Windows are essential to bring natural light into your home, allow fresh air to circulate, and give you and outdoor view. Without the proper window maintenance and screen repair, however, your windows can become non-functional eyesores or even safety hazards. Fortunately, it is easy to keep your windows maintained and working well.
Problems With Windows
Over time, even the most well-constructed window can develop difficulties. As a frame warps or shifts with the home’s foundation, a window may begin to stick or could become impossible to open, creating a safety hazard in case of fire or other emergencies. Window seals may wear out or break, creating leaks and water damage, or causing heat loss in the winter and cool air loss in the summer. Broken locks and latches can become security problems, while torn or damaged screens can admit insects and other pests. Fortunately, proper maintenance and simple repairs can correct many of these problems and keep windows working perfectly.
Window Screen Repair
Broken, torn, or snagged window screens are the most common window repair, but they’re easy to fix.
- Choose the screen you need. Screens are available in aluminum, fiberglass, and polyester, as well as different weave densities or treatments to reduce glare or conserve energy. You may want to match nearby windows or choose a screen that permits a clearer outdoor view.
- Set up to work on a flat, stable surface large enough to support the entire window screen and frame. This will minimize the risk of the frame warping or breaking as you work, and will help you keep the proper tension on the new screen.
- Inspect the frame closely to be sure it is in good condition. Check that the corners are secure and there is no rust. If there is damage, repair the frame or else purchase or build a new one. If the frame is in good shape, wipe it down so it is clean and ready for work.
- Remove the spline – the flexible cord in a groove around the screen’s frame – carefully, checking for damage or weaknesses along the way. If the spline is torn or cracked, it would be best to replace it as you repair the screen.
- Measure the new screen carefully to ensure you cut the proper size, allowing 1-2 inches of overlap on each side so the tension can be adjusted as you work. Lay the cut screen over the frame and keep it centered on the frame for even alignment.
- Roll the spline into the frame’s groove, tucking the screen into place as you go. Use a screen tool for the easiest work and firmest grip, and carefully keep the screen taut as you work so it remains tense but not so tight that it will warp the frame or tear easily.
- Trim the excess screen away after the entire spline has been reinserted into the groove. Use a sharp hobby knife for these cuts and use the edge of the spline as it rests in the frame’s groove as a guide for a straight, even cut.
- Reinstall the screen frame in the window and enjoy!
In addition to screen repairs, there are other steps to properly maintain windows.
- Keep the Glass Clean – Regularly washing windows will keep the glass shiny and bright, permitting the best view and allowing more natural light to enter. This is also a good opportunity to inspect the window and stay alert to any other potential problems.
- Clean the Track – Cleaning out dirt and debris from the window’s side and bottom tracks will help the window move easily and freely within its frame as well as sit more securely when closed to keep out insects. If necessary, lubricate the track gently for smoother movement.
- Renew Caulk – Check the window’s caulking and weather stripping at least once a season to ensure that it is properly sealed and insulated. This will help with energy savings to keep warm air from escaping in the winter or to keep hot air out in the summer.
- Lubricate Locks – Inspect each lock and latch to be sure it is functions correctly to keep windows firmly closed without excessive force to open or close the lock. If necessary, replace or upgrade locks for better security.
- Remove Excess Paint – If the window frame has been painted and repainted, be sure there is no paint interfering with the window’s operation or seals. Use a sharp knife to cut through obstructing paint if necessary.
- Replace Broken Windows – If windows are severely cracked or broken, or if the seals between double- or triple-paned windows have been compromised and permit condensation, it may be best to replace the window completely. Homeowners with handyman or construction experience may be able to do these repairs themselves, or else it is best to hire the professionals to ensure an efficient job that follows the latest building codes.
Windows are an important feature of any home, and taking care to maintain them properly and make minor repairs is a great way to keep them looking their best and functioning efficiently in any season.