Old-fashioned roller blinds have been in use as window coverings in some form since the 18th century. Though slatted blinds and Roman shades cover several modern windows, simplicity of design helps roller blinds remain a frequent option for basic privacy and light control. However straightforward their performance, these pull-down shades eventually require alterations to maintain the roller working smoothly. Inside the roller is a simple coiled spring along with a ratchet-and-pawl assembly you can fix with basic tools.
Pull the blind down to check the spring action, leaving the blind from the mounting brackets. If the shade hangs loosely from the roller or unrolls quickly without opposition, the spring is too loose.
Remove the blind in the hanging brackets. One end has a free-rolling around pin-end and the other has a flat pin-end that’s attached to the ratchet mechanism inside the roller. With a small, flat screwdriver, pry the end cap off the roller on the end with the pin.
Wash from the ratchet and pawl using a vacuum cleaner. Dust and dirt that accumulate inside the roller may hamper the movement of the mechanism. Spray a light coating of lubricant on the brush and wipe off excess with a soft fabric.
Replace the end cap and set the blind from the hanging brackets.
Pull the blind down to unroll it about halfway. Lift the flat pin-end in the bracket and then roll up the blind by hand. Return the rolled blind into the bracket.
Pull the blind down to test for opposition. Duplicate the pull down and hand rolling steps until the blind functions correctly.
Pull the blind down to check the spring action, leaving the blind from the mounting brackets. If the blind quickly snaps back up, or if it pulls with difficulty or won’t remain down, then the spring is too tight.
Remove the blind in the hanging brackets. Pry off the roller end cap in the end with the flat pin using a flat screwdriver.
Clean dirt and dust in the mechanism using a vacuum cleaner. Gently soften the ratchet assembly with spray lubricant and wipe off excess with a soft fabric.
Replace the end cap and then hang the blind from the brackets.
Lift the flat pin-end in the bracket and then unroll the blind four or three turns. Place the blind back from the bracket. Examine the blind’s return action using a gentle pull and release.
Duplicate the unrolling one or two turns at a time, checking the resistance after each alteration until the blind runs up and down correctly.