DIY Window Repair

December 23, 2009

While some repair work is best left to the professionals, there are some window repair projects that can be tackled by a handy homeowner.

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Sticky Windows

Casement windows and older windows often become finicky and sticky when opened or closed. Usually cleaning and lubricating the tracks fixes the problem, particularly when an aluminum frame is involved. Clean the tracks all around the window with a vacuum to remove debris and loose dirt. Then use a rag and small wire brush to clean any remaining dirt. For rollers or glides, mineral spirits is your best bet for cleaning small parts without disturbing lubrication.

WD-40 is a favorite tool for fixing sticking windows. The WD actually stands for water displacement and when moisture is literally the sticking point of a window, WD-40 comes in handy to tackle the problem.

Casement Windows that Won't Open

For casement windows that operate with an opening mechanism, if the mechanism stops working, open the window halfway and remove the screws that attach the mechanism to the frame. Remove the extension arm by sliding it out until the tip reaches the access slot. Push down the arm and pull out the tip through the slot. Remove the handle of the mechanism. The problem is usually found in the 'teeth' that can become stripped. Replace the mechanism and reinstall.

Broken Window Panes

Replacing a broken pane is fairly simple in multi-paned windows. Wear thick gloves to protect your hands. Remove the broken glass and use a putty knife to remove leftover putty or debris. Clean the channel - the narrow opening in which the pane fits. Coating it with linseed oil makes the job easier.

Use a dab of glazing compound to cushion the glass. Put the pane in carefully and seal it with the glazing compound. Use a glazier point every few inches along the pane to hold the glass in place. The compound will need to dry for one week prior to any painting.

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