Windows in Edmonton: Common Problems With Slider Windows

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Slider windows are a popular choice for customers in Alberta looking for a combination of quality and price. While they are not as efficient as casements, the price for sliders is also significantly lower, making them a viable option for a budget replacement project.

Another advantage sliders have to other operable windows, is that there is no moving hardware required to operate the sash (moving part of the window). The sash simply slides back and forth in the channel. Regardless of material it’s made out of, mechanical hardware on casement windows requires maintenance and lubrication, and can still deteriorate and sometimes rust over time. This problem is non-existent in slider windows.

But perhaps the biggest benefit of sliding modern windows, are their tilt-and-turn functionality, that makes it possible to rotate the sash into your home. This not only allows for better ventilation, but also easier maintenance when it comes to cleaning the windows.

Slider windows are a good option even for a harsh Edmonton climate, but a lot of homeowners still prefer to go with the casement option. That’s because sliders aren’t without their own problems.

Here are some of the more common ones.

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As mentioned above, a great advantage in the functionality of slider windows is the lack of mechanical hardware in the design. But in order to prevent drafts and air seepage, sliders have to rely on weatherstripping to eliminate the space between frame and sash. By comparison, casement windows use a compression seal, which is overall better for reducing heat transfer and making your windows more soundproof than a sliding window. New weatherstripping also makes it somewhat difficult to operate slider windows, as there is a natural breaking in process. On the other hand, as it begins to deteriorate, weatherstripping creates room for air leaks and drafts.

Freezing in corners

As the weatherstripping deteriorates and allows air in, slider windows often have moisture freezing up in the corners. As a result, it may be difficult or outright impossible to open older slider windows in the winter time. Freezing in the corners can deteriorate the material, and significantly decrease your window’s performance and longevity.

Sash weight

The sashes in modern slider windows tend to be pretty heavy. Combining efficiency features into a smaller unit adds a lot of weight, so certain precautions have to be exercised when turning the sashes inward. Usually, it is best to open the sash a few inches towards the middle before turning it in. This distributes the stress of the weight more evenly, preventing the sash from bowing the frame or falling out altogether.


Up until several years ago, one of the bigger concerns about slider windows was the pooling of rainwater in the channels. Modern windows incorporate special drainage tunnels into the design to deal with this issue. Be sure to do some research about how a specific company uses this in their manufacturing. Online review websites are full of negative feedback about clogged drainage channels that keep the water inside the window.

As we mentioned in our previous post about common problems with casement windows, it is ultimately all about HOW a window is installed. A window that is installed level and square is designed to evenly drain the water from the channels toward the outside, away from the house.

Though inferior to casements in their performance, slider windows are still a great option, especially if you’re trying to budget for the project. Where they lack in efficiency, sliders make up for in their functionality and versatility. Edmonton window customers can always improve the performance of a custom slider window with additional Low-emissivity coatings, gas fills, and performance glass.