Many people choose double pane vinyl windows for their homes due to the durability of the frame materials and the insulation properties of the panes. The windows are also easy to maintain. While the vinyl windows will typically not break, a wayward hammer strike or some other fast moving object may cause cracks and holes in the frame. Fortunately, the damage can usually be fixed. Keep reading to find out how you can determine if a repair can be made and also learn how to make the necessary repairs.
How To Determine If The Window Frame Should Be Repaired
If a hard object has hit your window indoors, then it is possible that you have damaged more than just the vinyl window frame. In some cases, the seal that keeps the double window panes airtight may be broken as well. This seal not only protects your home from drafts and heat loss, but it also keeps the gas between your window panes from leaking out. This gas is a low conductivity variety like argon that helps to insulate your home. If you have broken the window seal, then you are likely to see condensation building between the panes of glass. Fogging and hazing are also signs that the seal is broken.
If your double pane window seal is broken, then you cannot make the seal repair yourself. A glazing professional will be needed to replace the seal and insert new gas in between the two panes. However, this may not be cost effective if the repair costs a few hundred dollars and you still need to complete repairs on the window frame. This also may not be the best option either if your window is close to 20 or 30 years old, because the window will be reaching its life expectancy. Keep in mind that a new vinyl double pane is likely to cost between $450 and $600, so weigh this replacement cost against repair costs and other considerations.
How To Fix The Vinyl Window Frame
If your double pane vinyl window is relatively new and the seal has not been broken, then you should go ahead and try to make necessary repairs to the frame. If holes are noted within the frame, then run your finger over the openings to see if they are rough. If they are, use a piece of 120 or 150 medium grit sandpaper to smooth out rough edges.
Afterwards, use either silicone or latex caulk to fill in the hole. Latex caulk is easier to use, but silicone is more flexible and durable than latex caulk. This means silicone is best used in areas with harsh winters and warm summers where the window frame is likely to contract and constrict with the weather changes. When you do purchase the caulk you want, make sure it is a paintable variety, especially if your vinyl frame is not a white color to match the caulk. After you secure the caulk, use a piece of plastic or cardboard to make sure the caulk is flush with the vinyl frame.
If cracks are seen across the frame, then you will need an adhesive material called PVC pipe glue to make the repair. This adhesive is a solvent cement that bonds pieces of plastic or vinyl together. Both the solvent and adhesive materials in the cement are quite strong, so make sure to reposition the sides of the crack together immediately after spreading the adhesive. Also, use a cotton swab or a q-tip to add the glue to both sides of the crack and try to keep the material off your skin.
If your double pane vinyl window frame is damaged in some way, then a fix might be possible as long as the window seal is still intact. Caulk and PVC glue can be used to make the repairs. However, if you are uncomfortable with the fix or determining whether or not the window seal is broken, then contact your local window repair specialist, like Beissel Window & Siding, for assistance.