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Common Home Window Repair Options For The DIY Homeowner


Windows are one of the most important parts of your home. They serve many purposes and play a major role in the efficiency of your home. In good condition they keep energy costs down, lower noise levels, keep drafts out, and keep water out.

Broken Window Repair and Replacement Options

1) Broken Window: A Pretty common occurrence, especially if you have children who play sports around you home. The good thing about a broken window is they can fixed pretty easily. Depending on what type of window frame you have the process to replace the glass will vary slightly.


Required tools: Phillips and slotted screwdrivers,work gloves, rubber mallet, and window silicone or sealant.

a. You'll want to remove the rest of the broken glass with gloves on(use pliers if you are having trouble), and properly dispose of it in a cardboard box.

b. Remove the window frame(aluminum frame will have screws), and remove the rest of the sealing compound.

c. Measure the window frame inside dimensions two or three times, and write them down. You'll want to leave 1/8th inch of space on the top and 1 side, to make sure you can get it back in.

d. Have your local hardware or home improvement store cut you the new glass.

e. Lay your window frame flat and carefully place your new glass in the frame. An aluminum frame you will slide each side of the frame back on.

f. Apply your silicone window sealer and smooth it with a putty knife, or something flexible with an edge, an old credit card style of plastic card will work. For an aluminum frame you'll need to make sure it is even, and put your screws back in place. If it's not even, tap the frame gently until it's lined up.

g. Put the window back in, and enjoy your rebuilt window.

2) Drafty Windows: Common for older windows when the seal dries out and allows a draft. If this appears as the only problem it's fixable, if it's extremely worn, rotted, or rattly it will probably need replaced.

Required tools: Putty knife, gloves, slotted screwdriver.

a. Remove the window completely to make the job easier.

b. Use your slotted screwdriver to dig away the old glazing putty and remove the glass from the window. An aluminum frame you will remove the screws with a phillips screwdriver, pull the sides off and scrape away the old putty.

c. Add new putty along the edge of the frame.

d. press your window back into the bed of putty firmly.

e. Apply putty along the edge of the window and use your putty knife to smooth it.

f. Put your window back in.

3) Leaky Windows: This issue needs to be fixed quickly, as it can cause extensive damage to the window sill and the wall. If there is extensive rotting to the window frame or sill, it will need replaced.

Required tools: Calking gun, slotted screwdriver, putty knife, utility knife.

a. Check to see where the water is coming in. If it's coming in at the top or bottom of the sill, you can use some caulk, if the gap isn't more than 1/4 inch. If it is, you can use expandable foam, but new windows are a better option.

b. Use the caulk and caulk gun to run a bead of caulk around the area that is not sealed.

c. Use a putty knife to smooth the caulk.

d. For 1/4 inch or more gaps use expandable foam and push it into the gap and smooth it.

e. After the foam expands and dries, cut away the excess foam.

f. Run a bead of caulk over the foam and smooth it with a putty knife.

4) Difficulty Opening and Closing Windows: Older windows that been coated with paint have this issue on occasion. This can also mean that your window need replaced completely.

Required tools: Spray lubricant, putty knife, slotted screwdriver

a. check to see if it dirt, paint, or stain that is causing the problem, if so, scrape away the culprit with your screwdriver and putty knife.

b. Add some spray lubricant such as WD-40 or liquid wrench.

If these steps don't fix the problem the window is pinching or binding. This will require window removal and reinstallation.

5) Loose windows: If your window is really loose and won't stay up there aren't many fixes for this other than window replacement. You can try weather stripping to see if that works if you can't afford replacement windows.

a. Remove excess paint, dirt, or stain.

b. Place your weather strip in the channels and/or the sash depending on the style of windows.

Broken window repair and replacement options are pretty vast, and you don't always have to replace the windows completely. If you're having condensation inside of your double pane, excessive rotting of the sill, or extremely loose windows that allow draft, you will have to replace the window.


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