If you're having trouble raising or lowering the miniblinds on your window, don't get frustrated. Chances are the blinds aren't broken. There are some very simple reasons that aren't always apparent, even to people who have had miniblind window coverings before. Take a look at what could be causing the coverings to stick.
Rotate the Slats
Miniblinds are much easier to raise and lower if the slats are rotated open at least a little bit. Rotating the slats so that they're fully closed tends to lock them and restrict string movement -- when you try to raise closed blinds, for example, the strings just won't move as easily through the nearly vertical slats as they would through slats rotated to a diagonal or horizontal position. Many times, you don't have to open the slats that much -- just enough to see a little space between them.
Pull the Cord at a 45-Degree Angle
Anyone who's used miniblinds before knows that you have to pull the cords at an angle along the blinds to raise or lower the blinds. However, sometimes the angle has to be fairly pronounced to get the blinds to move. Levolor advises pulling at an angle of 45 degrees.
Set up New Blinds Properly
When you install new blinds, you should be able to lower them as soon as you've finished installing them in the brackets in the wall. But you might find that the cord lock -- what you're releasing when you pull the cords at an angle -- has stiffened up. Blinds First has two procedures for you to try:
- Grab the bottom of the blinds and push them up. You should be able to grasp the top and bottom rails in one hand. Grab the cords with your other hand and pull them at an angle. This works in most cases.
- For those cases where that doesn't work, or if you have more trouble with the blinds later on, look inside the headrail where the cord enters. Look for a small lever or knob, and push that up using a small flathead screwdriver. That should cause the cord lock to loosen up so that you no longer have trouble raising or lowering the blinds. Be aware, though, that this can change between manufacturers. For example, along with telling you to try pulling at a 45-degree angle, Levolor also suggests the screwdriver method -- but this company tells you to push the screwdriver down, rather than pushing the lever or knob up.
If that doesn't work, then you'll need to have the blinds professionally repaired or replaced.
For more information about blind repair, please contact a retail blinds store. The salespeople there will have a lot of knowledge about the specific blinds you have bought and can help you if it looks like something not so simple is going on.