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Is it Possible to Fix a Broken Seal or Should I Buy a Replacement Window? 

When things do not work as they should in the home, it can be tempting to want to simply fix it rather than replace it. From small things like creaky door hinges to bigger problems like a broken roof shingle, sometimes it is possible to fix the damage, while other times it’s best to get a replacement. So the question becomes, how do you know what can be fixed and what needs to be replaced altogether? The short answer is it is a case by case basis. In this article, we discuss in particular whether it is possible to fix a broken window seal, or if you should simply buy a replacement window. There are three questions to ask yourself to determine the answer. 

1. What type of window is it? 

The first question you should ask is - what type of window has the seal failure, and does it have a glazing bead? Most double pane IGU (Insulated Glass Unit) windows have a glazing bead. The glazing bead is a clip that holds the glass firmly in place and attaches to the sash (section of the window that surrounds the glass and moves up and down in the case of a single/double hung). If the window with the seal failure has a glazing bead, it might be possible to remove it along with the glass, and then have the glass replaced with a new sealed IGU. 

However, if the window does not have a glazing bead, the construction of the window may make repairing it quite tricky, or sometimes impossible. Windows in which the sash was constructed around the glass generally need to be replaced because it is costly to have the sash remade. 

2. How old is the window?

The age of the window is also a determining factor as to whether the window seal can be fixed or the window needs to be replaced. You also should consider whether the warranty is enforceable. If the window is covered by a warranty, you may be able to contact the manufacturer for a replacement sash with new insulated and Low-e glass, as many manufacturers offer a 20 year or longer warranty. 

However, if your window was part of a new construction build, many manufacturers shorten the warranty period to avoid future material liabilities. Yet even if the warranty has expired and you need to buy a new sash, it might be less expensive than replacing the entire window. 

3. Is a window replacement project in your near future? 

While in most cases it is possible to simply repair a seal failure, sometimes replacing the window in its entirety is a better financial investment. Sash and IGU replacements can be expensive. Therefore, if you need a window replacement in the near future anyway, it is wiser to invest the money in a new window rather than repair and older unit. The analogy we often use is comparing the repairs to a 25 year old car. As car owners would know, there comes a point where pouring money into fixing an old machine does not make sense. Often , once an initial problem occurs, more problems start popping up. It generally makes more financial sense to invest your money in a new model. The same goes for window replacements. 

Ask a Professional 

If you are still unsure of your options and the best solution, it is a good idea to call in professionals for an evaluation. Finding the right contractor can definitely make the entire process much simpler and less stressful. 

At Windows on Washington, we  offer a free quote to help you find the right solution to your problem. We do not use high pressure sales tactics, and you can rest assured we will give you honest advice on the best solution for your specific needs. Get in touch today. 

Replacement Windows Buyer's Guide

Topics: Replacement Windows