window-seal-repair

Posted: 25-10-2019
Updated: 18-04-2024

Are your double glazed windows misty? Has the glass chipped or cracked? Is the seal loose? Can double glazed windows be repaired? 

If so, it’s likely that your double glazed windows need repair.  

Double glazing is made from two panes of glass fitted with an airtight seal and filled with argon gas, which creates a barrier to stop heat escaping. The frames holding the glass are usually uPVC, aluminium or timber. If the seal is damaged, the argon gas can escape. If the glass is chipped or cracked, condensation can build up in the glazing panel.  

If you think your double-glazed windows need repair, it is essential to do so. Faulty double-glazed windows cause your home to lose heat, which leads to higher heating bills.  

Understanding Double Glazed Windows  

A double glazed window acts as a thermal barrier by trapping air or gas between its two panes, reducing the heat that escapes during those chilly winter months. The result? A cosier living space and a welcome reduction in heating bills.  

But the benefits don’t stop at warmth. Have you ever noticed outdoor noises with double glazed windows seem softer, almost muffled? That’s because they’re also excellent at soundproofing.  

In today’s environmentally conscious world, energy-efficient homes are a priority for many buyers. By fitting your home with these windows, you’re not just saving on energy bills or enjoying peace.  

Common Issues with Double-Glazed Windows  

These are the most common double glazing issues and how they can be repaired: 

Double glazed windows are a game-changer for keeping our homes cosy and energy bills down. But, like all good things, they sometimes run into a bit of bother. Here’s a straightforward look at the usual suspects and what they mean for you.

Condensation Between Panes 

Have you ever noticed your windows fogging between the two sheets of glass? That’s condensation. It sneaks in when the sealant holding the panes together gives up the ghost, allowing moisture to get inside.  

Besides being a bit of an eyesore, it means your windows need to keep the cold out as well as they should, making your home feel less snug.

Water Leakage

Water puddling on your sill isn’t just annoying; it’s a sign of trouble. This usually happens when the external seals of your window don’t quite do their job, letting rainwater sneak in.

Over time, this can damage your windowsills, encourage mould, and even affect the nearby walls. Keeping things dry and damage-free becomes a hassle.  

Cracks or Breakages in the Glass

A crack in the glass can come from nowhere – a stray football, a bird misjudging its flight path, or just the wear and tear of daily life. Aside from the immediate security risk and the potential for letting in draughts, cracks can lead to more significant breaks if not sorted out promptly.

If one of your windows is cracked or damaged, you can replace the glass. It doesn’t matter if your frames are timber, metal or uPVC. Most window frames are designed to have the glass replaced. If your existing frames are in good condition, you should keep them. 

Faulty Seals and Draughts

The seals around your window do a top-notch job of keeping the heat in and the cold out. When they start to fail, you might notice your rooms feeling draughty or your heating working overtime.

This makes your home less comfortable and can cause your energy bills to creep up.

Problems with the Frame

Are your frames broken, warped, discoloured or rotting? If your frames are damaged, you will need to replace your frames and your glazing as well. It’s difficult to remove your glazing from your window in one piece as it’s attached to the frames by the sealing. Wooden frames add charm but are prone to rot and distortion over time, primarily if not regularly maintained.

uPVC frames might not rot, but they can warp or become discoloured. These frame issues affect the look of your home and make windows tough to open or close, letting in draughts and dampness.  

What can be repaired?  

  • Moisture or water in your double glazing is caused by the seal binding the glass panes together breaking down. Most seals will last 10-20 years before breaking down. Your manufacturer’s warranty should cover you for 5-10 years. There are different methods of repairing the double glazing. Usually, one or two holes are drilled in one of the glass panes. The window unit is then injected with a special drying agent to dry the air out and expel the moisture and water. At this point, the inside of the unit can be cleaned to remove unsightly smears, and an anti-fogging agent can be used to prevent future moisture build-up. The final stage is to reseal the window unit by injecting a sealant along the base of the unit to stop moisture from penetrating through the base. 
  • If you have wood or composite window frames, the paint may start to peel after 2-5 years. It’s important to get your frames repainted to protect the wood and prevent them from rotting. If you fail to do so, this could void your warranty. A fresh coat of paint during this period can prevent rot and warranty voidance, ensuring the longevity of your windows. Similarly, if you use your window handles frequently they will wear down over time. Fortunately, they are easily replaced if the frame is in suitable condition. They can also be repaired, ensuring smooth operation and extending the life of your windows without the need for a complete overhaul.  Hinges can also wear down over time. They too can be easily replaced. Consider choosing high-quality hinges which ensure that your windows will open smoothly for years to come. 

