How to Replace Your Window Seals (Homeowner’s Guide)

December 20, 2021

Sharing is caring!

If you’re a homeowner asking how to replace window seals, you’ll want to ensure you do your research before tackling this project! Replacing window seals is not always an easy task and the process has plenty of room for error. Even the smallest mistake can then result in thick condensation settling on the interior glass, dust between window panes, or gaps around the window itself!

To replace a rubber window seal, use needle-nose pliers to pull up the old seal and remove it from the glass pane. Add some high-quality glass glue to pressure points around the window. Next, apply a new rubber seal around the pane using an insert tab. Tap the seal into place and cut off the excess with a razor blade.

The average cost of window seal replacement is between $70-$120.

To ensure you replace window seals properly without damaging the window or end up with even bigger gaps than before you began, note a few added tips on this project. You might also consider why it’s often best to leave this job to the pros, and how often you might need to perform window seal repair around your property.

Homeowners especially might also consider some advantages of new windows around the house! If many window seals are broken or several windows need other repairs, this can be a great opportunity to update your property with stunning new window installation.

sealing a window

How Do You Fix a Broken Window Seal?

To fix a broken window seal, first ensure you have all the tools needed for the job. This includes needle-nose pliers, a razor blade for scraping away damaged sealant and new seal residue, glue made for glass, and a new window seal! You can then follow this process for fixing and replacing a broken window seal in your home:

  1. Use needle-nose pliers to strip the old seal from the window itself. Be careful you don’t scrape the glass or bend the frame as you work.
  2. Use the razor blade to remove any bits of the old seal still stuck to the glass as well as glue and other residues. Again, be careful about scraping the glass; work slowly for more precise cutting. You might also consider wearing thick work gloves during this step, so you don’t cut yourself in the process!
  3. Apply a thin layer of your glue to the contact points around the window frame. Avoid applying the glue to the window itself, as you don’t want it to dry before you install your new seal. Loctite and E6000 are excellent glue brands for replacing window seals.
  4. Your rubber seal replacement should have an insert tab included; these tabs allow you to tap or push the seal into place. After cutting a length of seal, push the material into the gap made from the old seal and tap the insert tab to push the seal into place.
  5. When you come to the end of the window frame, add another drop of glue to the seal, to close off that gap. Hold the seal in place until the glue dries.
  6. Go back over the new seal installation and check for any uneven areas; use the insert tab to gently tap down sections of the seal that might have come loose.
  7. Use the razor to remove any added drops of glue or seal residues, being careful not to cut your new seal installation!
  8. Once the glue is dry completely, use a glass cleaner to remove any remaining streaks and residues from the window.

What Happens When a Window Loses Its Seal?

Damaged or missing sections of window seals are not just a minor inconvenience. Those seals close off that gap between the window pane and its frame. Outside heat and cold, humidity, and even bugs don’t need much of a gap in the seal to get into your home’s interior!

Damaged window seals are one major reason why you might notice condensation or fog on the windows, especially when there is a major difference between interior and exterior temperatures and humidity levels. As warm air on one side of the window hits cold air on the other, humidity then clings to the glass, creating condensation.

Most of today’s windows are also double-glazed, meaning there are actually two panes of glass making up the window itself. The gap between these two panes is typically filled with argon or krypton gas. Once a seal is damaged, this allows that gas to leak out which then risks distortion of the window panes.

You might then notice a pane bowing inward or outward slightly, as it’s no longer supported by that gas. This lack of support can even lead to glass chipping or cracking!

Seal failure can also spike your utility costs throughout the year. If the seals fail to keep out hot or cold air or keep in your heated or cooled air, your home’s HVAC system will cycle on more often and stay on longer, trying to maintain your desired temperature. Outside humidity getting into the home can also mean more wear and tear on a home’s dehumidifier.

completing window sealing

Are Broken Window Seals a Big Deal?

Broken window seals mean increased energy costs, bothersome condensation, an uncomfortable interior space, and even pest infestation! Ignoring broken seals means that drafts, humidity, and pest infestation will only get worse with time. Rather than putting off seal replacement, a homeowner should repair this issue as quickly as possible, or consider replacing those windows altogether.

Are My Home’s Broken Window Seals Letting in Cold Air?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes, broken window seals are notorious for letting in cold air, as said. If your home feels drafty in wintertime and stays cold no matter how much you crank up the thermostat, this is a sign that the window seals need an inspection and replacement.

