How to Fix a Broken Storm Window
DIY or NOT?
A few hours
IntroductionA broken storm window can be dangerous and inefficient, but is it a DIY project? A few things to know before you decide to do it yourself.
- Leather gloves
- Measuring tape
- Quick-Grip clamps
- Rubber mallet
- Safety glasses
- Shop vacuum
- Window glass
- Wood block
Project step-by-step (9)
Aluminum Storm Windows
Some storm windows have screws on all four corners holding the frame together. These windows you can fix yourself if the gasket is available or reusable. Most common storm window frames are machine pressed together and need to be drilled out to separate the frame. You will need special pins to re-assemble the frame (not found in stores). See Photo.
In other storm windows, the glass is held in the frame with a friction fit gasket called Glazing Spline (not found in stores). This frame does not need to be disassembled. These windows you can fix yourself if the gasket is available or reusable.
There are storm window frames that are easily disassembled and held together with friction-fit corner fasteners and a rubber gasket that wraps around the glass. These windows you can fix yourself if the gasket is available or reusable.
Remove Broken Glass
- If the glass is shattered in several places, remove it piece by piece and discard it properly, then vacuum the frame and window area thoroughly.
- If the glass is only cracked, carefully remove the storm window.
Remove the Window Frame
- To remove the window frame; press in on the two bottom latches and push the window up, continue pressing the latches and pull the bottom window toward you and out of the track. Then tilt the window to one side, sliding the top pins out of the track.
- Set the window on a clean flat surface.
Measure for New Glass
- Before disassembling the frame, measure the inside width and height of the frame.
- If some of the glass has been removed, measure the depth of the channel that the glass sits in, using a flat ruler. Multiply that number by two and add it to your width and height measurements to get your glass size. You may have to do this after the frame is disassembled.
Disassemble the Frame
- Secure one of the side frames to your work surface with a clamp.
- Place a wood block on the inside corner of the frame and tap it with a hammer separating the frames. Repeat this on all four corners.
- Remove the remainder of the glass and rubber gasket from the frame, being careful not to tear the gasket.
- Discard the glass and vacuum the frame and work area before moving on.
Inspect the Gasket
- Inspect the gasket for tears and cracks. Most gaskets cannot be found at your local hardware store but ordered online from window hardware supply.
Install the Glass
- Apply the gasket over the edge of the glass. If it’s a new gasket, make small cuts at the corners.
- Install the side frames first by inserting the glass and gasket into the channel of the frame, gently tap it with a rubber mallet.
- Aline the corner keys on the top frame with the corners of the sides, and gently tap the frame onto the glass. Do the same with the bottom frame.
Re-install the Window
- Clean the glass with window cleaner before installing it.
- Tilt the top of the window frame to one side and insert the top pins into the track.
- Straighten the window and press in the latches to set the window into the frame, then release the latches.
Storm Window Wrap Up
- Most storm window hardware and gaskets are not available at your local hardware and building supply stores.
- When you consider the cost of glass and hardware, plus the time spent trying to find the proper hardware to fit your window frame, this may not be worth doing yourself. Your local hardware store typically offers storm window and screen repair.
- Here are a few online window hardware suppliers: Reflect Window & Door, DK Hardware, Alco Window & Door Supply.