What is a Window Jamb?

Have you been asking yourself, what is a window jamb? If yes, and you’re planning on hiring a window installer, this comprehensive read is for you.

One of the most critical parts of a window is the jamb, and there are three types, one on each side, which is the side jambs, and one at the top, which is the head jamb. All three provide structural support to keep the window panes firmly in place inside the frame.

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To do this, they have to be placed between the glass of the window pane and the window frame. This is only a very basic description. However, various elements are necessary to fully answer the question.

What are Window Jambs?

Window jambs are a framework that supports the window and keeps it in place. This is especially important for the ones that can be opened because they contain tracks or rails that let the windows open. They enable them to slide up and down and side to side.

They also contain latches or locking mechanisms that keep the window secure. One of the handiest things about window jambs is that when windows start to go wonky, you can simply replace them to see if that fixes the problem. If replacing the window jamb does the trick, you’ve just saved yourself hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars.

Like the frames, the types of window jambs can be made from different materials, including wood, plastic, vinyl, and metal. Interestingly, they aren’t technically necessary, but window manufacturers use them in their products more often than not.

Can I Replace Window Jambs Myself?

If you have DIY skills, especially skills related to carpentry, then you can give it a bash. Make sure you fully understand the instructions and don’t cut any corners. Before you start, check to see if you have all the hardware necessary because you don’t want to stop part-way to quickly buy some wood for the shims or get the right type of glue.

You can use your skills to make jambs for new window installations and for replacing them to remove rot, fix a leak, and eliminate warps. You must be very careful when replacing or building new jambs so that you fit them in absolutely properly.
A little gap here, a little too snug there, and suddenly you have a window that won’t open or that rattle in its frame. Jambs that leave openings can result in more water damage, and there’s also the risk that the replacement windows will fall out of the frame.

Obviously, if you don’t know the answer to the question, what are window jambs, and you always outsource specialized work like this, get a window installation contractor right from the start. You’ll have to pay more than if you did it yourself, but it’ll take less time, and you can be sure of the quality of the work—provided you investigate reputable window installers.

Jamb Maintenance

You can prolong window jambs’ jams by cleaning them. Dirt, including dust, water, and debris, accumulates on the windowsill and inside every time you open a window.

The dirt builds up over time and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and that omnipresent mold. The claggy dirt makes opening and closing the window increasingly difficult, and when you apply too much force, the window could fall out of its frame.

Cleaning window jambs are a little bit finicky because you have to get to the exterior of your house so you can reach small, sharp corners and around locking mechanisms. However, the steps to follow are easy.

  • Vacuum each jamb to get rid of loose debris, including dirt on window screens and the sill.
  • Make a paste out of baking soda and water.
  • Apply the paste to the sides, top, and bottom of the jamb, making sure you get into the corners.
  • Pour it into a spray bottle and spray up and down the jambs until the mixture bubbles.
  • Follow one of the handy tips that apply to the jamb’s structure. Mix a solution of vinegar and water, it works just as well.
  • Leave the mixture for five to ten minutes and then wipe it away with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Use a toothbrush to scrub the jamb from the inside and outside, especially in the corners and around the locks.
  • Spray some bleach on the moldy areas to remove them completely from the site.
  • Apply silicone or wax to the jambs, so the window sash opens and closes smoothly.

What are Jamb Liners?

These liners fit inside the jamb on the vertical sides and provide an extra layer to keep the window securely in place. These are also ideally placed to seal gaps and cracks, and the added insulation makes windows more energy efficient.

Some jambs come with liners already fitted in, but they can also be inserted as an addition at a later stage. They are made with lightweight, strong, and durable materials, including vinyl and aluminum. You also have the option of wood jamb liners, but they are expensive and aren’t as easy to install as vinyl and aluminum.

Just as with installing glass window panes and the window frame, you must measure the window to get the correct dimensions for the liners, including jamb depth.

Jamb Extensions

Jamb extensions are placed on the interior side of the window and provide the space necessary to fit the window frame to the window opening. Extensions go on all four sides of the window to accommodate the frame.

They’re usually added when you’re replacing windows, but you can add a window jamb extension after the other components have been installed, including the frame. In addition, there are many material options to choose from, including vinyl, wood, foam board, and veneers.

Window Jambs and Professional Window Installers

Simple jamb projects can be handled by homeowners with basic construction and repair skills. However, as soon as it starts to include jamb liners and extensions, it’s best to hire window professionals to get the job done properly.

You can get the service and advice you need from a window specialist, and if you have further questions about what is a window jamb, our team can provide all the answers you need. Contact us at 877-590-2741 at Euroline Steel Windows and Doors today!

Author: Elyas Balta

Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history in innovation and scalability in the luxury building materials industry. Passionate about inspiring and empowering others to grow in character and success. Determined in bringing art and engineering together to create and manufacture an exotic product line of steel windows and doors.