Window & Door Repair Experts Provide Industry Tips on Warranties & What to Do When You Have a Broken Window or Door
Over time, windows and doors may experience some form of damage from wear and tear and even weather. While some damage can be easily repaired, serious damage requires professional window or door repair or replacement.
And if that time comes, you’ll want to have a reliable warranty to cover the costs. But not all warranties are created equal. And unfortunately, many warranties won’t cover repair costs when you need them to.
To help you when damage does occur, here’s a look at window and door repair issues, what warranties actually cover, and when to call the pros for repairs or replacement.
What to Do When You Spot A Damaged Window or Door
Some window and door damage is superficial and easy to fix, while other types of damage are difficult to repair. So before you decide whether you can repair your windows and doors on your own, do a thorough inspection of your windows and doors to determine the extent of the damage.
Depending on the type of damage, you may be able to fix it yourself (continue reading for quick fixes).
If you’re unsure of whether you can repair the damage, look for these signs that your doors and windows need replacement. And contact the pros for window and door repair.
Some damage is too far gone to repair on your own—like rotted window and door frames or broken mechanics. The more serious damage will require window and door replacement, which may or may not be covered in your warranties.
What Does Your Warranty Cover?
A warranty is a guarantee that a product will last for a specified number of years. And if problems occur within that timeframe, the manufacturing company will replace the product.
But for many warranties, it is not so simple. There are warranties out there that are complicated and difficult to understand. So to be sure you know what your warranty actually covers when purchasing windows and doors, use the following tips:
Check the Fine Print
Many warranties have fine print detailing complicated provisions and exceptions. So be sure to carefully read the fine print so you have a clear understanding of what the warranty will cover and when it won’t help you.
- Only cover specific parts of the window or door—e.g., the PVC or the glass—but not the entire product. Unfortunately, those parts that may not be covered—like the seals and mechanics—are the parts that will fail over time.
- Only cover the product or the installation, but not both. This occurs when the company who manufactures your windows and doors is different than the company who sells and installs your windows and doors.
- Won’t cover windows that weren’t installed properly—which can be difficult for homeowners to prove.
- Are not transferable if you sell your home.
- Are pro-rated and lose value over time.
- Require that you pay for labour charges regardless of who is at fault for the problems.
- Include ‘wear and tear’ as a reason to void the warranty. In other words, if you use your windows or doors, the wear and tear of use over time will void your warranty.
- Use legal jargon that is difficult to understand and requires a lawyer to interpret for you.
What “Lifetime Warranty” Really Means
The meaning of a “lifetime warranty” varies. But it rarely, if ever, means it will last as long as you or your home will or the length of the average lifetime. If you opt for a product with a “lifetime warranty” be sure you know the details of the warranty so you’re not disappointed.
Due to the misleading nature of “lifetime warranties,” many companies now must use the term “limited lifetime warranty.” And these warranties tend to cover seven years only.
What to Look For
- A warranty that is clear, simple, and straightforward, with no extra fine print or complex wording.
- A company with a proven track record. How long have they been around for? How likely will they still be around to honour their warranties? A company that has been around for only a few years is not as reliable as one that has been in business for 20-plus years.
- The warranty registration and claims process. Many companies require that you register your windows and doors to be eligible to make claims in the future. And if you are dealing with two separate companies—the manufacturer and the sales/installation company—then you’ll likely have to do this registration with each company. But often, customers don’t take the time to complete the registration process and end up with a void warranty when it’s time to make a claim.
Common Door and Window Issues
The most common type of damage to windows and doors is damage to the frames. If spotted early, this damage can be repaired easily. But if left to worsen over time, you will need to call in the pros for a window and door repair or replacement.
Damage to windows and doors is most often caused by:
When windows and doors aren’t installed properly, they won’t sit correctly. As a result, the windows and doors will experience structural issues that cause stress, cracks, and leaks in the frames.
Wear and Tear
Over time, doors and windows will wear down and stop working properly. Slamming windows and doors can also cause damage, especially to the frames, and result in splitting, cracking, and air leaks.
High winds and cold temperatures can put windows at risk of damage. Flying debris and objects can crack window panes. And ice buildup can cause frames to expand and crack. The freeze-thaw cycle can also take its toll on windows and doors by causing cracks from expanding and contracting wooden frames.
Wooden window and door frames are also prone to rotting over time from exposure to moisture and in some cases, termites. If your frames are rotting, it’s time to consider window and door replacement.
Quick Window Repair Tips
If you have a broken window, you can temporarily fix the glass with the following materials while waiting for the window repair pros:
- Pieces of masking tape on both sides of the glass/crack;
- Clear nail polish painted over small holes or cracks; or,
- A piece of thick plastic (tarp, garbage bag, etc.) taped over the hole or crack.
For drafty windows, follow these window repair tips.
Quick Door Repair Tips
If you have a cracked door jamb or frame, you can repair it by applying wood glue in and around the crack with a putty knife and clamping the wood together with clamps while the glue dries—which usually take about an hour.
Here are quick-fix tips for repairing patio doors.
While windows and doors are usually built to last a long time, they won’t last forever. And many external factors can shorten their lifespan or cause damage that requires repairs. So to keep your home protected for longer with quality windows and doors, make sure you understand your warranties, make repairs, and call the pros when you notice damage. A bit of time at the first signs of damage can help keep your windows and doors in top condition for many years to come.