In some cases, you might even be able to spot broken seals by running your hand around the window and looking for cold spots! Remember that those cold spots mean cold air in the home during wintertime, almost as if you were keeping the window open. Rather than tolerating that cold air, keep your interior spaces comfortable and your utility costs low by repairing or replacing broken window seals when needed.

broken window installation

Broken Window Seals Can Create Condensation on Window Glass

One reason that windows with broken seals create condensation is that those seals let moisture seep in between window panes. In some cases and depending on the surrounding temperature, that moisture can evaporate or dry up.

However, when there is an extreme temperature difference between both sides of the window, that moisture can then condensate. That condensation might stay between the panes or it might seep out and then end up on the interior window glass.

It’s never recommended that you ignore repeated condensation. A home’s walls and paint on the walls absorb that excess moisture, risking peeling paint, wood rot, and damaged framing and mold growth. If that condensation should drip down the wall, it can also risk mold and mildew underneath carpeting, and even damaged floorboards.

How Often Should You Replace Window Seals?

Window seals should be replaced or repaired as often as needed! To help you understand when your home’s window seals might need replacing, consider some reasons why they often degrade. You can then determine your home’s risk for damaged seals and have a better idea of how often they need inspection for potential replacement:

  • Harsh sunlight often degrades glue and rubber, making these materials brittle and likely to crack. Homes in the tropics or those exposed to lots of sun throughout the year might see window seals break down more readily than other properties.
  • Faulty installation can mean premature window seal breakdown. If you hired a subpar contractor for your home’s window installation, you can probably expect to repair or replace those seals sooner rather than later!
  • Note that excess heat tends to melt both glue and rubber. If you’ve used heat guns around the window frames, perhaps to strip paint or perform other such maintenance work, it’s vital that you check the window seals for potential damage.
  • High winds and strong vibration put pressure on window glass which can then cause rubber sealant to pull away from the frame. Check the windows for needed repairs after strong storms in your area.
  • A settling home can also mean added pressure on windows, including their seals. If your property has gone through foundation repair, ensure you have the window seals inspected for potential damage.
  • Paint thinner and other such chemicals degrade rubber seals. Try to avoid getting these materials on your home’s windows and then inspect the seals for damage after projects using any such harsh chemicals.

sealed windows

Broken Window Seal Replacement

Whether or not you should simply replace a window with a broken seal rather than attempt repairs depends on the window’s age, the extent of damage, and if it might not be time to replace those windows anyway. For example, ignoring the seal around a double-glazed or triple-glazed window can allow dust and other debris to settle between those panes. It’s often difficult if not downright impossible to remove that dust, so replacing the window might then be your best choice.

If window seals are damaged due to heavy storms, harsh sunlight, or similar factors, note that the window glass might also be worn down or show lots of etching and scratching. Replacing damaged windows ensures they look their best while reducing the risk of cracking and breakage.

Window glass also tends to degrade with age, while frames might also pull out of place so that gaps then form. If the windows are more than 10 years old, it might be time to replace them altogether, to ensure the glass is strong and the frame fits snugly.

home with new window sealing

When Is It Time to Schedule New Window Installation?

Especially damaged seals and etched and scratched glass are indicators that it’s time for new window installation around your home. However, damaged windows aren’t the only ones needing replacement! Note some considerations to keep in mind about when and why it’s time to start thinking about new residential windows.

  • Older windows might have shifted out of position over the years, making them difficult to operate. New windows, especially those with vinyl frames, are typically easier to open and close and will also lock more securely.
  • Outdated windows can detract from your home’s overall appearance. New windows can increase curb appeal and look more attractive in interior spaces as well.
  • Larger windows or a new style can offer more sunlight into the home and increase air circulation. For example, casement windows are hinged on the side and open like a door; since they have no center sash, they allow for maximum sunlight. Opening the entire windowpane also means more fresh air into interior rooms.
  •  If your home is often drafty in wintertime or stuffy during the summer months, this can mean it’s time for new windows! Older windows with thin glass or that have developed gaps around the frame might be letting in outside heat and cold; new windows mean a comfortable interior and lower utility costs.
  • Over the years, windows might suffer minor scratching that allows dust and dirt to settle onto the glass. It can then be difficult to get those windows clean thoroughly. If your home’s windows look dingy and dirty, consider new windows for a cleaner, more attractive look.
  • New windows can actually improve your home’s values! If you’re thinking of putting your home on the real estate market within the next few years, consider if its current windows might detract from its appearance and salability. Investing in new windows now can make your home more desirable to buyers, ensuring you get more offers and maximum bids.

Denton Home Window Replacement is happy to provide this information on how to replace window seals to our readers, and we hope that you found it helpful! When you’re ready to update your property with stunning energy-efficient windows, turn to our trusted contractors for window seal replacement. We’ll schedule a FREE consultation and price quote, and get you started on the road to enjoying stunning new windows around your property.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In This Article:

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram