Dealing with a window repair issue can be a frustrating experience for any homeowner. Windows exposed to the elements day after day can eventually develop problems like broken glass, faulty seals, foggy window repair needs, window frame repair issues, and more. Thankfully, many window repairs can be completed without requiring a full window replacement. This guide will explore common window repair problems, when to DIY vs. hire a window repair company, costs, and tips for ensuring your repairs go smoothly.
Evaluating Window Repair vs. Replacement
Before deciding how to tackle your window issues, it’s important to weigh window replacement vs repair. Replacement is more costly but may be the better long-term solution for extensive deterioration or damage. Repair is affordable but may not fix underlying conditions affecting your windows.
Consider the following factors when choosing between window repair or replacement:
- Age – Old, outdated windows are often good candidates for replacement. Newer windows can frequently be repaired.
- Condition – Windows with extensive rot, structural damage, broken sashes, major fogging issues, and severe deterioration likely need full replacement. More minor damage like broken glass or seal failure can be repaired.
- Efficiency – Replacing inefficient windows with ENERGY STAR models can help reduce energy costs. Repairs maintain the existing window’s efficiency.
- Cost – Replacement is more expensive upfront. Simple repairs like reglazing are very affordable. Evaluate the repair cost versus the long-term benefit of new windows.
- Scope – For individual window issues, targeted repairs may suffice. If most windows in your home need work, replacement may make more sense.
Common Window Repairs
There are a variety of issues that may necessitate calling a window repair company or doing a DIY fix:
Broken Glass Repair
Broken window glass is unsightly and unsafe. Glass window repair should be completed as soon as possible. Consult a professional, unless it’s a very minor crack in a single-pane window that you can quickly replace yourself.
Compromised window seals cause foggy window repair problems and energy loss. Identifying and repairing failing seals early prevents more extensive damage. Look for cloudy double-pane windows or condensation between panes.
Window sash repair involves realigning or replacing damaged sashes in the window frame. Improperly aligned sashes can allow air and water intrusion. Look for windows that don’t slide smoothly or have visible gaps/damage.
Rotting, warped window frames require window frame repair. Address minor rot with epoxy fillers or wood patches. Extensive damage requires frame replacement.
Replace missing, worn, or cracked weatherstripping around windows to improve seals. Recaulk window frames annually. This basic maintenance prevents air leaks and moisture damage.
DIY vs. Professional Window Repair
Many homeowners wonder – “should I hire a window repair contractor or can I handle repairs myself?” For minor repairs like recaulking and weatherstripping, DIY is often sufficient. Major issues like broken glass, sash replacement, and deteriorated frames usually require professional expertise.
Consider your skill level and tools available. Window repairs require:
- Hand tools – screwdrivers, pry bar, utility knife, caulk gun, etc.
- Safety gear – work gloves, safety glasses, ladder.
- Accurate measurements.
- Patience for detail-oriented work.
Attempting repairs beyond your skill risks poor results or window damage. Hire a pro for challenging repairs or full replacements.
Cost of Window Repairs
Window repair costs depend on factors like:
- Type of repair
- Window material (wood, vinyl, etc.)
- Window size/style
- Accessibility of windows
On average, you can expect to pay:
- $25 – $75 for basic maintenance like weatherstripping or caulking.
- $75 – $300+ for broken glass replacement, depending on window size.
- $150+ for seal repair of a double-pane window.
- $300 – $800 for wood window sash repair.
- $400+ for wood frame repairs.
- $600+ for full vinyl window frame replacement.
Always get multiple window repair estimates from local professionals. Avoid unlicensed contractors or overpriced services.
Finding Quality Window Repair Services
Use these tips to find reputable window repair companies in your area:
- Search “window repair near me” and read reviews.
- Check for proper licensing and insurance.
- Ask about experience with your specific repair type.
- Request references from recent window customers.
- Get detailed window repair estimates upfront.
- Never pay the full price until work is completed properly.
Avoid contractors who seem shady or dishonest. Investing in professional repairs is worthwhile to fix your windows properly.
DIY Window Repair Tips
With careful attention to detail, you can complete minor window repairs yourself:
Remove & Replace Broken Glass
- Wear thick work gloves when handling broken window glass.
- Carefully pry out all remaining shards with a flat pry bar.
- Measure the opening then purchase replacement glass to fit.
- Apply glazing putty or vinyl around the glass edge.
- Insert replacement glass and press firmly into putty to adhere. Smooth any excess.
Recaulk Window Frames
- Cut away old caulk completely using a utility knife.
- Clean the surface thoroughly then dry.
- Apply fresh caulk in a consistent bead around interior and exterior window frames.
- Use a caulk tool to smooth the caulk evenly. Allow to fully cure.
- Remove existing, worn weatherstripping. Clean the channel.
- Measure and purchase replacement weatherstripping to size.
- Cut strips to fit each section precisely. Adhere new weatherstripping.
- Check for light or drafts. Add trim seals if needed for a tighter seal.
Remove Condensation Between Panes
- Carefully drill a small hole at the bottom corner of the foggy insulated glass unit.
- Allow built-up moisture to drain out completely.
- Apply sealant in the hole then cover with a tight rubber plug.