I came across this meeting rail alignment video entitled “How to Make Meeting Rails Line Up.” Although I think it should be called, “How to Temporarily Make Meeting Rails Line Up Until You Have the Time to Fix it Properly.” I guess they thought that title would be too long. Nonetheless, the video is a good example of a meeting rail alignment problem that is quite common in older homes.
Double hung windows, found in many historic homes, have fallen victim to wood rot or failing or missing seals which causes misalignment in the meeting rails. In many cases the structure of the home has shifted so much overtime that the actual dimensions of the window frame have changed, leading to the misalignment. In either case some repair work is in order.
Side Effects of Meeting Rail Alignment Issues
If the misalignment in the meeting rails is excessive it causes other problems with your windows. First, from a security standpoint you won’t be able to properly engage the window sash locks. This will allow perpetrators easy access to your home. Secondly, if you can’t properly latch the windows, more than likely there will be a gap between the meeting rails. An excessive gap here will cause a draft, and ultimately affect your heating and cooling costs.
Temporary Meeting Rail Alignment Repair
Did I say “Temporary?” Yes, I did! The fix outlined in the video is quick and easy repair tip that will allow you to properly latch the window for security. It’s a temporary fix, so that you can secure your home for the time being. Did I just say temporary again? Yep, if you need help with a more permanent repair, get in touch with the Window Repair Guy.
Permanent Meeting Rail Alignment Repair
The video above demonstrates just how severe the meeting rail alignment problem can be on older double-hung windows. However, for a permanent solution you need to address the root cause of the misalignment.
Repairing Wood Rot: If the problem is wood rot, and the windows are in a historic home, you will need to do some extensive repairs if you wish to retain the original windows. This would entail removing the rotted wood from the window sills & sashes and rebuilding the windows. If it is a non-historic home, full window replacement is the way to go.
Replacing Lower Sash Seals: Depending on the manufacturer, the lower sash may have had, at one time, a thick seal along the bottom edge of the lower sash. If this seal is missing or has deteriorated to the point that it is now much thinner than the original seal, it must be replaced. This may be all you need to raise the lower sash just enough so that the meeting rail alignment issue is resolved.