Most window rollers and guides are pretty easy to replace. The hardest part of this job is usually the lifting of the sash out of the window, and back into the window. So, before you start, make sure that either you are strong enough to lift the sash out, or that you have enough help to do this. And, since most windows don’t have safety glass in them, it’s a good idea to wear gloves, arm protection, and eye protection. Non-safety window glass can be extremely dangerous. And, there’s nothing worse than going to do a $2 repair, and ending up with a $1000 emergency room bill.

WARNING!!! All installation instructions and demonstrations are intended for professionals trained in this type of work. Mobile Screen and Glass strongly recommends the use of a licensed contractor to perform any of these projects. Ignorance of required safety equipment, as well as safety codes concerning these installations, could result in severe injuries to those persons performing these installations, as well as those operating the repaired product!

SAFETY FIRST!

If you’re going to replace rollers or guides in your windows, they are probably windows that slide side to side, rather than up and down. With most windows, if you slide the sash (that portion of the window that moves) about half way open, you can then lift the sash up, swing the bottom of the sash out towards you a few inches, and then let the sash down outside of the window gently. The sash will then be free in your hands. If you can’t do this, it is usually because of one of two reasons.

The first reason would be that the manufacturer of the window placed a block in the top track of the window to prevent the sash from being raised up enough to swing the bottom out as a security device. These blocks will either be removable, such as ones that are screwed in place, or they will be movable, and you can slide them to the ends of the track that they are in, freeing the sash to be lifted enough to swing out.

The other reason why you wouldn’t be able to lift the sash high enough to swing the bottom out would be that the header at the top of the window has sagged as your house has settled over the years. If that is the case, don’t fight it. Call us. This really is a situation where the risks far outweigh the rewards of doing it yourself.

Once you have the sash out of the window, rotate the sash 180 degrees so that you are looking at the bottom rail of the sash frame, and you will see one of two thing: either rollers, or guides.

Replacing window guides
With most older windows the guides snap out of, and back into, the bottom rail of the window. With most newer windows the guides are held in place with a screw. If your guides snap into the bottom track, it’s usually a matter of taking a straight blade common screwdriver with a small blade, and gently forcing it under the guide, prying it up and out of the track. The new guides can then be snapped back into the bottom track. Usually this will take just a light tap with a mallet to get them to snap back in.

If the guides are held in place with a screw, it is usually just a matter of removing the screw, and the guide can be lifted out of the bottom rail. Replace the guide and make sure that the screw that holds it in place has been tightened snugly.

Replacing window rollers
Same as above. Some snap in, some are held in place with a screw.