Updated at: 24-06-2022 - By: cnbusinessnews

Many houses have water-damaged window sashes. A stained window sill and sash is a nuisance, but windows are expensive and no one wants to replace them before they have to!

Unfortunately, fixing shattered windows is a simple DIY undertaking that requires only a few basic materials and some patience. Here, I’ll show you how in less than two hours you can fix your window sill.

As a bonus, I’ll show you how to keep your windows in peak condition and avoid further damage once they’re repaired.


  • Needed Equipment and Supplies
  • What Leads to Damage to a Window Sash?
  • Stains on Window Sashes
  • Instructions You Can Print Out
  • How to Prevent Window Sash Water Damage

Tools and Materials Needed

Window sills and sashes can be repaired without a lot of pricey equipment. Tools I recommend for a quick and easy job are listed below.

Window Sash Clinic

Multi-Tool with Sanding Head

The versatility of a multi-tool makes it ideal for a wide range of home improvement tasks. I use my multi-tool with the sanding attachment for this project. Triangle sanding pads are ideal for getting into window sill and sash corners and quickly sanding damaged areas.

Alternatively, a detail sander can accomplish the same goal. The multi-tool, on the other hand, gives you far more options for your money.

Other Tools and Materials

  • Shop-Vac
  • Disposable Tablecloths
  • Tape for painters
  • Colorfast, water-resistant polyurethane from Minwax.
  • Stain Brush 1.5′′ White Bristle
  • Minwax Hardener for Wood
  • Wood Filler by Minwax
  • Oxalic Acid Wood Stain remover.

What Causes Window Sash Damage

Window sill damage is almost always caused by water vapor condensing on or on the wooden frame of the window.

When the temperature outside drops, condensation accumulates on the windows, which in turn reduces the temperature of the glass. Water droplets form on the window glass when moist air from within your house comes into touch with it, finally dripping into the sill below.

Damage to your window sash occurs over time as a result of water collecting on the glass and seeping through the sash. Initially, it eats away at the clear finish on the window sill before moving on to the wood itself.

How To Repair Water Damaged Windows

Asses The Damage To The Window Sash and Sill

The first step is to determine the extent of the damage to your window sash and sill.

Is the clear finish beginning to crack and flake off the wood because it’s starting to wear down? As a result, you’re in luck because this is your simplest repair and will only require minimal work.

It’s possible that the wood you have has some black water damage, but it’s still sound. Before the wood rots, this can and should be corrected.

Do you find the wood to be pliable and supple? This means that your wood has began to rot, and you must decide whether or not the rot has compromised the entire window or whether or not a tiny portion of it may be saved.

In the photo above, the window sash and sill have been ruined by water and clear coat failures. However, the wood remains sturdy and repairable.

Prep Your Work Area

Prepare your work area to control your mess and safeguard the surrounding regions before beginning a paint job.

To prevent sanding dust from getting into the window, I use a drop cloth and a piece of tape on the glass. This is to keep the glass from becoming scratched when I sand the window sash.

Sand Away Water Damaged Wood

To begin with, I’ll begin sanding off the damaged areas.

The amount of sanding you’ll need depends only on the extent of the damage to your window.

As long as there are no signs of decay or blackening in the wood and the clear coat is only damaged, you can simply sand down the existing clear coat.

Your sanding tool is your best bet for removing as much black water damage from your windows as possible, so you’ll want to remove the clear layer first. This may reshape the edges of your sash and sill, but it’s acceptable collateral damage. It’s best to keep it to a manageable level.

Stabilize, Remove, or Replace Rotten Wood

One of the following options must be taken if the wood on your windows is soft or has deteriorated.

Rotted wood needs to be rehabilitated. I like to use Minwax Wood Hardener for work like this (and a lot on exteriors as well). It’s not a perfect solution, but it works well in many cases.

Minwax Wood Hardener bonds and hardens rotting wood fibers by penetrating the damaged wood and using a resin. As a bonus, it protects the region from further water damage.

