Nashville Home Inspector – Problems with Vinyl Window Locks

Problems With Vinyl Window Locks 


Richard Acree

Everbody loves vinyl windows, right?  Look good, won’t rot, energy efficient.  You might think they are perfect, right?  Not quite.  Look at the picture below.  What’s wrong?

HINT:  A window lock usually involves two components, one on the lower sash and one on the upper sash.  A locking device needs to engage the two components together.

ANSWER:  The curved locking arm you see extending out to the upper sash has missed its mark.  Normally this component swings into a slot or under another component to engage the upper sash and lock both windows in the closed position.  Not this time.  In this case, the locking arm has missed the bottom of the upper sash.  This miss will now allow the lower sash to raise unimpeded despite the locking control lever being in the “locked” position.

How can this be you say?  In this house, some of the vinyl windows on the south, east and west sides of the house were in direct line with the sun.  Over time, the sun caused the vinyl windows to warp, allowing the upper sash to move, or bend, to a position that allowed the locking arm to miss the lower edge of the upper sash that it would normally engage.  It should look like the picture below, taken from a window not in line with direct sun.

If you have questions about this article please contact Richard at

Thank you, 

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on Linked.  Thank you!


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