Windows in high-rises need regular maintenance and cleaning. Dirty windows can weigh down the glass and create points of pressure that make the window more prone to cracking or breaking.
Double-pane windows can experience broken seals and foggy glass that reduce energy efficiency. These issues can pose safety hazards and need to be addressed quickly.
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Identify the Problem
A broken window can let in air, pests, and moisture that can cause expensive damage to your home or business. It’s important to address cracks in windows promptly before they worsen. Failure to do so can result in water and even structural damage to the building.
If you’re a homeowner, you can handle simple repairs on your windows. However, if you need to fix a damaged sill insert or frame or make extensive repairs, it’s best to call professional window repair technicians. Companies like Michigan Window Repair have skilled professionals who can handle any repair job and help you identify and prevent future issues.
One simple fix is using strong-hold tape to prevent superficial cracks, like stress cracks caused by changing temperatures, from worsening. A single strip of tape on both sides of the crack should be enough. It’s important to note that this is only a temporary solution but will help slow the crack’s progression.
Repair the Damage
A cracked window should not be ignored, whether caused by a bad storm, a kid’s ball, or a freak mishap with a bird. It can threaten those in the building and require immediate replacement.
For an immediate solution, a strip of tape will keep superficial cracks from widening. It may also be enough to keep stress cracks (created by low temperatures) from becoming more serious.
Before you tape, remove any glass shards and clean the frame. It’s important to wipe down and wire-brush the frame to remove old putty. You should also sand the wood down to smooth it and apply a coat of linseed oil to prevent it from absorbing moisture. Then, you’ll need to prepare the new glass. If your window has “setting blocks” (caulked or caulk-less strips of wood that hold the pane in place), carefully pry them up. If they can only be removed without ruining them, ask the repair specialist to replace them.
Install the New Glass
A cracking window pane can let pests, air, and moisture in, but a few key steps will quickly get it back to normal. First, clean the surface of the glass and the steel window frame to remove any debris. Then, if necessary, use a heat gun or chisel to remove old glazing putty. If the putty is rock hard, keep heating it, as it will eventually soften and become easier to remove.
After cleaning the frame, apply linseed oil to the rabbet and test-fit the replacement pane. Then, take horizontal and vertical pane measurements, subtracting 1/8 inch from each side. Depending on your door and the manufacturer of your replacement glass, you may need to purchase double-glazed window panes or a new window seal. If the sash cord of your window is broken, it is best to seek professional repair services from companies like Michigan Window Repair. They can properly repair it for you. Once the new glass is securely placed, use a lint-free cloth to clean up any remaining dust or paint.
Clean the Window
It’s important to keep windows clean, not just because they look nice but also because dirt can weigh down the glass and create points of added pressure that make it more prone to breaking. In addition, dirty windows can also reduce energy efficiency and lead to higher utility bills.
Start by removing debris from the frame, tracks, or sill with a vacuum, duster, or cloth. Then, wash with warm, soapy water (washing up liquid works well) and a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse the sponge regularly to avoid creating too many soap suds that can leave streaks.
After washing, use a squeegee to remove the remaining suds and water. Streaks can occur when the squeegee is not kept in contact with the window and is allowed to dry, so always wipe the squeegee’s blade with a clean, lint-free microfiber cloth after every swipe. If you have multi-pane windows, work on one pane at a time.