How To Fix a Double Pane Window In 12 Steps
When a double pane window in your home gets damaged or broken, it’s imperative to have it fixed as soon as possible. You may think you can live with a small crack, but that crack can let outside moisture into your home, where it will condensate. Condensation inside can make floors slippery or settle into dark areas, where it may grow mold.
In this guide, we’re assuming your window has a wood frame since vinyl and aluminum windows require completely different steps to change the glass.
Before You Start
The first thing you need to do is measure the length and width of the glass pane. If it’s mostly intact, this is fairly easy, but it may be a bit harder if it’s completely shattered. Regardless, write down your measurement, taking off 1/16”.
Next, you’ll need to call home improvement stores near you and find out who can cut glass to order. In our experience, Lowe’s commonly offers this service. Once you bring your glass home, carefully test it in your frame before doing anything else. Once you’re confident your glass will fit, it’s time to gather your other tools.
A Word About Silicone, Glaze, and Putty
You can use silicone caulk, window glaze, or glazing putty to seal a window into place. Each has its pros and cons that you need to consider carefully because they will determine the strength of your window. Also of note is that each type has a different curing period before the window is solid and can be painted over.
Silicone is prized for its low price and quick cure time, which can be as fast as 12 hours. Thicker silicone may take a day or two, but no longer. Silicone is completely waterproof and long-lasting, but it can’t be painted over. Don’t use silicone if you plan to paint the window.
There are two main types of window glaze: oil-based and water-based. What’s the big difference? The oil-based glaze takes weeks to dry, whereas water-based glaze only takes a few days. Of course, every glaze brand will have instructions that may or may not line up with those figures. As a rule of thumb, go with whatever the manufacturer recommends.
Finally, we have glazing putty, which is relatively simple to apply. The cure time on putty is between five days and two weeks, depending on the exact brand and the included instructions.
How To Fix The Window: Step-By-Step Guide
Now that you’ve gathered your materials and tools, it’s time to get to work.
1. The first order of business is to clean any putty or residue within the window. This may be easier said than done, especially if you have a wood window, but it will come off if you have patience. If you don’t have patience, you can use a heat gun or hair dryer to soften the putty or tape.
2. Once free of tape/putty, clean the window with a rag, making sure to get all the dirt and other debris out. You need the window as clean as possible for your glass to fit; a dirty frame can cause the window to come loose.
3. Sand or brush the inside of the frame until any leftover residue is completely gone.
4. Coat the exposed wood with clear sealant and let dry.
5. Using your caulking gun, run a thin bead of silicone down the window grooves. If using putty, press the putty into place with your thumb or finger.
6. Carefully lift and lower your glass into place.
7. Gently press the glass into the groove to embed it in place.
8. Place a glazing point every 4 inches around the window, making sure they’re flat against the glass.
9. Using your putty knife, gently drive the glazing points into the wood. They should be firmly embedded. If the wood is tough, tap the glazing points until they go into place.
10. Apply more silicone or glazing agent around the edges of the glass.
11. Wait until the window sets according to your glaze type.
12. If desired, paint the window once set.
- See Also: How To Fix a Broken Window In 8 Steps
It’s distressing when your double-pane window gets damaged or broken, but replacing it isn’t as difficult as you might think. All you need is an eye for detail and a steady hand, and you can save a pretty penny on hiring someone to fix the window.
Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock