Blinds as reliable window treatments
Blinds are some of the most practical window coverings to occupy the market today, along with shutters and curtains. They are known for their functionality and user friendliness and is probably the main reason why some people never really choose to experiment with any other type of window treatment and stick with blinds the whole way. It doesn’t really hurt that blinds can also enhance the look of your room. The fact that they also possess great aesthetic value is also something to think about while choosing window coverings.
To top it all off, they come in many different types, designs, materials and colours. You have blackout blinds for completely blocking the sunlight. Clear blinds that are translucent (made out of PVC) are good for keeping harmful UV rays and the harsh glare at bay while giving you the benefit of natural light. Vertical blinds can help in providing a snug fit to larger windows, sliding glass doors and patio doors because of the aspect-ratio. If you’re looking for blinds that give you a sophisticated look, wooden blinds and faux wooden blinds can be the right option for you. Thermal blinds can help you regulate temperature in the sense that it can keep the hot air from outside from entering your rooms, making them an energy efficient window treatment. Essentially, blinds tick all the boxes. They can regulate temperature, give you some privacy and even protect you from sunlight.
Problems you might face while operating blinds
As with any window treatment, or even home appliances in general, there is always a possibility (a remote one, at that) that you might encounter a snag or two while using your blinds. It doesn’t happen often and isn’t a common occurrence. But, with wear and tear of different parts and regular usage of the blinds, it can be reasonably expected that there might be chance that you face these snags.
With blinds, these problems usually surface with respect to slats and declining spring tension. Some slats start loosening up and falling apart, defeating the purpose of having the blinds, making them unusable and displeasing to see. The other problem of declining spring tension occurs mainly out of wear and tear of the springs which are an integral part of the control mechanism of most blinds. This can lead to having a difficult time in drawing the blinds up and down. Even if you are able to, they might not go all the way up or down, resulting in your window not being fully covered. When this happens, the blinds usually look saggy, crooked and unusable.
However, these problems are not so much of a cause of concern. Firstly, they do not happen often. With diligent use and regular cleaning and maintenance, you can reduce the risk of these problems, while increasing the life of your blinds. Secondly, even if they do happen, it doesn’t mean that you will have to replace your blinds. You can repair the slats of your blinds and restore the tension in your springs with some simple steps that do not need professional assistance. It only takes a little bit of time and money and is certainly a better alternative to spending a lot more on newer blinds or other window treatments. You can think of it as a simple DIY project that you can enjoy working on. You can even rope in your family or roommates to make it a group activity.
How do I adjust the spring tension of my blinds?
In today’s market, most blinds are either cordless or corded and operate the same way when it comes to the tension of springs. Most corded and cordless blinds have a hollow tube which covers within it, a coiled spring. The tube, which can vary in size is made out aluminium in most cases. You will find a free turning pin on one end of the aluminium tube. This pin mounts into the bracket. If you look at the other end of the bracket, you will find a ratchet and a pin. This ratchet and pin have a grip on the tension of the spring.
Now that you have an idea on how the blinds work, it bodes well to explain how important the tension of the spring is, before proceeding to a step-by-step process on adjusting the tension of the blinds. Pulling the blinds down increases the tension on the spring. This increase in tension of the springs is what keeps it in shape. Once blinds go through a certain portion of their life, the tension in the springs starts weakening. You can fix this problem by following these steps–
Step 1 – Hold onto the slats or fabric (in case of fabric blinds and roller shades) and pull them down until they reach their halfway mark.
Step 2 – Now, gently remove the tube or the roller from the brackets using the free turning pin on one end.
Step 3 – Your next order of business is to gently pull the slats up or roll them up by hand (for roller shades). Make sure you pull the slats or fabric up evenly on either side. If it is uneven, the blinds can be lopsided. For obvious reasons, this must be avoided at all costs.
Step 4 – Now, replace the roller or the brackets itself. This will tighten the spring tension to its initial level (when it was manufactured).
Step 5 – You might have to repeat the previous step until you have achieved the right amount of spring tension.
Alternatively, there might be an issue where the springs need to be loosened rather than tightened. Although it is less common, it can occur occasionally. In this case, you will need to interchange Steps 1 and 3 and repeat it till you thing the spring is loose enough.
Another issue that might crop up based on the situation is adjusting the tension of springs that are now fully uncoiled. In that case, follow these steps –
Step 1 – Gently remove the roller from the brackets, or dismount the brackets itself for making it easier.
Step 2 – Now, unravel the slats or fabric till they reach their halfway point.
Step 3 – With the help of pliers, turn the free turning pin that is on one end of the tube until you experience the tension. Now, allow the pawl to hook itself onto the ratchet. (pawls are the latches on the end of the tubes that allow movement in one direction).
Step 4 – Now, you can adjust the spring tension based on how loose or tight you want it.
Adjusting the spring tension is easy and doesn’t require many tools or investment of time. If you find yourself needing some help you can always refer to a video to help you visualize how the springs tension needs to be adjusted. Doing it yourself makes sure that your blinds remain a worthy investment. That said, if you aren’t comfortable, contact your blinds manufacturer or a professional for help. ZebraBlinds is not liable for any damage caused through these DIY methods.