How to Repair Window Seals


Leaking window seals will cause drafts, moisture build-up and reduce the energy efficiency of your home. Over time, the problem will only get worse. If moisture is allowed to get through, you will encounter structural problems later on; this is especially true for wooden windows.

Two methods exist to repair window seals; one works for older windows and one works for modern windows. Different application techniques apply to each type; if you have a solid do-it-yourself background, you will be able to accomplish each one.

Things You'll Need

  • Glazing--available at any hardware store
  • Putty knife
  • Mineral oil
  • Old toothbrush
  • Caulk gun
  • Silicone caulk--Matching colors are available to match your window frame color
  • Utility knife

Older Wooden Windows

  • Inspect the window frame for cracked and chipped glazing around where the seal has gone bad.

  • Use your putty knife and remove all loose pieces of glazing material.

  • Clean and brush away any loose particles that still remain with an old toothbrush.

  • Dip the old toothbrush into the can of mineral oil. Brush it onto the space on the wood that has just been cleaned.

  • Estimate how much glazing material you'll need for the can. Roll it in your palm until it is the width of a pencil.

  • Place this pencil width sized glazing over the area cleaned out. Press it down with your fingers.

  • Use your putty knife to press it firmly into place. It will expand as you do this, so trim it with the knife as needed. Make sure the new glaze butts up against the old glaze for a tight seal.

Modern Windows

  • Use your utility knife to cut out any deformed, bowed or wrinkled seal.

  • Cut the tip of your silicone caulk tube at a rough 45-degree angle. Place it in the caulk gun.

  • Place the caulk tube tip where the seal that you cut begins. Squeeze out a bead of silicone.

  • Pull the gun toward you as you caulk. Try to match the bead width to the seal already in place.

  • Smooth out your bead of caulk by dipping your finger in mineral oil and lightly going over the top of your silicone. Let it dry over night before wiping it off.

Tips & Warnings

  • Being slow and patient when doing either of these two methods will give you the best results.
  • Always be careful when using a utility knife. Wear gloves if you feel unsure of yourself for extra protection.

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