Misty sealed unit or damaged door panel???? Why pay a fortune to a "window doctor" when you can DIY?
Replacing one of your broken or misted sealed units or door panels need not cost you a fortune if can spare a few minutes to read this and own a pallet knife and a rubber mallet!
Tools required.--1 rubber mallet, (white rubber preffered if using on white upvc widows.)..1 pallet knife or scraper with a 40mm wide stiff sharpened blade. (Draper does a good one.) + soapy water --and a wedge of wood if you need to push in loose gasket!
Lets presume that you have a upvc window or door or perhaps one made in aluminium, the technique of replacing glass or panel varies little. Firstly, lets pretend that you have a double glazed window in upvc and you need to remove the damaged glass or said panel from its cozy snug seating. Right,!-- look closely and try to establish if the glass has been installed from the outside or the inside. You can tell this by the upvc or ali glazing bead that will have been used to fix the unit in situe. You may notice a rubber gasket between your window and its frame on the inside? If so, on the outside will be a bead going around the glass with a barely visible but distinct line where you can ease in a pallet knife to separate it from the main frame. But wait! Firstly you will have to remove that pesky rubber gasket from the inside, its purpose is to push the glass hard on to the bead outside to make removal by burglars and rotters more difficult! By removing the inside gasket first, you allow the unit to become loose and the removal of outside beading more of a doddle!-- Simple eh?--Well lets hope!
Alternatively you may have the more superior,--(security-wise),-- internaly glazed sealed unit that you can replace withought the bother of ladders and from a fitting point of view is a dream! You will notice that the beading is on the inside this time and its removal does not--or should not require the removal of the rubber gasket on the outside because simply put that particular gasket is welded or clipped permanantly into place in the factory and therefore is not requiring our attention at all thank evans!
Position your blade into the hairline groove and lever away from the glass until the bead loosens. Take care when removing the last bead that the sealed unit is held in position by a helper or your other hand so that you do not become yet another stastistic down at A&E with a broken bonce or worse!
OK so you have removed your unit for measuring purposes and have taken care not to slide your hands along its edges and cut them to shreds if it has no protective tape! You now need to measure the width and height in millimeters and its thickness so that your local sealed unit manufacturer has something to go by when creating its replacement. Also make a note of the colour of spacer bar that seperates the two sheets of glass so that it matches its neighbouring s/units. Also, measure the distance from floor to the lower edge of the sealed unit. If below a certain height, ( about hip height) you may need toughened glass. Ask your supplier to check current regulations. etc.
Rules are changing all the time so it is important to ensure your work meets "current legislation"--GHURRRR! --for all sorts of reasons that irritate me so much that I cannot talk about it anymore in this elf n' safety,- nanny state,- some one is set to make a fortune out of this latest global warming greeny scam,- Euro directive piece of nonsence that makes us all pay through the nose for what exactly? so thats it. You need specialy dilithium coated glass or whatever, filled with Star Trek gasses just to see what your neighbours are up to! ITS JUST A BLOOMING WINDOW FOR GODS SAKE! Do they listen though? --Exactly!!!
Right back to Earth and the window in your drawing room! Its worth mentioning that a couple of checks to ensure the longest life of your new sealed unit are worth the time to investigate. Firstly make sure that the drainage slots in the bottom of your frame are clear and not filled with debris. Secondly there should be one or two plastic packers or shims that the old sealed unit was seated on? Lets hope you kept them because you want to keep your new purchase dry and off the deck. Sitting it in the lower channel in potential water withought it being raised is going to shorten its life so be aware of this.
OK, so your unit is in position and if it is an opening sash or door you will have already read my other guide,--"Brace your unit,--or expect doom!??" Yes of course you did! Right, so if internaly glazed pick up your rubber hammer and your first bit of glazing bead in the reverse order you removed it if you can remember and position bead snugly and firmly against the glass and frame starting from either end and tap smartly with the rubber end of said mallet and listen for that satisfying 'click' as the little lips in the beading bed themselves into the grooves of the outer frame firmly and decisively! At this point I have to warn you that some manufacturers use cheap and nasty extruded plastic that buckles if you dare look at it! If you are the unluky one and cannot get your glazing bead to "seat" within a couple of bashes of the hammer, remove and examine along its leading edge to inspect for any distortion. If so, a pair of pliers and some gentle persuasion to re-align should do the trick. Please. Keep Calm and Carry On! If it still wont locate then have a tea break or take the dog for a walk and try again later.Have a think. You will succeed belive me! I have been there and know how you feel. But hey, lets be positive; your bead shall locate first time and every time because you are a genius and skilled and deft of touch are'nt you?
For externaly glazed windows, same thing; unit in, but you should find that your beads merely snap in quite easily because there is no pressure from the gasket inside. Once fitted, from inside, take your gasket and press between glass and frame until snug. If too tight, a little washing up liquid and a piece of wood for extra pressure usualy does the trick. Good luck.
I hope the above has been of some use and as a reward for reading it, I shall share with you,-- and only you, one of me my window fitters little tricks of the trade. If you have a upvc window or cill or bit of trim that is dented,--try this! Apply heat by way of an electric hot air blower or hair dryer and see the dent vanish as by magic! Its all to do with molecular memory or something! Be careful though, not too darn hot! Sadly this will not work for deep scratches, sorry. I think thats it, but if you have any particular problem relating to double glazing that I have not thought of and need a little help then please get in touch. Trev.