Window Repair

Correct cracks with replacement windows

Windows are an important feature of any home; they let in light and air. Like any part of a house, windows can sometimes need adjustment, repair or even replacing. Some home window repairs can be accomplished with the proper tools and know-how, and some tasks are better left to window professionals.

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Types of Windows

There are five common types of home windows:

  • Double hung, where the lower half of the window opens upward
  • Casement, which are hinged on one side so that the window swings outward
  • Sliding, which slides to the side on rollers that sit on a track
  • Awning, which is hinged at the top
  • Stationary, which is not designed to open

Common Window Problems

One of the most common problems with windows is a window that sticks, making it difficult or sometimes impossible to open. The first step in fixing a sticking window is to determine the cause of the problem. Sometimes the window just needs to be cleaned and lubricated to stop sticking. To accomplish this, use a rag, small wire brush or vacuum to clean the top, bottom, sides and tracks of the window. If the window's small parts such as glides and rollers are dirty, clean them using mineral spirits. You can also apply a silicone lubricant to the track or rub with paraffin wax to help the window to slide more easily. Once you're done, give the pane a good window cleaning to remove any residue on the glass.

Cracked window panes are another common window mishap. It's important to attend to a window with a crack before it spreads and turns into a broken window. To replace a window pane, follow these steps:

  • Carefully remove the glass that is cracked from the pane.
  • Use a chisel and/or a putty knife to extract any leftover putty from the channel.
  • If the window pane frame is wood, apply a light coat of linseed oil.
  • Place a small amount of glazing compound in the channel to cushion the glass.
  • Position the new glass and apply glazier points in 3 inch intervals to keep the glass in place.
  • If the frame is aluminum, use a rubber gasket to keep the glass in place.
  • If the frame is wood, use a small amount of glazing compound where the glass meets the wood.
  • Clean up any extra glazing compound using a putty knife.
  • Wait seven days before painting the window.

If a window shows signs of severe deterioration such as rot or warping, your best choice may be to purchase replacement windows.