My VELUX window won’t open
Hey reader, we see you – sat on the floor, looking up exasperatedly at your beautiful VELUX window that just won’t open. You’re slightly bedraggled and tired from trying with all your might to get the window to budge, but not with so much might that you risk damaging any mechanisms or parts of it. Frustrated, you’ve turned to the internet in the hope that someone can help. Well, fear not – here we are, and we’re here to help.
When it comes to assessing why your VELUX window won’t open, it’s important to look at when it was installed.
Recently installed VELUX that won’t open
VELUX are extremely high quality windows, that are designed to last decades. Whilst there are a number of reasons that VELUX windows can get stuck and won’t open, most of these are unlikely to occur for years into their lifecycle (if at all).
When new VELUX windows won’t open, something’s wrong with the installation. If the VELUX were only installed within the last few months, then it’s time to get hold of your installer. You should ask your installer or builder to rectify this problem. If your builder is a VELUX Certified Installer, then the windows are guaranteed for 10 years, meaning they must return to fix the problem. If they’re not, then it can be more challenging.
Always choose VELUX Certified Installers
For all VELUX work going forward, we highly recommend only using those with VELUX Certified Installer status. This is a quality recommendation from VELUX themselves, ensuring that the work will be performed to the highest standards and that the company holds high levels of expertise and professionalism when it comes to VELUX-related work.
The VELUX Certified Installer badge is a quality mark from VELUX themselves demonstrating the highest quality of workmanship. Always look for builders that carry this accreditation.
In cases where your VELUX installer is not easily contactable or you’d like a 2nd opinion, we operate across the Sussex area and are one of the few companies with VELUX Certified Installer status. We can advise on repair and/or replacements for your current VELUX.
Opening INTEGRA (electronic) VELUX windows
INTEGRA are VELUX’s electronically and remote-controlled opening windows. If these are your windows and you’re trying to open them using the remote, then check to see if you can open them manually using the handle.
VELUX INTEGRA windows can also be opened manually. This helps discern whether there’s an issue with the window or the electronics.
Simply pull down the handle, and tilt the window open. If you can’t reach the window, take a look at our guide for opening hard-to-reach VELUX windows. If the window opens by use of the manual handle, then it’s an issue with the window’s electronics. INTEGRA windows are solar-powered, so ruling out a terrible run of weather, it could be that the solar system is faulty. Alternatively, there may be an issue with the remote. It could be worth resetting and running the setup features again to ensure it’s correctly connected with your window.
If it doesn’t budge when you try to manually open it, let’s look at other issues.
Loosen up the seals or gaskets
There is a set of seals around your VELUX window which keep it waterproof and prevent water from penetrating, referred to by VELUX as ‘gaskets’. However, sometimes these seals just… well, seal too much. In fact, sometimes they need loosening.
This is most likely the case if the windows have been shut for an extended period – people often find they’re stuck fast after winter when they try to open their windows in the spring again. This extended period of closure, combined with the effects of cold weather, means that the seals have just become too strong.
Don’t pull too hard on the window if this is the case. Doing so can cause damage to the window and the area around it. Instead, we need to loosen the seals.
The simplest way to do this is using a product you’ll likely already have to hand – WD-40. Specifically, look for the Smart Straw canister which has a thin red straw nozzle for dispensing. Try to squeeze that between the gaps to reach the seals on the window, jet a little WD-40 in there, and then move on and do the same around the entirety of the window. Give it time to soak in – don’t try to open the window immediately.
Come back to the VELUX again later, and have another go at opening. Did that work? If not, let’s look at some other issues.
Has the frame warped?
Okay, we’re moving into bigger problems now. First up, it’s worth looking at whether your VELUX has warped. When VELUX windows are set into a roof, they are added by a process of building a frame in first. We add flashings to these windows – essentially an apron around the edge that prevents water ingress.. The frame is then adjusted to ensure a correct fit between roof, frame and window.
Before setting a window in place, a frame must be put into the roof.
A well-installed VELUX window can last years and years, no matter what nature throws at it. However, a poorly installed window will begin to warp over time as it’s exposed to the elements. Strong winds, cold snaps, long bouts of rain and summer heat will lead to the windows or the frame warping over time. This isn’t often visible to the naked eye, but becomes apparent as the window becomes stiffer to open, and eventually may not open at all.
Warping can lead to further problems in the future too.
At this point, you’ll need to hire a professional and your VELUX may need replacing. Again, always look out for those with VELUX Certified Installer status to be guaranteed of a fantastic and long-lasting installation.
Other faulty mechanisms
There are numerous other mechanisms that ensure your VELUX moves and operates smoothly. Many of these are complex and intricately designed. VELUX have been designing windows for over 80 years, and the modern VELUX window is a feat of engineering which ensures its smooth operation and ease of use.
We certainly recommend browsing the user guides and manual for service and maintenance to familiarise yourself with the window. These are available via VELUX themselves. VELUX also provide basic maintenance kits including lubrication for these parts, which we recommend doing occasionally. Just be sure to purchase the correct maintenance kit for your window.
However, if the window is already stuck then you’re also best placed to call in professional support. Many of these mechanisms are not obviously apparent, and are also tricky to fix.
Again, a VELUX Certified Installer is best placed to help diagnose and analyse the problems with your VELUX and go onto fixing them for you.
If you need support in the Sussex area then don’t hesitate to give Sussex Roof Windows a call, and for support further afield we recommend contacting VELUX for their approved Certified Installers.