Repair an aluminium window or door

 In Glass, Renovating, Repairs

If you live in a house in Australia, there’s a good chance you have at least one aluminium sliding window and one day, whether it’s your son hitting a cricket ball through it or the cat knocking over the hat stand into it, one of those windows is going to break.

This post is about how to fix an aluminium window yourself, if you’re currently planning to get someone else in to do it, perhaps have a read, once you know how easy it is, I’m hoping you’ll want to give it a go and save yourself some money.

In this post I’ll explain how to repair the sliding part of the window, not the fixed part. I’ll come to that in another post. Some fixed windows are repaired in the same way as sliders but I don’t want to confuse anyone.

To remove the aluminium sliding door

To remove the sliding sash (the sliding door), usually it’s just a matter of lifting the whole sash up from the inside of the house and pulling the bottom of the sash out towards you. Sometimes there will be an anti-lift block in the top pocket, this will need to be removed first, it may also be necessary to hold the lock open whilst pulling the bottom toward you.

Be careful doing this take it slowly and perhaps get a friend to give you a hand if that seems like the smart thing to do.

After you have removed the sash, lay it down flat on an old piece of carpet or a large towel so you can work with it more easily.

How to measure for new glass

These instructions will work for 98.5% of aluminium sliding windows. The glass sits in “u” shaped rubber inside the frame, it usually penetrates between 6mm to 8mm, so what I do is measure the inside of the frame or (daylight size) and then add 14mm, this is the same for the height and the width.

When you have your piece of glass ready, remove two corner screws at opposite corners of the sash and then with a hammer and an off-cut of wood to knock the frame off the glass, do this by laying the wood down flat on the glass and hitting it with the hammer, continue until all the glass is removed from the frame. Then carefully inspect the rubber and make sure there are no pieces of glass left in it.

Get your new piece of glass and stand it on one edge it is a good idea to put some off cuts of wood under the glass edge, carefully place your rubber back on the new glass and make sure that it is going on the same way it came off, The cut corners need to meet up with the corners of the glass, and you shouldn’t need to stretch it too much.

Next carefully get one of your “L” shaped pieces of frame and starting at the corner, with a soft hammer or block of wood give it a couple of good hits until the rubber in the corner is completely flush with the frame. Then, while holding the loose end down, knock the remainder of both sides down. After this “Rinse and Repeat”, by that I mean, flip the glass and do the same thing with the other piece of frame.

When the frame is together again put your screws back in, be careful here there is a “flute” that the screw needs to go in, many a clumsy glazier has been caught by this and screwed the screw into the glass cracking it right through the middle, not that I’ve ever done anything like that ha-ha.

Last but not least check that your sash is square, you can do this by precisely measuring the diagonal size of the sash (right across from one corner of the door to the other), if they measure the same the sash is square. If not stand the sash on its corner and very lightly tap the opposite corner then re check, a few millimetres won’t matter here so don’t stress too much, all you have to do now is pop the window back in the hole and your done, just like a bought one!

I hope now you’ll be inspired to repair an aluminium window or door. It really just takes a bit of patience, so take your time and ask a friend to help if it’s a large door. Best of luck and if you have any questions, just leave a comment below.

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