Window Repair and Maintenance – Quick Fixes

By HomeAdvisor

Updated November 30, 2016

Basic Window Repairs

Window repair is too often neglected, allowing damaged windows to become leeches on your home’s monthly utility bills and daily comfort during the winter and summer seasons. The sources of window damage as numerous as they are insidious: A storm sash can crack from old age, ice can cause a stress fracture, or water damage can attack the frame. But ignoring the problem, whether it is as obvious as a baseball through a window or something more subtle, is never a good solution. Even small problems cause energy loss, insect infestation, and moisture problems that can attack other parts of your house and your wallet.

Basic Window Maintenance

Your grandma was right when she told you that you should wash those windows every spring and fall. Beyond clean windows, the added benefit of washing your windows is that you can see problems before they happen. You will notice if the wood is discolored yellow, or is soft (rotten), or if the sash is loose, and then you can immediately move to correct the problem. Similarly, inspect the glazing putty for cracks or missing pieces, check all joints and seams, and even run your hand in front of every inch of each window on a cold winter day if you think there might be a problem. These small steps can prevent larger, more expensive problems.

Quick Fixes for Damaged Windows

This is always tricky territory. If you see a crack forming in the glass and want to keep it from continuing and shattering the glass entirely, a strip of duct tape can prevent further damage. If a crack is forming in the sash or frame, a bit of caulk can help. And if you find there’s a draft, there are insulation kits that help you put a plastic seal (heat seal) over the window in winter. But the reason that this is tricky territory is that you do not ever want to rely on these fixes for more than the few hours or days it takes to get a window repairman over. These “fixes” do not seal the problem; only cover it up for a bit.

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Professional Window Repairs

Consider what happens when you poke a needle into a water balloon. More times than not, the hole grows as one force meets another. The water wants to get out. It is the same with a home. A small hole, a small problem, will always grow, and it will do so before you know it. Moreover, windows deteriorate over time. That’s a simple fact of home maintenance. The constant opening and closing, along with seasonal temperature changes, naturally cause issues over time. Consider it the price you pay for a bit of light in your life. Don’t neglect this important part of basic home maintenance. Call a window repair professional when you see a problem forming.

Window Repair Costs

Everybody wants to know how much a prospective home improvement or maintenance project is going to cost and window repairs are no different. Data collected from homeowners across the country show a wide range of repair costs that make it notoriously difficult to estimate these costs without getting a firm bid from a window professional. We’ve seen window frame repairs alone cost as little as $50 and as much as $1,150. Obviously, the size and complexity of your window design, as well as the type of damage, will influence the final cost. Here are the average costs for various repairs, but again, don’t assume your windows will necessarily reflect these numbers.

  • Window Frame Repair: $426
  • Window Hardware Repair: $226
  • Window Glass Replacement: $278

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