How to Fix Window Shades - 6 Common Issues and How to Fix Them

How to Fix Window Shades - 6 Common Issues and How to Fix Them
It doesn’t matter whether you live in a single-family home or an apartment, eventually, you’ll run into unexpected household repairs. Over time, you’ll also need to make changes to your home décor. The money you spend on new items and professional services will increase your comfort and enjoyment, but it’s also sure to impact your monthly budget. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice your most important upgrades and fixes to stay on track with your finances. You can save both valuable time and money by repairing broken or worn furnishings and decorations yourself. One of the simplest yet most worthwhile activities is learning how to fix window blinds.

It doesn’t matter if you have basswood blinds, roller shades or cellular shades. Almost any window covering can be adjusted at home. Best of all, you don’t need any special supplies or skills to get the job done. The following issues with window shades are common, but it’s still difficult to find an understandable how-to guide online. These tips and tricks will explain how to make the repairs without fuss or stress. Once you complete the repairs, you’ll have your privacy, energy efficiency and peace back—all without having to dig into your wallet. 

1. Faulty Roller Mechanisms 

If you’ve ever wondered how roller shades run so smoothly, it’s because they have a strong yet dynamic spring coil inside. If you take your shades apart, you’ll find the spring coil within the roller mechanism. While the coil is durable, it’s susceptible to damage over time, especially with frequent use. Don’t stop using your window coverings as much as you like. Faulty roller mechanisms can still be repaired as long as the spring doesn’t break apart. 

adjusting roller blinds shade

Sometimes, the spring gets a little loose. If your shade won’t stay up, this is probably the issue. Thankfully, you can make the fix in minutes. Start by pulling your shade about halfway down the window. Once it’s sitting in the proper position, lift the roller out of the bracket. While it’s removed from the bracket, wind the shade up by hand as tight as you can, like you’re rolling a skinny burrito. After it’s completely closed, you can set the roller back in the bracket and try closing and opening the shade again. You may need to repeat the process a few times until the shade is rolled back into its original position. 

There are some instances when the opposite occurs: The spring coil is far too tight. You’ll notice this issue when your shade is difficult to pull down but still easy to snap upward. To adjust the shade, pull it all the way up. Next, lift the roller out of the bracket. Now, you’ll need to unroll the shade by hand. You don’t need to unravel the entire shade—a few manual rotations should be enough. Replace the roller. Repeat the process as necessary until the shade operates smoothly. 

2. Telescoping Roller Shades 

Homeowners love roller shades for their neat, clean look. They also like how many of them have light filtering and blackout features. Their pull-down, push-up style is convenient for family members of all ages, but the design can also lead to minor issues. One of the most typical problems with roller shades is called “telescoping.”

Almost everyone who has roller shades has seen this problem. When your shades are telescoping, they’re beginning to gather on either the left or right side of the headrail. To fix it, you’ll want to first see if your window treatments are level. Start by locating a level inside your toolbox. Use the tool to determine whether or not your shades are even in your window. If you notice they’re leaning to the left or right, you’ll need to use a screwdriver to take out and re-install the shade brackets. 

how to fix telescoping roller shades graphic

If the level shows they’re in alignment, the project is as easy as tearing and placing tape. Don’t grab the tape that you use to wrap presents. Instead, you’ll need painter’s tape because it’s durable enough to stay put on your window. You can find this type of tape at your neighborhood home improvement center. It’s also available in certain craft shops and box stores. 

Set your painter’s tape next to you and then roll your shades all the way down. Tear off a small piece of the tape and then place it on the opposite side of the part where the shade is telescoping. For instance, if the shade is telescoping on the left, place the tape on the right side. If you roll the shade back up and it’s even, you’ve made the fix. You can always add another piece of tape if the material is still gathering to one side.

3. Stubborn Vertical Blinds 

There are a variety of reasons to choose vertical blinds for your home. Elongated windows and sliding glass doors are the perfect place for these popular window coverings. They’re also an excellent choice if you want to achieve the ideal amount of light and temperature control. Since you can perfectly position the slats with your wand or cords, you’ll also enjoy privacy while being able to see outdoors at the same time. 