Removing (digging out) the routing wood and then re-filling the area with wood filler are other options for rotting wood. Small areas can be painted using this method, which is preferred by many painters. Sand, stain, and seal your wood filler once it has dried completely to prevent it from rehydrating. Warning: Wood filler never stains the same color as actual wood, and it usually stands out quite a bit when it is used in this manner.

The only other choice is to get rid of the old timber and start over. This is for when there’s a lot of work to be done. This is not a topic I’ll be touching in this post.

Bleach Out The Water Stains

The water stains that remain after sanding down the clear layer can be removed using oxalic acid.

Using oxalic acid to remove mild surface discoloration from wood is an effective method. It takes a lot of time and a lot of coats to get it right.

It is possible to lighten or eradicate the black stains in wood with the help of oxalic acid.

When using oxalic acid, make sure to beat it in and wear gloves and a face mask to protect your skin from contact with the acid.

Baking soda can be used to neutralize bleached areas after the bleaching process is complete. The acid in the wood can be neutralized with a mixture of baking soda and water.

Sand and Clean Any Remaining Discoloration

It’s time for your last Sanding after you’ve repaired any damaged wood and bleached away any water stains.

Using a fine sandpaper of 150–180 grit, I remove any lingering dark stain and clear coat that may have been overlooked.

It’s time to clean the windows and prepare for staining once you’ve finished sanding.

As much dust as possible can be removed by using a shop vac, followed by a moist cloth to remove the rest.

Refinishing Interior Windows - Lake Area Painting & Decorating, St. Paul, MN

Re-Stain The Window Sill

As long as you have the original stain color on hand, staining your windows sill and sash is a simple matter of applying the stain and allowing it to dry.

Make a new stain color or buy a new piece of furniture that matches the original color.

In order to get a bespoke match, you can remove some trim from your home and bring it to the paint store. My favorite thing to do is to walk into a closet and take a small piece of trim that is not visible. Liquid nails or another type of adhesive can be used to reinstall the trim.

Another alternative is to make your own bespoke match. There are many different colors and pigments in my huge stain kit that I use frequently. In other words, it’s unlikely to work for everyone.

You can also take a risk on the color by looking at it from a distance. Golden Oak is one of the most popular stain colors for residential properties. Give it a try if you suspect your skin tone might be similar to one of these prevalent stains.

Clear Coat The Window Sill & Sash

Clear coating the repaired area is the final stage in fixing rotting window sills.

Brush on two coats of Minwax Clear Polyurethane clear coat, matching the sheen of the previous finish (usually stain or semi-gloss). Sand with 220 grit sandpaper to ensure the nicest surface possible between applications of finish.

Can Insurance Cover These Repairs?

Humidity levels in the home can be influenced by a person’s lifestyle. Some insurance policies might cover these kinds of repairs in the event of the worst storms.

Insuring a home comes with a slew of considerations. Some of these include the date the damage was discovered and the age of the window.

Average Cost of Window Repair Near Me

Different state rules and regulations affect the cost of window repair. For an idea of pricing variation, below are averages for window repair in nine different states.

  • $374 in Ohio
  • California: $264.
  • $243 in Texas
  • A $393 fee is charged in Massachusetts.
  • Florida’s share is $512.
  • The cost of living in Michigan is $689.
  • Manhattan is $466.
  • $ 919 for Missouri
  • State of Nevada:

Window Repair Cost Breakdown

The average cost for the most common window repairs is:

  • It costs $245 to fix a faulty window thermal seal, although most homeowners only have to pay between $70 and $120.
  • In general, replacing a cracked window pane would set you back about $70, with prices ranging from $40 to $100.
  • Most consumers spend between $200 and $500 to replace a broken window pane; however, more extensive repairs might run up to $2,000 or more.
  • The cost of labor to fix a damaged window ranges from $30 to $50 per hour. Requesting custom-made panes, specific hardware, and repairing difficult-to-reach windows could raise labor costs.
  • An average window repair costs between $200 and $600 depending on the size of the window and the difficulty of the task at hand.
  • In order to fix a window latch, you will have to fork over anywhere from $75 to $200.

