Common Window Problems and How to Solve Them

Windows give you natural light, open up rooms and let in fresh air to keep your home bright and airy. But windows can also have various problems that can impact their effectiveness or appearance.

Luckily, you can use some simple remedies to fix windows yourself. Here are 10 common window problems and how to fix them. 

1. Window Won’t Open 

One of the most common problems you will encounter is a window not opening. Dirt and dust are common causes of this, as buildup can create friction when you try to open the window. The window may have been painted shut, as well. In more serious cases, the springs in your window jambs might be damaged, or the sash of the window may be warped. 

Solution: For a window that is difficult to open, try cleaning your windows and use a lubricant spray. Sometimes cleaning will be the only solution you need. If you see that there’s paint in crevices where the sash should open, use a putty knife to break the seal. After this, if your window won’t slide, there could be something wrong with your springs or sash. In these cases, it’s better to contact a professional to handle the issue. 

2. Window Won’t Stay Up 

Sometimes, you just want to enjoy some fresh air and, frustratingly, your window keeps closing. Faulty balances could be your problem here — they either aren’t working properly or are working fine and just aren’t connected to the sash.

Solution: Check the pivot bar and the shoes connected to this pivot bar along the bottom of the sash to make sure they’re all connected. If they appear to be in the proper places and working normally, there is probably an issue with the balances themselves. You could take the window apart and see which pieces need replacing or contact a professional service to identify the issue. 

Window Drafts

3. Drafts 

Drafty windows can be a serious problem in the winter and summer. Drafts can raise energy bills and make your home an uncomfortable place to be in. Poor window installation, cracks, old windows or windows that aren’t energy efficient are some reasons your window is letting drafts in. 

Solution: If you move your hand around the frame of the window and notice drafts coming in, a good solution would be to re-caulk your window to seal up any cracks. You could also install new weatherstripping, which creates a solid seal to fix drafty windows.  

4. Warping

If you have wood windows, you may start to notice warping. Moisture can get into the wood and cause it to expand and contract, leading to that bending and warping of your windows. When this happens, you’ll need to know how to fix warped windows. 

Solution: If the warping damage is minor, you can add some filler to cover cracks. To prevent warping, you should also add a new coat of paint or protective stain to your windows every few years. If the warping is severe and your window isn’t functional, look into getting a window replacement

5. Leaking 

Leaking is one of the more serious window problems — water can get in and cause mold to grow. Mold can then spread to your floors and the rest of your home. Moisture can also cause rotting. Water can also dry causing leaving behind spot marks on the glass. Fixing these issues can be costly, so you’ll want to figure out how to fix a leaky window in your house quickly. 

Solution: To fix a leaking window, try re-caulking and cleaning the window frame. If this doesn’t help, you should take immediate action to get a replacement or have a service come to check out the issue. 

6. Rotting 

Wood windows may start to rot, in which case it could begin to interfere with the functionality of your windows. You’ll want to get it fixed sooner rather than later. Before you go searching for a replacement, you might be able to find a home remedy solution if the rot isn’t too severe. 

Solution: If you’re looking to fix the rot yourself, you can begin by removing the parts of the window that are severely rotted. Clean out the gap where the rotted wood was and use wood filler to replace it. Once you’ve gotten the filler flush and it’s dried, you can sand and paint the wood, re-caulk and admire your new-looking window. 

7. Cracking

Cracking is similar to rotting and warping — you will usually see it in wood frames, and it will often be caused by moisture. 

Solution: You can use wood filler to cover these cracks if they’re not too large. This will help reduce any more problems these may cause in the future. 

8. Fog

Foggy windows are another sign that something with your window isn’t working right. With fog, the problem usually lies in the seal of the window. Heavy rainstorms, heat and age are all factors that contribute to broken seals. Moisture leaks through the broken seals, and as cold air from outside mixes with the warm air inside your home, fog forms on the glass.

Solution: A defogging spray can eliminate the problem in the short term, or you could even use shaving cream. To prevent fog, make sure you’re inspecting your windows often, ventilating your home and using a dehumidifier to remove any excess moisture. 

9. Broken Window Pane 

Accidents happen — window panes scratch, shatter and break, and you can be left wondering how to put it back together again. Extreme weather, a foul baseball ball and other factors can all pose a threat to your windows, so it’s good to know ways to fix them before it happens. 

Solution: With broken windows, you should emphasize safety above all else, so make sure you clean up all the glass and get rid of any loose shards. Wearing eye protection and gloves, remove the glass and, if it’s easier, the sash, as well. Measure the dimensions of the glass and have your home improvement store cut it for you. Installing the glass will depend on the type of window you have, so follow a guide unique to your situation. Professionals could help replace glass or your entire window instead. If a bird has cracked your window, take extra prevention measures if it is a common occurrence. 

10. Broken Locks and Latches 

As your windows get older, you might try locking your window one day and notice a piece has come apart in your hand. This is usually a relatively minor problem you can take care of easily. 

Solution: In many cases, you’ll be able to find a replacement part for your window. You can then use a screwdriver to remove the broken lock or latch and replace it with the new one. 

Contact Garrety Glass

Contact Garrety Glass 

Garrety Glass has over 20 years of experience offering glass expertise to our customers throughout South-Central Pennsylvania and Maryland. We’re a locally owned company offering the highest quality work for the best price, from glass repairs to new window installations. Contact us today!