Windows are a fantastic feature to our homes and make rooms bright and airy. When something is wrong with them, however, whether it’s a draft or a crack, it becomes a different story. If you’re not careful, a damaged window can wreak havoc on our homes, far beyond a simple gust of uncomfortable air blowing through. Before replacing an entire window, be sure to survey the situation. Some window problems are easy and cost-effective fixes, while other issues will need a replacement before further damage occurs.
Here are some window damage scenarios to consider:
Small cracks, chips or scratches in the glass
Not all glass is created equal. If the cracks and scratches are deep and you have vinyl windows, you can replace glass fairly easily. Your windows are likely standard sizes available in most glass repair shops. Most glass runs in the $3-$14 dollar per square foot range; however, the price of hiring a handyman to install them runs across the board, expense wise. Be sure to call multiple glass repair places for quotes, or contact us at Economy Glass.
If you only have small shallow scratches, there are some economical solutions available across the internet. Some home experts suggest using clear nail or metal polish, but be sure to survey the size and depth of the scratch before pursuing DIY options.
It would be a different story entirely if you purchased an older or vintage home. If you have the original windows, you likely have custom windows that are harder to replace. This could mean finding a specialty repair shop that works with multi-pane or aluminum-clad windows. Replacing these windows entirely costs several hundred dollars, so repairing them if possible, with a window repair expert, would be a more cost-effective option.
Rotten wood (could include frames or dividers that are letting water and air leaks in)
Whether it’s due to age or an incorrect paint job over time, wood can deteriorate once exposed to the elements. When this happens, it will slowly rot—sometimes from the inside out.
Depending on the extent of the damage, wood rot is fixable. If you notice only small spots of rotten wood, a simple epoxy resin (which is relatively inexpensive and available in most hardware stores) that you can apply yourself will seal the wood from further rot damage. Also, if it’s the sill, some window repair services can replace a rotten sill fairly easily.
The largest rotten wood culprit, however, is the window frame. If the frame is rotten, the entire window will require removal from the side of the house. This would need rebuilding around the frame and not just a simple replacement.
Windows that won’t cooperate
Is one or several of your windows giving you a headache? They won’t open or close easily, feel old and rickety, and perhaps have finished their time as a workable window.
Instead of hastily replacing, the culprit could only be to dirt and grit accumulation in corners and tracks, or won’t open due to it someone painting over. It could also be a piece of hardware breaking—easily replaced.
If you find that a paint job has sealed off your window, take a putty knife and form an opening again. Sand off the edges once the window is opened and repaint accordingly. If you believe your windows were installed in the 1970s and prior, however, be sure to hire a professional to check for lead paint.
Is your double or triple paned window covered continuously in condensation? This is likely due to a broken seal. Broken seals are one of the most common window issues, and happen with continuous heat contractions and expansions over a long period. It could also be due to oxidized air in between window panes.
Even though broken seals are common, that doesn’t mean it’s a quick fix. Sadly, once a seal is broken it damages the pane pretty severely. It’s best to replace the pane as soon as possible and install a new sash (the part of the window that holds the glass and framework together).
Whether it’s a pesky crack, rotten wood, or broken seal, it’s important to be aware of all available solutions so you can find the best one that works for you and the needs of your house. Replacement may seem like the most obvious for some, but often a simple repair can get the job done—and save you hundreds of dollars.