Replacement Parts for Old Double Glazed Windows

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Nick Dardalis

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What do you do if you have old double glazed windows and doors that are generally working well, but one or two of your windows need replacement parts?  What if your windows have been damaged through burglary or other reasons – are replacement parts for old double glazed windows available? Everything you need to know about old double glazed windows and whether you can get replacement parts.

old double glazed windows in a large detached house
Older double glazing such as patio doors can often cause problems when replacement parts are needed. What can you do?

Can aluminium windows be repaired?

It depends. The brand and system used on old double glazing, age of the windows, whether the same part or suitable replacements are available and even who made the windows and doors originally are all factors.

Knowing what old double glazed windows system is installed.

There are several reasons why finding replacement parts for old double glazing can be difficult.  By far the biggest reason is not knowing what system or make of window is installed. The larger window brands like Anglian or Everest are easy for most people to remember, but other windows made by all manner of manufacturers less easy to identify.

Unlike most consumer goods which have very clear branding on them, with double glazing this is virtually impossible.  This problem is made worse if you purchased the property with the windows installed and did not purchase them yourself.

A further issue is that windows and doors utilise many industry “stock parts” for example Hoppe Handles on Doors, Winkhaus Handles on Windows, Cotswold Architectural or Securistyle Friction Stays or Titon Trickle Vents.  Often these accessories will have some name or brand on them but this applies to the component itself, not the whole window.

So how can you find out what system has been installed?

The only way is really by a process of elimination.  Either you have to establish the window company that installed the windows and if they are still in business they should be able to tell you the system installed.

Most high street double glazing firms will shy away from such work so unless your local double glazing company is an absolute expert and has been trading for many years, they will be unlikely to help and probably reluctant to take on the repair work.

Another option is to employ the services of a window and door maintenance company to see whether they can help.  Window and Door maintenance companies that specialise in window repairs, glass replacement etc will over the years have seen most window systems.  Whilst not guaranteed they may be able to identify the system by looking at it.  Some window systems such as Monarch Aluminium Windows and Patio Doors are instantly recognisable by their profile design and types of handles fitted.

old double glazed windows being repaired in a house

Can window parts be replaced?

Window and door components can be split into two district categories – profiles and accessories.

With window profiles, if the window system has been superseded the following profiles no longer be available:

  • missing window beads (that hold the glass in place)
  • damaged window sections such as sashes or outer frames
  • damaged cill sections
  • missing cill end caps (often plastic but manufactured to suit the window cill)
  • Weather bars on aluminium doors
  • Plastic clip-in pieces often used on the perimeter of the outer frame or door leaf.
  • Flipper or bubble gaskets that seal windows and doors or woolpile.

For window accessories, the following are typical of being hard to replace and hard to source:

  • Window handle keys
  • Window handles
  • Broken Trickle Vents
  • Door handles and handle backplates
  • Failure or window or door multi point locking systems
  • Damaged door gasket particularly on older patio doors that are made around the glass and not beaded
  • Snap on screw cover caps for window handles

My windows are guaranteed for 10 years, why am I being told replacement parts are not available?

At the time you purchased your double glazed windows they were the current product and rightly guaranteed for 10 years.  What your double glazing company cannot control are changes in legislation and product enhancements carried out by the Systems Company that designed the window.

The Building Regulations applicable to windows and doors are constantly changing.  This means that windows need to be more thermally efficient.  For many window systems, meeting these regulations can mean a complete redesign of the system that can render your reasonably new windows “old”.

This is not the fault of the window manufacturer or installer but simply adapting the product to meet the changing needs of Building Regulations and other legislation.

Another reason can be a simply product update.  As car manufacturers will facelift models from time to time, and as any product is updated as part of the company keeping ahead in the market, so windows and doors are updated and redesigned.  Many systems companies will aim to keep some window profiles or hardware consistent to save money however if they don’t, this can be a reason why parts may be hard to find.

My powder coated aluminium windows are damaged. Can the powder coating be repaired?

Yes.  There are specialist on-site powder coating repair companies such as Eurosite Finishers that specialise in the recoating of powder-coated aluminium.

 If the damage is minor, simple touch up paint available from reputable powder coaters will suffice but the original RAL reference the windows were powder coated in will be required in order for the touch-up paint to match.

You must also consider that through lack of routine cleaning and ageing, some powder coated finishes will have discoloured so you may wish to consider having them professionally repaired on site.

Is it true that through lack of replacement parts I need new windows?

This will depend on the nature of the problem and who you seek to assist you with it.  It is often the case that for general window repairs people will often call their local double glazing firm first.  Many of these companies simply do not want to get involved with products installed by other people.  This is understandable if they are dealing with a product they’ve not fitted, have little experience with and will be obliged to guarantee in some way.

Our advice as mentioned is to seek the advice of a company that specialises in double glazing repairs and window or door maintenance. They are much more likely to have access to a wider source of replacement part supply.  They will also have seen a wider range of windows and doors making identification easier.

Other advice for old double glazed windows

If your old double glazed windows and doors have been discontinued and replacement profiles are needed, then it is regretfully quite likely that new profiles cannot be sourced and you will have to replace the window.

Also, it might be worth getting in touch with a local double glazing repair and maintenance company.  They are more likely to have come across all types of components, locks and handles and may be able to help.

If your window or door needs new locks, gaskets, handles or other accessories, there are specialist companies such as Duffells that many in the trade use to source replacement parts and such companies should be approached first.  They might be able to help you.

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