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Double Glazing Repairs – All You Need to Know

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Jan 29, 2024
7 minutes read
  • Double glazing repairs you can perform yourself
  • When to replace and when to repair double glazing
  • What to do when repairs to double glazing are no longer possible

When it comes to double glazing, there are issues that are easier to repair than they are to replace. This is also true for the reverse. The more serious problems need double glazing replacement, which is not something that you can do yourself. Double glazing repairs, on the other hand, may have simple solutions that can save you money in the long run.

Even though it’s always nice to have new things, looking after what you’ve currently got makes it last for much longer. It keeps it looking new and stops you spending a tidy sum on replacement. Unless your window is old, it can be better to repair it.

This article will detail top tips for double glazing repairs, including maintenance advice and common issues associated with windows and doors. It will also look at how to tell whether to repair or replace.

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How Long Should Double Glazing Last?

Depending on the material that you opted for, double glazing has the potential to last up to 40 years or so. The installation also has a massive bearing on longevity. According to Which?, 13% of people who had double glazing installed had issues with it in the first 10 years, which is not ideal or usual. As windows age, materials naturally deteriorate, but double glazing repairs can keep a window or door going for longer before replacement becomes the only option.

Both composite and uPVC double glazing can last for around 24 years before potentially needing to be replaced. Timber can last for 39 years or more, with good upkeep, while aluminium can last for 40 years. If issues are relatively simple to correct, double glazing repairs can extend the lifespan you’d expect to receive.

Double Glazing Repairs – Common Problems

Some of the biggest issues facing double glazing are:

Window Repair Isometric
  • Draughts

  • Leaks

  • Excessive noise

  • Cracking or discolouration

  • Damage to the seals

  • Sticking locks

  • Difficult to operate

  • Internal condensation

Window Operation

More often than not, double glazed windows become more difficult to operate over time. Whether this is that they have dropped or don’t fit as well as they used to, there are double glazing repairs that you may be able to perform yourself to rectify this. Casement windows can become stiff, while others might have a lock or handle that catches or doesn’t turn as it should do. Hinges can also come loose or move over time.

Firstly, you should lubricate the affected mechanism to see if this helps. Any hinges that have come loose should have their screws tightened. If normal operation doesn’t resume after these double glazing repairs, you might be better off contacting the installer.

If the operational issues are to do with temperature, it may be that your window has expanded in the heat and is sticking. You should wait for colder weather to see if the problem is persistent or corrects itself. In terms of double glazing repairs, there’s not much you can do short of cooling down the materials.

Draughts and Leaks

The seals around a window can fail due to exposure to the weather and a build-up of condensation. Over time, the production of mould can damage the seal. In terms of double glazing repairs, the issues surrounding draughts and leaks allow moisture and cold air in, which might be easy to rectify.

Initially, condensation should be cleared up as soon as it is noticed. Damage to the materials can be worsened with sustained weathering, leading to larger gaps or a seal becoming completely useless. When this happens, you won’t get any benefit from having your double glazing as none of the heat retention elements will be able to work. Ventilation can prevent condensation from occurring, which is why trickle vents are installed.

Bay Window Vector

Double glazing repairs for damaged seals can sometimes be done if the rubber seal is separate from the window unit. It’s also much safer (and a lot easier) if it’s only the ground floor windows you need to repair. Simply remove the existing seal, clean the area of any leftover pieces and apply the new one. It should just slot into place.

When done correctly, this will prevent further draughts and leaks. Water damage can severely reduce the effectiveness and lifespan of your windows, so it’s important to prevent it as soon as you can.

Broken Locks or Handles

In the instance where you can’t open or lock your window or door, the lock or handle will need to be replaced. If the damage has happened within the warranty period of your new double glazing, you should contact the company to have them correct the issue. If not, double glazing repairs can be made yourself, but this might affect the seal or void any warranty.

Without technical knowledge, window lock replacement is best left to the professionals. If not, your double glazing repairs could end up costing you more to put right.

Internal Condensation and Noise

Timber Window Vector

Water that appears between the two panes of glass is a very bad sign, usually indicating that the seal has failed. Your toolbox won’t be much use for double glazing repairs here as a failed seal in a window can only be rectified by a professional. What’s happened in this scenario is that the insulating gas has leaked out, so no thermal protection is available. This allows for condensation to appear on the inside.

When this happens, it may also be more noticeable that external noise is louder than it used to be. This can also happen if the gasket seal has failed or cracks in the material have appeared. Big problems like these are much more cost-effective to be fixed by a professional.

When to Repair and When to Replace Double Glazing

When to Repair Double Glazing

Repairs to double glazing are often best for smaller jobs, as long as you are confident in your abilities. These include:

  • Replacing the gasket seal

  • Adjusting hinges and locks

  • Lubricating mechanisms

  • Cleaning condensation

Some of these issues are more like maintenance than double glazing repairs, but maintenance goes a long way to preventing larger problems that require a professional to rectify.

When to Replace Double Glazing

Some jobs are just too big or complex to do yourself, so unless you’ve got the equipment to create a vacuum within double glazing, you’re going to need a professional to do it. Either a window or a door might require a tradesperson. It’s best to replace double glazing when:

Measuring Window Vector
  • The internal gas seal has failed

  • The material has failed, either inside or out

  • The materials are no longer up to standard

Double glazing comes as a whole unit, sealed and ready to go. Because of this, sometimes double glazing repairs aren’t possible. This simply means that replacement might be your only option in some scenarios.

Double Glazed Door Repairs

With double glazing repairs or replacements, you may find the following issues with doors:

  • Alignment

  • Failed glazing

  • Faulty locks

  • Damaged hinges and handles

  • Worn seals

Any external door that has been compromised needs to be repaired as soon as is reasonably possible. Just like the advice for double glazing repairs listed above for windows, any loose hinges or adjustment might be able to be done yourself. Any hinges giving you grief can be lubricated, which will keep the door lasting.

For more serious issues, such as doors sagging or double glazing that has failed, letting in moisture, you should consider hiring a professional. A tradesperson will have the correct tools and knowledge to deal with any bigger issues, and if fully glazed doors need replacing, they will be able to advise on the best option for this.

Professional Double Glazing Repairs and Replacement

When it comes to calling in a professional tradesperson for repair services or to replace your double glazed windows or doors, they will usually charge an hourly or daily fee. According to Checkatrade, experts can charge as much as £250–£300 a day for door repair. The costs for windows will depend on the nature of the issue and if double glazing repairs or replacement is required.

When it comes to replacement, the cost of the job is no cheaper than buying new windows or doors. The installer will need to remove your existing structure and replace it with a new, sealed, glazed unit. This depends on the style you choose, whether you go for full glass doors and what material you settle on. While double glazing repairs will be the cheaper option, eventually replacement will be necessary.

The material you set on has a strong bearing on price. uPVC is the cheapest option, whereas aluminium is the most expensive, quickly followed by timber. Different materials have different lifespans, which affects when you may need to step in with double glazing repairs and maintenance. When replacement becomes the only option, you need to think about the aesthetic of your home and what would suit it.

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