Diagnosing Your Double Glazed Window Problems  

Understanding the health of your double-glazed windows is vital to keeping your home comfortable, secure, and energy-efficient. Let’s walk through some simple steps to help you check the condition of your windows without having to step outside.  

How to Inspect Your Windows for Signs of Failure

  • Spotting condensation: Do you notice mist or droplets between the glass panes? It’s a sign that your window’s seal might have given up.  
  • Feeling for drafts: A sudden chill near the window could indicate air leakage. Light a candle and see if the flame flickers near the window edges.  
  • Looking over the frames: Wooden frames might feel soft or discoloured, a tell-tale sign of water damage or rot.  
  • Checking the glass: Small cracks can lead to big problems. A thorough visual check can help catch them early.  
  • Testing their function: If you have trouble opening or closing your windows, it could suggest a problem with the frame or sealant.  

Tools and Techniques for Identifying Specific Issues  

  • Thermal leaks: A handheld thermal camera or even thermal leak detectors available online can show where heat is escaping.  
  • Moisture detection: A simple moisture meter can tell if the frames retain water, risking rot.  
  • Draft proof: Draft detector sticks, or the candle test mentioned earlier, are great at finding unseen gaps.  
  • Close inspection: A magnifying glass can help spot those tiny but troublesome cracks in the glass.  
  • DIY smoke test: Incense sticks can be used just like the candle for a more visual cue to drafts.  

When to Call in a Professional for a Diagnosis  

Can you repair your windows yourself? 

It’s a common myth that you can fix moisture build-up in your double glazing by drilling a hole to allow the air to circulate. This will only make a difference for a few weeks, after which you will need to drill another hole. With every drilled hole you will be reducing your energy efficiency. It’s much better for you to call a professional and get the job done properly. 

  • When it’s beyond the basics: If you’ve ticked off all the simple checks and there are risks of DIY repairs, it might be time for a detailed professional inspection.  
  • Safety first: If you uncover significant damage, especially with the glass or frames, it’s safer to let the experts handle it.  
  • Check your warranty: Some issues might be covered under warranty, requiring a professional assessment to validate the claim. Voiding the warranty with DIY repairs is not advisable. 
  • For assurance: There’s comfort in certainty. If you want to ensure your home remains the sanctuary it should be, getting a professional opinion can set your mind at ease.  

If you need some help or guidance about double glazing repairs, just get in touch with our 1st Scenic team. Call or email us on 01689 769248 and at info@1stscenic.co.uk and we’ll be happy to advise and help. 

Preventing Future Issues with Double-Glazed Windows  

  • Inspect seals for integrity to avoid draughts and condensation.  
  • Regularly clean glass, frames, and seals to prevent build-up and damage. 
  • Annually lubricate hinges and locks for smooth operation.  
  • Use a dehumidifier in humid areas to protect against moisture damage.  
  • Wipe down windows monthly with a gentle cleaner.  
  • Conduct inspections every six months for signs of wear or failure.  
  • Consider upgrading older panes to low-emissivity glass for better energy efficiency.  
  • Re-seal windows if necessary to improve insulation and reduce energy bills.  
  • Upgrade to tilt and turn windows for easier cleaning and enhanced ventilation.  

Repair or replace? 

If your windows are old, badly damaged, or nearing the end of their lifespan, you’ll probably have to replace them in a few years anyway. In that case, you would save money in the long-term by replacing them now instead of repairing them. 

Cost Considerations

Navigating the cost of double glazed window repairs requires balancing immediate fixes and long-term solutions. Repair costs can vary, from simple sealant applications to replacing panes. Weighing up repair versus replacement is critical; in some cases, new windows are a better investment. To manage expenses, gather several quotes and budget for unforeseen complications, ensuring cost-effective decision-making for your home.   

Wrapping Up

Keeping your double-glazed windows in tip-top condition is critical to ensuring your home remains cosy, energy-efficient, and snug all year round. Addressing repairs swiftly saves you money on energy bills and preserves the comfort of your living space. If you’ve faced challenges with your windows or have tips to share, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. For those trickier issues, professional help is just a call or email away at 01689 829 600 or info@1stscenic.co.uk. Don’t let window woes dampen your home’s warmth or efficiency. Reach out today for expert advice and solutions. 

If you need some help or guidance about double glazing repairs just get in touch with our 1st Scenic team. Call or email us on 01689 769248 and at info@1stscenic.co.uk and we’ll be happy to advise and help.

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