Single-Pane, Double-Pane, or Three-Pane: How Much Should I Budget for the Repair?

There are a slew of different types of windows. The amount of glass panes and panels varies from type to kind. For some of the most typical window repairs, below is an average cost breakdown.

Costs for a single-pane window repair start at $200 and include windows such as:

  • Fixed or framed windows
  • In the hoppers, the windows
  • Casement windows.
  • windows with skylights

$200–$400 for a one-window double-pane repair; this includes windows such as

  • Single-pane windows
  • Windows with double-hung panes
  • Window slams

Repairing a three-pane window might cost anywhere between $600 and $1,100, depending on the type of window.

  • sash windows with bays
  • a curved window

The cost of repairing a five-pane or bow window might range from $1,250 to $3,250.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Repair a Window?

The cost of window repairs is influenced by a variety of factors, including:


Compared to wood windows, vinyl and aluminum windows may be more cost-effective to repair.

Window Size

The more windows you have, the more expensive it will be. Repairing larger windows will take more time and resources due to the additional effort and materials needed.

Extent of Damage

Damage that is more severe than the usual might be rather expensive. A broken seal between window panes, decaying wood frames, or a damaged window sill will be costly and difficult to repair.

Window Accessibility

If the external window on the second level needs to be repaired using a ladder or roof access, it will cost more.

Hardware Availability

Window hardware that is old or out-of-production will be more difficult to replace. It will cost more and take longer to fix specialized hardware if you have to go to the trouble of procuring and replacing it.

On-Site vs. Off-Site

Remove the window sash and bring it to the shop rather than having the repairman try to fix it on the spot.

Emergency Window Repair

You should expect to pay $30 to $50 an hour for a simple window repair. In the event of an emergency, you should budget at least two to three times as much for a repairman or glazier’s time.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair the Window Myself?

If you think you’re handy, repairing a window yourself is a terrific idea. If you have the time and the tools, you can save money by doing the repair yourself.

There are some window repairs that are more difficult to handle than others. Some simple and inexpensive window repairs can be done by the homeowner to save money on labor charges, such as repairing a cracked or broken window, changing the screen ($25), or sealing the glass ($10).

Clearing out a cloudy window or replacing a damaged double pane are tasks best left to the experts.

Tips for Maintaining Home Windows

Clean Your Windows Monthly

Keeping your windows clean on a monthly basis can go a long way toward keeping them looking good and functioning properly. Windows are often taken for granted by homeowners, who fail to fully clean them on a regular basis.

Start by going to the windows that are usually covered by shades, drapes or blinds. Because they’re hidden, these are often the windows that get the worst care.

When these windows are in the sunlight, you can begin inspecting them for dirt and fingerprints. When cleaning a window, take notice of where the dirtiest spots are.

Also, keep an eye out for any cracks that may be forming in the glass. If a piece of glass in your window is cracked or damaged, it’s preferable to have it replaced as soon as possible. The insulated glass unit can typically be replaced instead of the entire window because it is simpler and less expensive.

If your windows get a lot of traffic, cleaning them more frequently is a good idea. You may be able to go a month or two without washing them, depending on your household. If you reside near a highway or an industrial region, keep this in mind as well. If this is the case, you may need to clean your windows more frequently.

Cleaning Guide

Depending on the situation, there are a number of techniques to clean your windows. Clean windows using a flat layer of cleaner sprayed on them. Then use a chamois cloth or another soft, lint-free cloth to gently wipe it down. Use warm water and a few drops of mild and moderate dishwashing detergent to clean severely filthy windows.

