Tilt Latches are plastic latches on single or double hung windows that allow for the sash to be tilted in.
They use a spring to push a plastic wedge shaped tongue into the side channels of your window. When engaged, they prevent the sash from tilting in. When disengaged by pressing both latches inward, they allow the sash to be tilted in for cleaning or maintenance.
Broken tilt latches are are dangerous because the sash can fall in when operating; causing
property or personal damage. If your tilt latch is broken, we recommend leaving the window closed and locked until it can be repaired.
Signs of a broken tilt latch
Worn/broken tongues visible
Sticky and difficult to operate or has lost its spring
The sash falls in when open
Why do tilt latches break?
Tilt latches hold the sash in place by pressing wedge shaped tongues into the side channels of a tilt-in window. Vinyl tilt latches can crumble after years of sun exposure. Inadequate lubrication wears tilt latches and their springs down over time. Rough handling can put unnecessary stress on the fragile tongues and cause breakage as well. See our diagram on proper tilt latch operation:
Tilt latch cracked by UV exposeure
Types of Tilt Latches
Tilt latches vary widely in shape, color and style, but their function is the same. We can identify specific styles and replace broken latches as necessary. We carry some standard models in stock and can order specific models as necessary. We typically try to match the latch style to the rest of the property. Building codes require certain locking 'safety latches' for heavy windows found in many loft apartments or condos.
Vinyl spring loaded
Spring-loaded vinyl tilt latches are latches that spring into place automatically. They are found on almost all vinyl single or double hung windows. They have
[Collage of tilt latches]
Standard Spring-Loaded, Left Tilt Latch
Locking safety latches
Spring-loaded vinyl tilt latches are often found on heavy, aluminum windows in apartment or condo buildings. They usually have a hex-shaped screw that locks the tongues in position to discourage window users from tilting them in as a safety precaution.