components of vertical blinds

A Guide to Owning and Maintaining Vertical Blinds

Why Vertical Blinds?

Vertical blinds come in a variety of materials and colors and are commonly used for large windows or doors in high traffic areas. There are plastic, metal, mirrored, vinyl and fabric vertical blinds. Regardless of the material, most of these blinds are made up of wide slats approximately 3 1/2 inches wide and are attached to a head rail and are controlled through a combination of a string or chain and a twistable wand that sit at the side of the window. There is an option to pull the blinds toward the outer edges of the window, much like curtains, or draw them closer together and maneuver the position of the slats to varying degrees in order to let in the desired amount of light or control the view. Light control can be especially important in sunny areas in Southern California, for example Malibu blinds are very popular.

components of vertical blinds

Basic Components of Vertical Blinds

In order for vertical blinds to function properly, each of the components need to be in good condition. These include:

  • The blind slats – the actual strips of material that are the main part of the blinds
  • The head rail – lays across the top of the window or door and provides support
  • Head rail track – The track that runs along the head rail where carrier stems are placed.
  • Carrier Stems – the sliding plastic pieces that are inserted into the head rail track and attached to individual blind slats
  • The cord – either string or chain used to position the blind slats collectively
  • The wand – twistable stiff stick that sits adjacent to the cord and controls the angle of the individual  blind slats, It is attached to the last slat on the blind

vertical blinds in santa barbara

Source: Wikimedia user Jahedfb1

Maintaining Your Vertical Blinds

Too many people are easily discouraged when their vertical blinds don’t function properly. They might decide to get new blinds or a different type of window covering when it is unnecessary. Usually, when blinds malfunction it is because of a problem with one of the components, rather than the blinds themselves. Even if the blinds are damaged, it may be limited to a couple of the slats. Here are some common problems, and how to fix them

  • Blinds getting out of sync – When this happens it is often due to the slats not being completely open before they are pulled back.  Sometimes the slats will overlap in the wrong position when they are closed, if this happens don’t force them open with the cord or wand. Find the improperly overlapped slats, and fix it with your hand.
  • Blinds won’t tilt when the cord is pulled or wand is twirled – The chain control or want tilt mechanism may need replacing
  • Experiencing resistance when pulling the cord – The track needs to be cleaned with a damp cloth or feather duster and/or lubricated with silicone spray. If you are still having trouble, the cord may be frayed. Restringing the blind may be necessary.

Another way to assure that your fabric vertical blinds are stay in good condition is to seek out quality materials and professional installation. Installers will usually offer advice and assistance to any problem that you can easily fix yourself. In Southern California, Arjay’s Window Fashions provide a variety of quality window coverings including malibu blinds, as well as installation and service.