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Roller Blinds

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Roller Blinds

How to Install Roller Blinds

Whether in vintage or modern homes, roller blades have been making a comeback as a popular window covering. Their sleek lines provide privacy without bulky weight and do not obstruct the view when rolled up. When fully extended, roller blinds block more light than mini-blinds, making them ideal for media rooms. However, due to the notion that they require professional installation, some homeowners are hesitant to buy roller blinds. Using the right tools, roller blinds can be installed without undue effort.

Things You’ll Need
Tape measure
Pencil
Carpenter’s level
Drill with drill bits
Screwdriver
Sheet metal screws or hollow wall anchors (optional)
Hammer (optional for hollow wall anchors)
Clamps or clothes pins (optional)

Determine what the surface is where the roller blinds are going to be installed. The screws that come with the roller blinds are generally made for solid wood surfaces. Use sheet metal screws if the blinds are going to be installed on metal or use hollow wall anchors if you are installing the blinds on wallboard or plaster.

Extend the roller blind completely and hold it up to the inside of the window. Make sure that no part of the blind comes in contact with the top of the window frame or with anything that might obstruct the blind from being lowered or raised. Once the proper location is determined, draw a line on one side under where the bracket will be placed; then measure and mark the other side. Use a carpenter’s level to make sure that both pencil marks are level.

Place one of the brackets-curved side towards the front-on the window frame, aligning it with the pencil line. Slide the bracket until the front of the bracket is about 1/8 to ½-inch from the front of the window frame. Use a pencil to mark dots for the location for the screws. Repeat marking the holes on the other side of the window frame. Use a carpenter’s level to make sure that all the holes are even.

Drill pilot holes on each of the pencil dots. The size of the pilot hole will depend upon whether wood screws, metal screws, or hollow wall screws are being used. Hollow wall screws will require a larger hole and will need to be hammered into the window frame. Follow the instructions on the package of hollow wall screws.

Hold the bracket on the window frame and insert a screw through one of the holes. Tighten it securely. Continue inserting and tightening all the screws on both sides of the window.

Place the plastic inserts that come with the roller blinds into the brackets. Place the blind into the plastic insert/bracket. Slide the round pin of the roller into the plastic insert/bracket.

Extend the roller blind completely to insure that it rolls easily. To prevent accidents with the cord, secure the cord by using a clamp or a clothes pin. You could also tie the cord to itself, raising it out of the reach of children or pets.

How to Fix a Spring in a Roll-Up Window Shade

Roller shades provide privacy at night and keep out the sun during the day. With a slight tug at the bottom, you can raise or lower the shade with ease. Roller shades operate on a hollow tube-like roller with a spring inside. When you pull the shade down, it puts more tension on the spring. The tension is released when you raise the shade. If you are having trouble operating the shade, you can buy another roller tube or a new shade, but those are costly. Instead, try a few simple fixes.

Things You’ll Need
Vacuum
Lubricating oil
Too Loose
Determine the source of the shade’s problem. A shade that snaps up and takes more strength to pull down usually has a spring that’s too tight. If your shade won’t stay up, proceed to Step 2. For a shade that doesn’t stay down, skip to the next section.

Remove the roller shade from the brackets. One end lifts upward off the bracket; the other end pulls free from the bracket.

Unroll the shade material about 4 to 6 inches. If you have an extremely loose shade, unroll the shade material to the halfway point.

Roll the shade material back onto the roller with your hands.

Install the roller shade back in the window brackets.

Pull the shade down and see if the shade works. If it doesn’t, repeat the process.

Adjusting Uncoiled Spring
Remove the shade from the brackets. One end lifts upward off the bracket; the other end pulls free from the bracket.

Examine the two ends of the roller. Find the end with the flat pin.

Vacuum away dust and debris from the pawl, a small arm mechanism that engages the ratchet teeth. You can also use an air compressor or toothpick to clear away dust, debris and cobwebs.

Spray lubricating oil onto the pawl.

Hang the window shade in place. Pull it down to see if it works better. If you are still having the problem, repeat Steps 1 through 5 until your shade works.

Tighten Spring Action
Lower the roller shade as far as it will go. Remove the shade from the brackets.

Roll the shade up by hand to the halfway mark.

Install the roller shade in the brackets.

Pull the shade down and then try to raise the roller shade. Repeat if necessary.

How to Clean Roller Blinds

Roller blinds can make for an elegant window dressing as well as a substitute for curtains. Just as with curtains or any other blinds, roller blinds can easily get covered by dust and dirt. This can be especially noticeable if your roller blinds are white, tan or cream colored. Fortunately, cleaning your roller blinds is a rather simple process. All you need is a standard laundry detergent, a sink or bathtub, and a toothbrush in order to make your roller blinds look like new.

Things You’ll Need
Laundry detergent (with color-safe bleach, if you wish)
Toothbrush
Remove the blinds from the roller.

Fill your bathtub or sink with lukewarm to warm water.

Add 1 cup of laundry detergent to the water. If you’re trying to get the blinds lighter (such as with white blinds), you can use a color-safe bleach.

Soak the blinds in the tub or sink for roughly 2 to 3 hours. If you’re soaking the blinds in the sink, you can either fold the blinds so that they will fit or soak the blinds one portion at a time.

Use a toothbrush to scrub any areas of the blinds that are particularly dirty. To do this, dip the bristles of the toothbrush into the water and detergent solution. You can then choose to scrub the blinds while they’re in the water or remove the blinds before scrubbing.

Remove the blinds from the water and inspect them. If you feel that they are not clean enough, empty your sink or tub and refill it with more warm water and detergent. Allow the blinds to soak for a few more hours.

Hang the blinds to dry either over your bathtub, shower or sink.

Attach the blinds back to the roller, and hang them back in front of your window.

How to Measure for Roller Blinds

According to the website No Brainer Blinds, not all windows measure the same, even if they appear to be the same size. It is very important that you measure each window correctly before blinds are purchased. There are two choices when it comes to blinds. You can either mount them inside your window opening, or outside on your window molding.

Things You’ll Need
Steel measuring tape
Notebook
Pencil
Inside Mount
Measure across the inside of your window. You’ll need to check the measurement across the top, middle, and bottom of the window. Each measurement should be to the nearest 1/8th of an inch.

Record the narrowest width in your notebook as the width you need for your blinds.

Measure the inside length of the window by pulling the tape measure from the top of the window down to the bottom. Again, you need to measure in three places. Measure down the left side, middle, and right side.

Record the longest measurement in your notebook as the length you need for your blinds.

Outside Mount
Measure from the outside of one end of your window pane to the outside of the other. Each measurement should be to the nearest 1/8th of an inch.

Add an extra 2 inches on each side for maximum privacy. Record this measurement in your notebook as the width you need for your blinds.

Measure the outside length of the window by pulling the tape measure from the top of the window pane down to the bottom of the window pane.

Add 2 1/2 inches to your measurement to account for the mounting brackets and then record the measurement in your notebook as the length you need for your blinds.

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