6 DIY Window Fixes
Seal a leak, stop a crack and patch up a torn screen with these cheap, easy do-it-yourself window fixing solutions.
Rub Out Window Scratches With Toothpaste
Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto a soft cotton cloth and vigorously polish the scratch for a minute or two. Wipe off the excess with a damp rag and presto! The scratch is gone. Be sure to use plain, white paste – no gels or striped varieties. You can use an extra-whitening toothpaste; most have higher amounts of abrasive.
Stop Window Cracks in Their Tracks
You can buy yourself some time before replacing a cracked window by applying a couple of coats of clear nail polish to both sides of the crack. Once dry, the polish will seal any holes in the glass and contain the damage.
Fast Fix for a Screen Tear
A window screen is no match for a big dog’s big paws. If you can’t replace the screening material right away, make a temporary repair by attaching the loose screen to the frame with duct tape. First, clean the area with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. Let it dry, then attach two facing strips of tape to the edge of the torn screen, leaving some excess tape along the bottom. Press the strips together, and attach the excess to the inside of the frame with another piece of duct tape. Be sure not to leave any gaps that can allow mosquitoes and other insects to enter.
Plug a Drafty Window
That drafty window is guaranteed to suck out precious heat from your home and raise your fuel bills. What can you do if it’s wintertime and the caulk gun is all dried up? Simple. Once you’ve located the source of the draft (it’s often along the top of the lower sash or in a corner between the sash and window frame) take two paper towels, sandwich them together, and fold them up from the bottom an inch at a time until you have a thick padded strip. Lay the pad over the air leak and secure it on all sides with masking tape.
Fix a Busted Window Side
Is a broken corner slide preventing you from opening that window screen or aluminum storm window? Don’t scrape your fingers trying to reach the spring. Reach for a paper clip instead. Partly open the clip, then use needle-nose pliers to bend the last ¼-inch of the wire to form a right angle. Slide the hook under the sash and use it to grab the slide from below. Push toward the center of the window to free it.
Stop a Rattle with a Matchbook
A rattling window is sure to rattle your nerves, especially when you’re trying to sleep. How can you ever silence that racket? Easily, with a book of matches. Slide the thin end of the matchbook in between the sash and the loose corner of the window frame. Wedge it in as far as you can, but leave at least a third of the book exposed for easy removal. Then give the window a few light tugs to make sure it won’t shake on blustery nights. Sweet dreams!