Are your double-glazed windows misty? Has the glass chipped or cracked? Is the seal loose?
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, aluminum 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-glazing windows need repair, it’s important to get them fixed. Faulty double-glazed windows mean your home is losing heat, which leads to higher heating bills.
What can be repaired?
These are the most common double-glazing issues and how they can be repaired:
Damaged window seal
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 penetrating through the base.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 would 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.