Window fix sounds like a great idea for the do-it-yourselfer. Although sometimes it is best to hire a professional to provide a window fix for your home or office. The most compelling, and least costly reason to hire a professional is because a window functions most efficiently and effectively when properly installed, with air tight seals, and glass that sits properly inside sashes.
Sometimes vinyl replacement windows are the answer instead of a window fix specialist. In that case, look for the Energy Star label for your specific climate, to understand the energy savings from the cost of replacing your sashes. Otherwise, what is involved when you decide to fix your window?
Sometimes glass on a window breaks, whether from slamming shut, or an errant baseball just passing through the panes. A double hung window sometimes needs a new balancer, pulley, or just an extra special cleaning, to work properly. Other times, it seems there is a fog or moisture stuck in the glass. These can be a project for a handy homeowner. Though, it is a great time to get a free quote from a licensed window installer, just to be on the safe side.
Window Fix Specialists
Even with all their technology, a window may not be as expensive as you breaking a new pane, or harming yourself while trying an at home fix for yourself. Sometimes parts individually for a window restoration carry a higher price than just buying a whole new window. Sometimes the old is not as energy efficient as a new, replacement window.
The Great Window Fix
While you are calling an installer, dealer or service person to come and look at your setup, take a look at your window manual. There are probably specific pieces used by your manufacturer or the design, that may not be used on all units similar to your own. It may be this step that helps you determine if this is a fix you can handle, or one that you entrust to a professional.
When the balance comes out, or the tension just is no longer there, to keep sash holding up (without crashing down), a fix is in order. It involves jamming the sash open, removing the lower sash and removing the old balancer. Some twist out, while others are more straight in form, merely needing to be unscrewed and pulled out. The specifications are imprinted on the piece, so you can find the right one, even if you lost the manual. Install the new balance, and you are good to go. The sash just needs to be jimmied (carefully) back into place.
A failed seal is a bad reason to have to make a fix, though it can be done properly, with the help of professionals. If the glass is fogging up, or looks like it is crying, you probably need to fix it. First off, determine if your units are still under warranty. Older units carry warranties of 5 to 10 years. Newer units have warranties that last 20 years.
So, if you still have a warranty against fogging and condensation, you may be in for a free, or low-cost helping hand from the manufacturer. If there is no more warranty to fall back on, then there are several people to call prior to calling for installation of a new unit. That is a glazier, to fix the glazing. Second, call another service to drain the condensation and fix the seal for you. This can save you the added expense of buying new glass and having it replaced.
You may even get by without noticing any extreme temperatures inside, because your climate may not see extremes outside. If so, bypass the fix and let the glass just be.
When broken panes are the problem, it is complicated because of glass coatings, gas injected for insulation purposes and even the special airtight seal that double panes have. It is possible to remove glass panes and to disassemble the frame to replace glass, though a delicate situation.
The manufacturers firmly place glass inside the frame using caulk, gaskets or tape. This is where a backup installer is useful, because it is almost impossible to remove the glass without ruining the frame.
If you are handy, it is possible to remove the panes. First, jangle the sash free from the jamb and take it to a glass specialist. They will determine if glass is available and how much it will set you back financially. Then it is up to you to disassemble the frame, remove glass, replace glass, and re-assemble the frame and properly replace its sealant.
Window fix can be a complicated way to approach your glass. It may be worth your time to look into various options. Make sure one of those options is calling a qualified dealer and installer.