Hardware Needed to Repair a Window
When we think about window repair the first thing that comes to mind is fixing the pane that got busted when Junior forgot to be careful with his baseball (more likely Dad was trying to give him pointers, but that is a story for another time). The clean, clear view we get through the glass is what we notice the most, but if we take a minute to look around the glass rather than just through it, we’ll notice that a window is a rather sophisticated device.
For just a few minutes, lets think of your window as a machine. This machine has quite a few functions. First there is the obvious one of letting light in while keeping the cold out (or in, if it is summertime and you have the air conditioner running). There is also the need for the window to open at times.
Sometimes a nice spring breeze is a better option than the air conditioner, perhaps Dad decided to take over the kitchen and an open window is the most efficient way to let the smoke from his mistakes ventilate, or maybe you just need to open the window to yell at Dad and Junior to get further away with their baseball. If the can be opened, there also needs to be a means to keep it closed so that some one on the outside can’t open it to get in.
Best Design Windows
The best designed windows are the ones where all you notice is the view, and the other functions pretty much take care of themselves. However, like any other machine, eventually your window will require a bit of maintenance. The mechanical parts can and do wear out, and the fasteners that hold the hardware to the window can work loose. These are things that the home owner should be able to take care of with a few minutes work and a few simple hand tools.
Take a few moments to notice how your window is working. When you operate the latch or lift on the handle, are they tight or is there a bit of wobble in the attachment? The problem with a wobbly attachment is that it will probably get worse before it gets better, unless it is corrected. Find a screwdriver that fits the screws on your hardware and gently tighten the screw. Be careful not to over tighten, or the hole may become “stripped”, but the screw will need to be tightened enough to hold itself and the hardware in place.
If the hole that the screw goes into does get stripped, it is not the end of the world. If your window has a wooden casing, cut or drill away any torn or soft wood from the hole. If the new hole is not too over-sized, the next larger size screw may be used, or the hole may be repaired by gluing pieces of tooth pick in the hole. However if the wooden frame is rotted or has extensive insect damage, it may be time to replace the window.
Stripped holes in vinyl and metal frames are harder to repair, but they can often be fixed using larger screws. The other mechanical bits of your window will require some occasional lubrication with a light oil. If you find that the hardware itself is faulty or broken, replacement parts are usually available from the home repair store.
If the thought of repairing the hardware is still daunting, there is always the option of contacting a professional glazier. Associated Glass has years of experience with home glass, and a large inventory of windows and window parts.