There are so many benefits of having vertical blinds, but any owner knows they can get stuck from time to time. There are a few different reasons why this can happen. In some cases, the slats get tucked behind each other when opening or closing them. Curious toddlers and pets who want to see through the window can also jar them out of position. If either of these issues happens, gently dislodge the misaligned slats with one hand and then try pulling or turning your blinds open again. If each slat is in its proper place, they should move much smoother. 

vertical blinds in window

Since vertical blinds run on a panel track, dirt and dust can also get stuck inside over time. The debris makes it much more difficult to move the blinds closed and open. An affordable lubricant spray made of silicone will both lubricate the track and make sure the parts are more resistant to corrosion. Once you spray a light layer on the inside of the rail, gently open the slats with your wand or cord. 

Next, push the wand to move the vertical slats in your desired direction. One application should be enough to keep the track in good condition for months. If you notice any further issues, try adding more silicone lubricant. You can also dust or clean out the bigger pieces of debris from the inside of the track with cotton swabs. 

4. Roller Shades That Won’t Stay Down 

Some roller shades won’t stay down, no matter how hard you pull them or how long you hold them there. They may still be quality window coverings—they just have a faulty ratchet and pawl mechanism. In most cases, all you need to do is clean it. 

Take the entire shade down so you can do a proper cleaning. Having it directly in front of you will also prevent you from making a mistake and damaging a mechanism in the window covering. Remove the cap on the roller and then inspect inside to see if you notice any dirt or dust. Use a small vacuum or a vacuum hose on a low setting to remove debris. You can also clean the roller mechanism with a soft microfiber cloth. 

how to fix roller shades wont stay down graphic

Once you’re sure there are no large pieces inside the roller, prevent the mechanism from getting stuck again by taking the same silicone lubricant spray that you use for your vertical blinds and apply it to the mechanism. When finished, pop the cap back on the roller and hang the shade. 

5. Broken Vertical Blind Slats 

If you pull on one of your vertical blind slats by accident, it may become dislodged from its clip. In this case, you don’t really need to make a repair. The blinds are designed so you can easily pop them back into position. When the hole that houses the clip is torn or broken, however, it’s necessary to make a more detailed fix. 

You can repair your broken slat by creating an entirely new hole. Start this mini project by flipping the slat upside down. Using a hole punch, fashion a new hole in the same spot as the torn hole on the opposite side. 

Since replacement slats are one of the more affordable fixes for window coverings, you may decide to make this a temporary fix and buy a new slat. As long as you don’t continue to tug on the panel, it should hold together until you want to visit an online manufacturer or home improvement store to make the switch. 

6. Horizontal Blinds Won’t Open 

Horizontal blinds, such as those found on faux wood blinds and mini blinds, have a mechanism that allows the slats to tilt open or closed. In some cases, it’s a wand, but many new styles include a corded tilt. When these window coverings don’t adjust properly, your tilt is probably to blame. Corded tilts can be in disrepair when the string falls off its wheel, which is located inside the headrail. 

how to fix horizontal blinds wont open graphic

To get your blinds opening and closing again, you’ll need to take them off the window and place them on a flat surface in front of you. Locate where the corded tilt sits inside the headrail. A plastic wheel should have most of the cord wound around it. See if some of the string has gathered on either side of the wheel. Wind the string back inside the wheel and the blinds should open like new again. 

Learn How to Fix Blinds at Home and Save Money 

Most people don’t think they know how to fix blinds at home. Instead of trying to make a repair, they go out and purchase new shades, unaware of how they can prolong the life of the product. With the help of this guide and a few supplies you probably already have in your home, you can make a different choice. You can DIY to get your shades on track again. 

In some instances, your window coverings will be completely broken—or you’ll simply want to upgrade to a new, innovative type of blinds. We’re here to help. You can browse our online selection of quality shades and blinds of all styles and colors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tired of cord tilt issues? Switch to safe and visually appealing cordless blinds. If you like vertical blinds, you’ll enjoy browsing our durable and affordable line. We even have a large selection of light filtering and blackout shades. When you’re ready to order, we’ll teach you how to measure your windows at home so you can get the custom fit you desire. Just review our easy-to-understand online guide. 

living room interior with wooden blinds

Some home repairs seem impossible, but window coverings are different than most other fixes. Nearly every typical issue with shades or blinds can be taken care of without calling a professional for advice or making an expensive upgrade. Take the challenge and try one of these repairs next time you have an issue. See for yourself how easy it is to complete. You’ll not only keep more money in your pocket, but we’re confident you’ll discover a new trick you can use in your home or apartment for a lifetime. 

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