How to fix double glazing faults Double glazing being difficult to open or dropping
Double glazing should last and weather well – that’s what it’s designed for. So encountering problems within the first 10 years of installation is incredibly frustrating, especially if it means your home is less secure until it’s fixed. But nearly a third of the 2,155 people we spoke to were in that situation. The most common fault was the windows or doors becoming difficult to open or close (10%). This was followed by them dropping over time so that they don’t fit as well (5%). While it’s encouraging that 69% of people didn’t experience issues in that time, if you’re someone that has, knowing what you can do to fix it will make it easier to stomach – read on for our expert advice. If you’re looking to buy double glazing, visit our guide to the best and worst double glazing companies, where we review national heavyweights in the glazing world Anglian, Everest and Safestyle.
How to fix double glazing faults
Double glazing being difficult to open or dropping
Difficulties with opening and closing your doors or windows could be down to:
the mechanism being stiff (if they’re doors or casement windows that are hinged)
the lock/handle catching/being faulty (more on this below) the hinges having moved/become loose.
Try oiling the mechanism, hinges, handles or places where the windows/doors pass the frame (for example, if they’re sash) to see if that will help. You can also adjust screws to tighten hinges or mechanisms to see if that helps. If you think these need replacing instead, contact the company you bought them from. It could also be caused by the weather – extreme temperatures may make the frame expand or shrink and therefore not move as smoothly or ‘stick’. This may also be the cause of double glazing dropping. To fix this, you might be able to wipe down the frames with cold water to help shrink them down slightly – but you don’t want to be doing that regularly.
If the problems aren’t too severe, it might be worth waiting until cooler or warmer weather to see if that solves it. However, if either of these problems are persistent or significantly impact you (for example, actually stopping you from shutting and locking your door), contact the company you bought it from. Find out more below about how to contact them to get the best result and visit our full guide to your rights with double glazing.
Condensation or ‘steamed up’ glass can appear if there isn’t enough ventilation in a house or room. Even new double glazing can experience issues if this is the case. In fact, in some cases, it can cause it – homes need to ‘breath’ and energy-saving measures can trap all moisture inside. Make sure you air rooms as much as possible and consider installing ventilation. This could be with air bricks, vents in window and door frames or extractors. Also think about using a dehumidifier. See our full guide to getting rid of condensation for more and read our dehumidifier reviews to find the best. However, with new double glazing, it shouldn’t steam up within the glass panes. If it does, the seals around the windows or doors are likely to be broken or no longer working properly – read on for more information.
Window and door locks
You could try some of the methods mentioned above if the fault is to do with heat or the mechanism getting stiff. But if that’s not applicable or doesn’t work, getting it replaced is usually a job that can be done without having to change the entire frame. Technically, you could try and replace it yourself, depending on the type of lock. But this might affect the seals and is likely to void your warranty. Plus, because locks are crucial for your home’s security, and they shouldn’t fail after a fairly short time, we’d recommend calling the company. If you need to call in a locksmith as opposed to calling the company, it’s possible that this could void your warranty, so check the terms. However, as this is likely to be in an emergency situation, for example, because it’s the weekend and you can’t lock your home safely, you might be able to argue for a fault goods claim and compensation for the cost of the locksmith. Visit our guide to claiming for a for a refund, repair or replacement for more details on what exactly to do. You can also find out more about home security, including burglar alarms, in our full guide. Double glazing seals You can just leave a broken window or door seals unless they’re causing considerable problems with condensation, drafts or allowing leaks to occur. If you want to take action, they can sometimes be replaced without the entire window or door being changed. This is easier to do on frames where the seals (also called gaskets) are separate, rather than built into it. If just the seal on their own can’t be changed, it might be that the glass can be replaced instead of the whole frame as well. The benefit of this over replacing the seals alone is the the gas between the panes, which acts to stop heat from passing through, will be restored. This is also the case if the entire window is replaced. Either way, contact the company or trader you bought it from a soon as possible.