Roller blinds are the most common type of blinds, and they account for a large percentage of all blinds sold in the UK. There are two main types of roller blinds; standard roller blinds that have a chain to raise or lower the blind, and cordless roller blinds. The latter are also known as spring-loaded roller blinds or spring-tensioned roller blinds, and you operate these by means of holding the bottom of the blind (typically using a mini pull cord or wooden acorn) and pulling it to free the blind mechanism and allow it to raise or lower.
Spring-loaded roller blinds contain a coiled spring inside of their hollow top tube, which works by means of a tensioned clutch mechanism that lock the fabric in place when engaged, and that you release by pulling gently on the blind to raise or lower it to the desired level.
These are the types of blinds that result in the odd comedy moment if you lose your grip when altering it, causing it to zoom back up the window faster than a chameleon catching a fly.
Kids love this, and often enjoy making it happen; and this might in fact be the cause of the problem if your cordless roller blind isn’t working as well as it used to do; old age (of the blind, not the operator) can achieve the same effect.
Fortunately, fixing rolling blinds stuck in place is usually easy, whether your issue is a fabric jam or a problem with the tensioning (or lack thereof) of the roller’s spring.
So, how do you fix a roller blind that won’t turn? First check for a fabric jam, and if that’s not your issue, follow our advice below on how to fix roller blinds that won’t turn (or go up and down) or that are stuck or possibly not quite stuck enough due to spring-tensioning problems.
- 1: How do you reset a roller blind with a fabric jam?
- 2: How do you fix a roller blind that won’t raise and lower smoothly?
- 3: How do you fix a roller blind that won’t stay up?
- 4: How do you fix roller blinds that won’t stop at the point you want them to?
- 5: How do you fix a roller blind that won’t raise?
1. How do you reset a roller blind with a fabric jam?
The first thing to check if you’re trying to fix a cordless roller blind is whether or not a fabric jam, rather than a mechanical problem, is the source of your woes.
If you’ve noticed that the blind’s fabric has been slightly rolling off to one side of late, that the bottom of the blind isn’t level, or that the blind seemed to get stuck all in one go rather than worsening progressively over time, this is probably the issue.
So, how do you reset a roller blind with a fabric jam?
- The first thing to try is to take hold of the bottom of the blind by the bar, and gently pull it downwards until the fabric has un-rolled to its full extent. If this works, then just re-roll the blind back up again slowly and gently, while taking care to ensure that the fabric rolls evenly and not on a wonk once more.
- If this doesn’t work and you can’t get the blind to move up or down at all but you can see that the fabric is definitely jammed or rolling off to one side, you’re going to need to take the blind down from its brackets to fix it.
- When you’ve done that, roll the fabric out to its full extent (by hand) and then back up again (keeping it straight), before rehanging it.
If a fabric jam isn’t the problem, cordless roller blinds may need some tweaks made to their spring mechanism, and there are four common problems with cordless blinds that each require a slightly different approach.
2. How do you fix a roller blind that won’t raise and lower smoothly?
If a cordless blind has become too tight/resistant to moving smoothly, it has too much tension in the spring – essentially, this is the problem if it will sort of move when you operate it, but it’s being pretty passive-aggressive about it. To fix this cordless roller blind problem, you need to release some of the spring’s tension, which goes like this:
- Roll the blind all the way up to the top.
- Take the blind down from the brackets.
- Unroll the blind by hand to around half of the full length of the fabric.
- Put the blind back on the brackets and test it out.
- If you find the tension is still tighter than you’d like, repeat steps 1-4 again until you’re happy with it.
3. How do you fix a roller blind that won’t stay up?
This is the problem you’ll get if the blind won’t engage the spring mechanism to catch/hold the blind at the required spot, or this takes several attempts and sometimes you just get what you get.
It may happen because the blind’s spring mechanism has got grimy or dusty over time; which is apt to happen a little faster with roller blinds in kitchens due to humidity and potentially, fat/oil particles accumulating over time and attracting dirt to stick to it.
Here’s how to fix roller blinds with lazy spring tension:
- Manually lower the blind to around the halfway point.
- Take the blind down from the brackets, being mindful not to let the spring uncoil.
- Clean/brush any dirt or debris from both the spring end and the pin end of the mechanism, using a toothpick if needed to get into any hard-to-reach grime.
- Manually roll the blind all the way back up gently.
- Put the blind back in the brackets and test it out.
- Still too loose? Repeat steps 1-5 until the tension hits the sweet spot.
4. How do you fix roller blinds that won’t stop at the point you want?
If your roller blinds will move up and down freely but won’t stop rolling where you want them to, the spring is too loose.
Here’s how to tighten a roller blind spring:
- Remove the blind from the brackets.
- Look for the pin to one side of the blind’s top bar.
- Get some pliers, and turn the pin clockwise until it can’t be turned any further (but don’t force it).
- Put the blind back in the brackets, and your problem should be solved.
5. How do you fix roller blinds that won’t raise?
If a blind’s spring becomes fully uncoiled there will be no tension in the mechanism, which means that the blind won’t roll back up again once it is extended.
If this is your problem, here’s the solution to fix an uncoiled roller blind spring:
- Take the blind down from the brackets.
- Manually unroll the blind to around the halfway point.
- Use some pliers to grip the pin on the spring side of the blind and turn it (it will only go one way) until you feel some tension.
- When you start to feel some tension, turn it back the other way a touch until you feel the latch click into the ratchet.
- Use your pliers in the relevant direction to finesse the blind’s tension to the point you want it.
- Put the blind back up in the brackets.
Is it working?
Hopefully, one of the tips above on how to fix roller blinds that won’t go up and down or that are otherwise not working properly will sort you out. If you’re still having issues or are facing a roller blind problem not mentioned, please feel free to let me know; we have professional blinds geeks on hand with far too great an attachment to MythBusters for their own good who would love to try and sort it out for you.
You may also need to face the possibility that your roller blind has simply reached the end of its natural lifespan; in which case we can sort that out for you too (but it’ll cost you a new blind)!