Vinyl casement windows are used in many newer homes. They are used to replace older, wooden casement windows. Vinyl casement windows are often a choice because they are highly insulating. Many problems can be fixed because they typically have trim pieces that can be removed. All of the hardware can be removed and replaced with ease. There are a few problems where a complete replacement may be in order because the repair is too difficult and possibly ineffective. Below are a few common problems that arise with vinyl windows and a few suggestions on how to repair damage to them.
1. Repair Damage to the Exterior Sash
Vinyl windows have easily removable stops. The stop is the strip along the top and the bottom and is held in place by a bracket. In order to access this bracket you will need to remove the entire sash from the wall. First remove the arm from the interior hinge, which is attached by a bolt under the sash holding it to the groove.
Remove the screws from the hinges attached to the sash, not the wall, on the exterior of your home. The sash will tilt out towards you. Remove the bracket’s screws on the bottom and then remove the sash stops. You will probably need a thin putty knife to pry them up. Once the stop is removed, you can slide the sash out and replace it. Be sure to get the proper replacement or it will not fit correctly. Your stops can also be replaced if damaged. Also, be sure to buy the correct color because vinyl can not be painted.
2. Repair Damage to the Hardware
All of the hardware, from the hinge to the crank to the lock can be replaced. These items are all held in place with screws and for most windows, identical replacement parts are available. When replacing your parts, it is best to take all the information you know about your window along with the hardware to the home improvement store so that you can buy identical pieces.
3. Repair Damage to the Glass
On a vinyl casement windows, this is the one area where it may be better to buy a new window or have a professional install new glass. It can be a tricky install and special tools are often required.
4. Repair Damage to the Seal
It is natural for the glass in the window to expand and contract due to temperature fluctuations. This is true with the vinyl as well. The vinyl will expand and contract far more than glass will. This difference, over time, can cause the seal between the glass and the frame to loosen. Some experts say that is a situation which will cause the window to be replaced entirely. It is best to remove the sash completely while you work on it so that the glass doesn’t slip in the frame after the old caulking is removed. Keep an eye on it for integrity of the seal because you don’t want the glass to shift or allow moisture to enter.