Are you looking for ways to fix a broken window? As a replacement window company, we talk to homeowners every day who ask the same question: “Can you help me fix my broken window?” Unfortunately, there’s no right answer. It really depends on the situation. To help, we’ve put together this short Window Repair or Replacement Guide!
Identifying your window problem is the first step to finding an affordable and effective “fix.” In our experience, the top three reasons we get called for window issues are:
Now that you’ve identified the issue with your window, let’s move on to what you can do about it! (Although CVP Windows & Doors does not repair or warranty other manufacturers’ windows, we can replace them, if that’s what you choose to do.).
To keep your windows in good working order, we recommend cleaning them and operating them at least once a year. Windows are meant to be opened and used! If your windows are stuck, clear away any dirt and debris that might be getting in the way. Then try lightly spraying visible hardware with a silicone dry lubricant spray.
Easy does it. Try opening your windows without using too much force. If they still don’t budge, the operating hardware may have failed. Here’s what that means:
o In single or double hung windows, the “balance” is a mechanism that supports the weight of the window sash as it is raised and lowered. The balance is also what holds the window sash securely in an open position. You may have a broken balance system if your window sashes are difficult to raise or lower, or worse, fall down when you try to open them.
o In casement windows, a crank operating system is what allows the window to swing open and closed. This system consists of a hand crank and a movable arm integrated in the window frame. If subjected to too much weight and pressure, crank gears can strip or fail. And sometimes crank handles just get lost.
How to Repair: Unfortunately, finding replacement parts for a broken window can be tough. Manufacturers use proprietary hardware, so you won’t find what you need at the local hardware store. Try to identify the brand and model number for your window. With this information, you may be able to contact the manufacturer or search online for replacement parts.
When to Replace: Look at it this way: an inoperable window is a safety hazard. Window sashes that don’t stay up can fall and cause injury. Windows that don’t lock properly are susceptible to break-ins. And in the event of an emergency, an inoperable window might prevent you from escaping your home. These are all important reasons to replace any windows in your home that don’t operate properly.
Unfortunately, to fix the glass in a broken double-pane window (even if one piece is intact) you’ll need an entirely new replacement IG.
How to Repair: If your windows are still under the manufacturer’s warranty, reach out to see if glass breakage coverage is provided. Some manufacturers offer an IG replacement service.
If your windows aren’t under warranty, no worries. Reach out to a glass company in your area. Many offer window reglazing services. When you call and schedule a repair, these companies visit your home, measure your broken window, and order a replacement IG. They’ll return to your home with the new IG and replace the glass in your existing window frame.
The process of ordering and replacing a glass IG unit in a broken window can take several weeks. While you’re waiting, be sure to cover the broken glass and secure the window to prevent injury or damage to your home.
When to Replace: Typically, a replacement IG is the most cost and time-efficient method for repairing broken window glass. However, if the window frame is broken, or if the window is generally in disrepair, an IG replacement may not be possible or cost effective. In this case, the next best option is replacing the entire window.
Do you have cloudy windows that never seem to clear? You’re probably dealing with seal failure and condensation in your double-pane windows.
As described above, double-pane windows have an insulated glass unit (IG) inside the frame. This unit consists of two pieces of glass separated by a spacer. In older windows, this space was just filled with dry air. In the 1990’s, IG manufacturers began filling the space between the glass with an insulating gas (typically argon). Newer windows with argon-filled IGs are more resistant to seal failure, but it can still occur.
When an IG seal fails, moist environmental air seeps into the IG. Changing temperatures cause moisture to condense on the glass and evaporate. Over time, this cycle leaves a hazy residue.
Like broken glass, seal failure cannot be fixed. Replacing the IG is the only solution.
How to Repair: If your windows are still under the manufacturer’s warranty, reach out to see if seal failure coverage is provided. Some manufacturers offer an IG replacement service.
If your windows aren’t under warranty, a glass company in your area can help. Many offer window reglazing services. These companies visit your home, measure your foggy window, and order a replacement IG. They’ll return to your home with the new IG and replace the glass in your existing window frame.
When to Replace: Seal failure occurs in older windows and worsens with time. It’s a sign that your windows aren’t as energy-efficient as they used to be. If you plan to stay in your home for the foreseeable future, you may want to invest in replacement windows. You’ll solve your cloudy window problem and get the benefit of improved comfort and energy-efficiency.
We hope this Window Repair or Replacement Guide helps you solve your broken window problems.
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As Coastal Virginia’s Custom Window & Door Company, we’re here to help homeowners in Virginia make wise home improvement decisions.