Roller Shades: 3 Common Problems and How to Fix Them

Feb 9 2010

If you are reading this, then chances are you have some roller shades that do not quite work like they are supposed to. Before you toss them out and buy some new ones, here are some quick fixes.

How Roller Shades Work
Roller shades are designed around a hollow tube, which the fabric rolls around. Pull down on the shade and a ratchet in the tube locks them in place. Inside this tube is a spring you can adjust to create proper tension.

Problem: Can’t Raise the Blinds
To fix this problem, remove the window shades from the brackets. Then grab some pliers and turn the pin on the side with the tension spring. When you feel some tension, hang them back up and they should work properly.

Problem: Blinds Roll Up Too Slow/Too Fast
This is a problem with the tension spring. You can adjust this easily.
  • Too Slow - Start with a lowered shade. Remove the shades from the bracket. Then roll it up by hand to the half way point. When you replace them, it should work just fine.
  • Too Fast - Start with the shade up. Remove it from the brackets. Then unroll it by hand to the half way point. When you replace the blinds, they should work normally.

Problem: Blinds Won't Stay Down
A dirty ratchet (technically the paw) generally causes this problem. Start with the shade completely up. Take the roll up blinds down to gain access to the ratchet mechanism. Using a toothpick and some compressed air, remove any debris or dust around the ratchet. Then lubricate the ratchet with some WD-40. Your blinds should now work.
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Apr 19 2010

The pull at the bottom of my shade extends the entire length of the shade and it has come loose on one end. I've tried unscrewing the "cap" at the end it came loose from and tried to re-roll the shade part into the roller and close it but it does not stay. It seems there was some kind of adhesive used to keep it in place and I don't know what kind if any I should use or if I can unscrew both ends to try and re-roll the shade.


Jun 25 2010

my spring is broken I believe. The shade will not stay up at all and just falls. Can I replace the spring?

edith mott

Nov 18 2010

I have the same problem,my shade just falls completely down and then I have to roll it back up by hand. How can I fix this without buying another shade?

Christopher Keenan

Jun 27 2011

Thanks! These tips helped fix our blinds and my wife will be so happy!

rampage jackson

Apr 4 2012

Woo. So i had the problem where the blinds would just stay in the down position. The problem wasn't the pin or the shades themselves - i found that the aluminum things mounted on the wall, holding the shades in place, was the problem. I fixed this by squeezing the mounts/brackets on the wall tightly so that the pin fits in snug and supports the roll. The slit in wall mount had become too wide over the years and today the pin was just rolling around in it freely without grip. I hope this helps someone. I just spent an hour standing on a computer chair in front of a window. It's 10pm.

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