Guide to window repairs
Guide to window repairs
|Page 1: Minor scratches
Page 2: Types of glass
Page 3: Sound insulation
Hannah Shanks - Editor
There are a number of reasons a homeowner might need to enlist the services of a window repair company: cracked windows, minor scratches and broken or rotten window frames are but a few of the problems that are likely to require the attention of a professional tradesman. Poorly fitted windows which allow a draught to enter a room can also be corrected by window repair companies, potentially saving a homeowner a significant amount of money in heating costs. Tradesmen can also provide and install specialist windows which can reduce noise pollution or alter the amount of sunlight which can enter a room.
The risk of damage to windows can be reduced by simple maintenance tasks which you can do yourself. For example, wooden window frames ought to be protected by an unbroken layer of paint and a good quality finish to guard against rotting. However, in the event of damage which cannot be foreseen, such as cracks or serious scratches, it is often best to hire a professional tradesman than to attempt to complete the work yourself, to ensure that the task is completed efficiently and safely.
If your window has only very minor scratches which are beginning to look unsightly, you need not necessarily employ a professional tradesman to repair the damage. It is possible to remove minor imperfections yourself by polishing the surface of the glass firmly with cerium oxide mixed with water. You should ensure that you use a leather or hard felt buffing pad to polish out scratches. Cerium oxide and buffing pads designed for polishing glass are readily available in DIY stores. It is also possible to buy window polishing kits in shops and on the internet. That said, it is worth finding out what the contents of the kit are before you buy to ensure that you could not buy the items more cheaply separately.
Please note that polishing will only work on minor scratches; if you can feel the scratch when you run your finger over the surface of the glass, cerium oxide is unlikely to be of any help. It may still be possible, however, to fix the scratch yourself by filling it with resin. Detailed instructions on how to accomplish this can be found in DIY manuals or in window repair kits, which can be purchased at DIY stores.
If a scratch is large or very noticeable, it might be less hassle to have the glass replaced. Tape a polythene sheet over the scratch to ensure that no-one cuts themselves on the rough edge, and consult a professional window repairer.
My window has been cracked and is damaged beyond repair. Can I just replace the glass myself?
It is possible to buy replacement glass and complete the task yourself, particularly if you are only replacing a pane of glass on an internal door, rather than one of your external windows. Ensure that you tell the supplier what exactly the replacement glass is for, and where it will be fitted. Take the measurements of the frame with you, as suppliers will usually cut the glass for you.
Bear in mind, however, that it may well be less hassle to hire a professional window repairer for external window replacements. Your money will buy you the peace of mind of knowing that the job has been completed professionally, and that your window is well-fitted and secure. Whilst it might be tempting to try to save money by attempting the work yourself, remember that a well-fitted double glazed window can lead to significant savings on your heating bill, while a poorly fitted window can allow energy to escape easily. Well-fitted windows will also make your home more secure.
My window has a large crack in it, but the window repairer I have contacted cannot come immediately. What shall I do in the meantime?
It is worth bearing in mind that many window repair companies provide emergency services. If a broken window is a threat to the security of your home or you feel that its repair cannot wait, it is worth trying to find a tradesman who can respond immediately. Companies may mention an emergency service in their Yellow Pages advertisements, or, if your situation is genuinely urgent, you could try contacting companies listed to find out if they might be able to respond more quickly than they otherwise would.
While you are waiting for a repairman to arrive, it is important to ensure that the window is as safe and secure as possible. If there is a large crack, cover it with polythene and tape it firmly in place to reduce the risk of the window being damaged any further or someone being injured by the rough edges of the crack.
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