. It also has a hook linked to the bottom of the frame right at the inner window which helps to make it slide.
  • Barrel locks sometimes replace the sash lock, or both can feature in this type of window.
  • The top window frame consists of a pivot lock with a pin that fits into some holes right at that spot. Another feature there is a handle shaped like a pancake where you hold to open the window.

Horizontal Sliders Lock

Horizontal Sliders Lock

Aluminum or vinyl windows have a sliding half side with a hinged catch locked onto the frame of the window. In some, the other side of the window may also have a sliding catch that locks to a depressed bottom track. Knowing how to open the horizontal sliding windows means releasing the two locks of the window.

Furthermore, the inbuilt springs help the window to lock automatically. If you don’t know this, you may release only one catch and wonder why the window is not opening.

The pivot locks of the horizontal sliding windows can get stuck sometimes because of one of the two windows moved out of track. To Fix this, lift the window and turn the pivot with one hand to unlock it.

Casement Windows Lock

Casement Windows Lock

One of the characteristics of casement windows is that they slide horizontally on their hinges. They come with a barrel lock, or a hook-and-lock which is challenging to open if you lose the key. But like other windows, there are several ways to open a locked window

How to Open Different Locked Window

As you should know, many window locks work in different ways. Once you understand how they function, you will know how to open a locked window without breaking it. In this section, we will reveal to you how to open different locked windows.

How to Open Sash Lock Window

  • Put your hand at the location of the sash in the middle of the window
  • Use your palms to press the sash upward to separate the window bottom from the windowsill. Move the sash upward so you can put your hand and free the sash between the two windows. Keep a hand under the freed sash and then push the window upward.

How to Open a Stuck Sash Lock Window

  • Use a utility knife to scratch the surface of the groove located between the sash and the frame. If the window does not open, try the second step.
  • Insert a putty knife between the window frame and the sash. Gently hit a hammer on the putty knife. Do this to the gap between the frame and the sash. If nothing happens, move to the next step.
  • Walk outside to the back of the window and put a pry bar right under the windowsill. Place a wooden block under the bar and hit it gently with a hammer. Repeat the process all around the windowsill.
  • When the window opens, use sandpaper to smoothen the rough edges and surfaces. Apply beeswax or paraffin on the window tracks to help them stick together again.

These are easy steps on how to open a locked sash window. If you notice, you have warped windows frame and sashes, change the window completely.

How to Open a Horizontal Sliding Window from the Outside

How to open horizontal sliding window is something you need to know since this type is quite popular. Finding ways on how to open a stuck sliding window is not for burglars alone. To unlock this type of window from the outside:

  • Find out if the window is open and push it with your hands. If this doesn’t work, place a prybar between the window and the windowsill. Jiggle the window a little, and it will move and be able to slide or come off. But this procedure might not work if your is latched.
  • Put the blade of a thin hacksaw in the window close to the latch. But this method only works if it allows you to put the blade between the window sashes, and flip the lock.
  • Another way to open a locked sliding window is to break the lock. This process may sound extreme, but that is a great way to go, except you don’t want to damage your window. You can choose to use a prybar on the latch and force the window open.

How to Open a Locked Casement Window

A casement window can get stuck or shut for several reasons. You can find the cause by checking up on all the common causes. However, knowing how to open a window with latches from the outside requires the following simple skills:

  • Use a blade to scratch off any dry paint between the window frame and the sash. To do this, gently tap the end of the blade with a hammer to reach deep into the window space. Do the same thing to the outer part.
  • Wrap a towel around a small block of wood and place it against the sash. Hit the block with a hammer and keep doing it until the remaining debris shakes off. Repeat the same process all around the window to loosen anything that could hold it.
  • Insert the putty knife head in the lower part of the space between the frame and the sash. Next, bend the knife and use it to pry the window open. Continue this way all over the edges of the window.
  • Use two putty knives to increase the effect until the seal in the space breaks. After this process, the hinges will be free to move.
  • Apply a spray of lubricant on the hinges and secure all loose screws. If they are rusty, replace them immediately. Lubricate the inner part of the hinges to reduce friction when they turn.
  • Use sandpaper on the section between the frame and the sash. Use it to remove paints and to smooth the rough wood on this section. Apply to vanish and candle wax to prevent further sticking.

Wrap Up

Getting yourself out through the window or merely trying to open a locked window requires little skills. When you understand the various ways to open a locked window, you won’t fear this home fitting problem. But to do that you need to know the different types of window locks.

With the right tools and a little more patience, you can open your latched or stuck window. But there are times when a window may require replacement. That’s completely normal, but with this article, you now know how to open a locked window without breaking it

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