Repairing Your Doors and Windows: A Brief Guide

Repairing Your Doors and Windows: A Brief Guide

If your windows or doors are showing signs of wear and tear and aren’t operating properly, you should take a closer look at them and consider repairing or replacing them. Damaged windows and doors can adversely impact the cooling and heating in the house. If you are from Toronto, you can take the help of a lot of firms that offer windows & doors service in Toronto. But before you avail any service, it’s better to go through this post. Let’s get started.

Windows and Doors Repair: All You Need to Know

How does heat escape from windows and doors?

Heat escapes through windows in many ways: radiation, conductivity through glass, convection current between panes of glass in the same window, conductivity through gaps and frames. Air leaks around windows are also a common problem that can compromise the efficiency of the assembly.

Likewise, significant amounts of heat can escape from doors, even if they are securely closed. This happens when air escapes around the edges of the frames and when heat diffuses through the door and its frame. 

Getting your windows and doors ready for winter is very important for you to not freeze through the frigid cold.

When should you replace your windows and doors?

Several reasons can justify the replacement of its doors and windows, especially when comfort and aesthetics are concerned. Be aware, however, that the savings made by replacing a window or door almost never justify the investment. Complete replacement of windows is rarely recommended, except in the case of windows heavily affected by water or UV radiation. In old houses, when the window frame is damaged, we often encounter the following problems:

  • rotten chassis
  • significant air leaks
  • aluminum or cracked vinyl

If you choose to replace your windows, be sure to buy the best windows that your budget can afford. Triple glazing is highly recommended for your new window 

When should you repair your windows and doors?

Repair is recommended in the majority of cases. It is possible to repair the window to make it more airtight and it is even possible to add a low-emissivity film to it, to achieve performance that is very close to that of new doors and windows. 

It is recommended to repair a window in cases where:

  • it is antique and we want to preserve its appearance 
  • You are legally obliged to preserve it
  • only the thermos is damaged

What is fogged thermos glazing

If you have fogging in your windows, don’t just get someone to remove the fogging. The holes drilled at the bottom of the glazing create a convection loop that turns your double glazing into single. It’s to change the thermos, a simple and efficient job that allows you to keep the entire window.

Double thermos glazing has a maximum lifespan of approximately 20 years; it is normal to have to replace them. Without having to change the entire window, it is possible to remove the moldings on the inside of the window (whether fixed or removable), then to change only the thermos glazing. It is easier than you think, much less expensive and more environmentally friendly than replacing windows completely. It is necessary to call on glaziers to obtain new thermos glazing. Opt for the same glass thickness as the original thermos. 

Windows and doors repair recommendation: Frame wise

  • Wood Frame: If the wood is still structurally intact and not in a state of decay, consider repairing and adding interior or exterior storm windows. 
  • Aluminum Frame: Aluminum is still very durable and water resistant. It is often a question of increasing the tightness of the window with weatherstripping and caulking. 
  • PVC Frame: These frames are generally well insulated, but may turn yellow and lose their shape. It is possible to apply PVC paint to increase their aesthetics on the exterior or interior. For PVC windows with cracked single sliding glass, consider replacing them instead. 

How to improve repaired doors and windows?

In addition to the repairs suggested above, several improvements can be made to the windows. When the cost or condition of the window or door does not justify its replacement, various elements will be added that will increase its efficiency and improve comfort. For example, adding a storm window improves the insulation value by about 60%.

In all cases, the solutions always depend on the initial state of the doors and windows or on the problem encountered: tightness, level of insulation, presence of the low emissivity film, etc. The most cost-effective option is the one that will cost little in relation to the efficiency gains.

How to repair exterior doors?

Most common exterior doors are constructed from two steel walls covering a foam core, usually urethane. Some fiberglass doors have a fiberglass frame filled with urethane foam, which further reduces heat loss.

In the case of glazed doors or doors fitted with glazed side panels, insist on installing insulating glazing with the same characteristics as high-performance windows, that is to say fitted with a low-emissivity coating, with insulating spacers and an air space filled with argon. Some manufacturers now offer doors with triple insulating glass.

Interlays: Robust, resistant, recyclable and requiring little maintenance, aluminum frames are quite expensive and conductive of heat. Make sure you install a “thermal break” that will prevent conduction. 

Exterior doors and their wooden frames, although less well insulated than those filled with foam, are often chosen for aesthetic reasons. Even wooden doors can be fitted with high performance weatherstripping to reduce air leakage. In most Canadian climates, wood doors must be well protected from the elements (to reduce maintenance and increase their life). It would therefore be useful to provide a roof over the entrance.

In case a building has no heritage value, you should consider replacing the old exterior wooden doors with insulated metal doors. They are more durable, easier to seal, and require very little care to maintain their appearance. Maintain all weatherstripping on existing doors and storm doors in good condition. If the main entrance door faces the prevailing winds during the winter and is poorly protected, adding a vestibule or airlock could improve occupant comfort.

For heritage wood doors, it is possible to add weatherstripping, to replace the old single glazing in a high-performance thermos glazing including a low-emissivity film, for example.

Pay attention to the installation. Make sure that the seal is well guaranteed. If you are renovating a heritage building, there are some great windows and doors repair options for you: 

  • Changing the threshold: the thresholds deform over time and become less waterproof, this is one of the easiest fixes out there
  • Put silicone sealant in the corners of the door and between the wall and the frame
  • Set up a guillotine plinth (or automatic plinth): this is an accessory located in the door frame which will lower when the door is closed, improving the insulation quite a bit.

So that was our brief guide for repairing doors and windows. Regarding the change of window, it should be noted that, in the case of living in a condominium, it is often necessary to respect the type of window imposed by the internal regulations of the condominium, in order to preserve the visual appearance of the building.

In general, you must submit your craftsman’s estimate to your property manager before starting work, so that he can validate your project’s compliance with the co-op regulations. A window change is recommended when the window becomes very weak in terms of insulation and this is damaging your living room or bedrooms. 

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