4 Ways to Fix a Failed Window Seal

A man seals a window.
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • $15-40
What You'll Need
Utility knife
What You'll Need
Utility knife

When your window develops a cloudy film between the panes, you have a failed window seal. This can happen to double and triple pane windows, and it can lead to a loss of insulation in your home. There are a few different ways to address the problem of a failed seal.

TIP: Windows are bulky to carry, so consider getting a friend or hiring somebody to help you handle the glass while you're working.

1. Replace the Window

If the seal is really bad, you can replace the entire window. Depending on the type of window, this may require the help of a professional. However, if it is a regular double-hung double pane window, it is a generally an easy installation.

Remove the trim molding.

Unscrew the window frame from the sills.

Remove the window.

Scrape any caulking left on the sills and frame.

Lay down new caulking and place the new window into the frame area.

Screw the window into the frame.

Seal any holes with insulation and caulking.

Replace trim.

2. Replace Glass

Another option is to remove the window panes and have the glass reglazed. For this, you will have to take the panes somewhere for professional reglazing.

If the seal is not leaking badly, you can have a glazier come to your house to do the job on site.

3. Fix the Seal

There are ways that you can fix the seal with the use of a specialty tool. Install a valve and expel the moisture from between the windows, making a seal.

While this is also usually done by a professional, it can be done cheaper than hiring someone to reglaze the window.

4. Do Nothing

This might sound like a lazy way out, but if you live in a mild climate without extremely high and low temperatures, then you probably don't need to worry about the seal.

These windows are designed to keep the weather conditions outside to help with heating and cooling efficiency. If you live in an area where that isn't a problem, you will not need the seal to work anyway. You will probably never notice a difference, with the exception of a little moisture build up once in a while.