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How to Repair Bow Windows

October 10, 2010

Bow windows are a beautiful addition to almost any home, but only when kept in good repair. Sagging windows, water seepage, and broken glass aren't just a nuisance--they can be dangerous. Here's how to repair bow windows for the serious do-it-yourselfer.

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How to Repair Bow Windows that Sag

Because bow windows protrude from your home, they can sometimes begin to sag or deform if they aren't properly supported. Provide additional support and re-distribute the weight of the window to your home's foundation. Here's how to repair bow windows that are sagging from insufficient lower support using common L-shaped brackets purchased from your local hardware store:

  1. Determine where the sag or deformation is coming from so that you know where to fit support brackets.
  2. Fit small, L-shaped brackets below the bottom of the window and lift a bit so that the window is supported.
  3. Screw brackets into the surface; ensure brackets are evenly spaced.

Repairing and Preventing Water Seepage

If water seepage is left unattended, dangerous mold can build up and your frames may degrade. You must reseal or replace your window if you note persistent water seepage.

How to Replace Broken Glass

The characteristic bows that define bow windows can make them tricky, but not impossible to replace--just take your time and ensure the pane is positioned perfectly. To replace a broken pane:

  1. Remove all broken glass.
  2. Buy a new piece of glass from a manufacturer specializing in bow windows. Double-check your dimensions--you'll typically need a piece that is 1/16 to 1/8 inch smaller than the frame.
  3. Fit the new glass into position using spines or spring clips.
  4. Apply caulking or glazing compound and allow to dry completely before removing supports.

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