Focus on the hard-to-remove areas when applying this solution to your window. After scrubbing, use plain water to rinse and then flush away any remaining residue. In order to do this, you’ll want to get a squeegee.

Window Frames

It’s easy to ignore the need of regularly cleaning the sills and frames of your windows. Cleaning the glass is the only thing on most people’s minds because it is what they see the most of. Remember that the frame of the window is what holds the glass in place and seals the window when closed.

Vacuum up any loose dirt, filth, or cobwebs from around your window frame. Wipe off the visible framing material with a sponge and all-purpose cleanser.

To get rid of dirt and bird droppings from the external frame, try using a soft brush. In addition, if you have double-hung windows, take advantage of the tilt-in feature for cleaning convenience.

Opening and Closing

Window opening and closing is a common source of frustration for many people. As the track gets clogged up with debris, it gets lodged in the nooks and crevices and can’t be removed. To avoid this aggravation, clean the track frequently with a light detergent and vacuum it.

Repairing Historic Wood Windows - Traditional Building

Painting Your Windows

If you have older wood-style windows, you should paint the frames every year to keep them in good condition and prevent them from being damaged. The frame of your window might become fragile from exposure to sunlight, which can lead to paint cracking and peeling. For this reason, you should look for any symptoms of damage and determine the best course of action.

If you need to paint your windows, water-based paint is the best option because it reduces the risk of peeling. Acrylic-urethane paint is a more durable option. Caulk can be used to cover any small gaps between the window and any frame material. Insulate and waterproof any holes that are more than a quarter inch wide by filling them with expanding foam.


Infiltration and leakage can be reduced by using a rubber seal or a tiny fur-like rope. Any damage to this should be looked into, as it could cause issues. If fitted along the inner perimeter of the window frame, this could improve the energy efficiency a little amount. If the windows are constantly draughty, this can be utilized as a temporary fix. This will keep the chilly air out throughout the winter, which can be an annoyance.

Proper Lubrication

Your windows will operate better if they are properly lubricated. Every few months, it is necessary to lubricate windows with tracks and rollers to keep them running properly. To avoid damaging the windows, do not use silicone spray to lubricate moving parts. Ask your manufacturer for their recommendations instead. Maintaining proper lubrication can help maintain the parts working freely and prevent them from becoming jammed. The lock should be checked for appropriate sealing if the tracks and rollers are properly greased.

Consider Adding Window Tinting

If you have old windows, this may help keep the sun out of your home. There is no Low-E glass layer on older windows, which reflects UV radiation.

A professional window tinting service is recommended if you are unsure how to do it yourself. To obtain the finest service, speak with a local business owner. In this case, you can rest assured that your window will be protected from a variety of hazards.


Is it better to repair or replace windows?

Replacing only the damaged portion of a window is a more cost-effective solution in situations involving broken glass, jammed windows, or minor leaks. However, if the frames are degrading or there are significant leaks, it’s wiser to buy a new window in the long run.

How long does it take to repair a window?

Window repairs are often completed within one to three hours by a professional. However, replacing window frames or working on a huge window may necessitate additional time.

How can I save money on window repairs?

The cost of window repair is a fraction of the cost of replacing a window, but there are other ways to save money.

  • Fixing many windows at once can be done for a discounted rate. Having a professional on-site reduces each window’s repair cost significantly.
  • Any time a more cost-effective solution is available, consult with a specialist.
  • Window cleaning should be done on a regular basis. When possible, replace outdated windows with more energy-efficient models. In the long term, it’ll save you money and reduce your energy costs.
  • Never put off maintenance since the damage may worsen and become too expensive to correct.


For many homeowners, weatherstripping is an issue. Mold grows on the inside of the glass as a result of their activities. Rust can occur on metal covers as well.

Take a peek at the window sash to avoid water damage. Insulation, sash stops, window covers, and wood epoxy should all be placed appropriately.

Now that you know how to restore water-damaged window sash, you can do it yourself the next time it fails.