How to fix or replace a storm window

When it comes to protecting your home from the elements, storm windows play a crucial role. These windows provide an extra layer of insulation and protection against wind, rain, and cold temperatures. However, over time, storm windows can become damaged or worn out, compromising their effectiveness. In this article, we will guide you through the process of fixing or replacing a storm window, ensuring your home remains comfortable and well-protected.

replace a storm window

What is a storm window?

Before delving into the repair or replacement process, let’s understand what a storm window is. A storm window is an additional window installed on the exterior or interior of an existing window. It creates an insulating barrier, reducing heat loss and preventing drafts. Storm windows come in various types, including full-view, double-track, and triple-track, each offering different benefits and features.

Signs of a damaged storm window

To determine whether your storm window needs repair or replacement, it’s essential to identify the signs of damage. Look out for these common indications:

  • Cracked or broken glass
  • Worn-out or missing weatherstripping
  • Warped or damaged frame
  • Difficulty opening or closing the window
  • Drafts or air leakage
  • Moisture buildup between the windows

Identifying these signs early on will help you address the issue promptly and prevent further damage.

Assessing the repairability of a storm window

Once you’ve identified the signs of damage, it’s crucial to assess whether the storm window is repairable or if replacement is necessary. Minor issues like worn weatherstripping or small cracks can often be repaired, while severe damage or structural issues may require a complete replacement. Consider the extent of the damage and evaluate your options before proceeding.

Replacing a Storm Window

Tools and materials needed

Before replacing a storm window, gather the necessary tools and materials:

  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Caulking gun
  • Putty knife
  • Replacement storm window
  • Exterior caulk
  • Screws or nails
  • Weatherstripping

Having these items on hand will make the replacement process smoother and more efficient.

Removing the old storm window

To begin the replacement process, remove the old storm window. Start by removing any screws, nails, or fasteners securing the window in place. Use a screwdriver or a drill, depending on the type of fasteners used. Gently pry the window away from the frame using a putty knife or a thin flat-edged tool. Be cautious not to damage the window or the surrounding structure.

Measuring for a new storm window

Accurate measurements are essential when purchasing a new storm window. Measure the width, height, and depth of the window opening, both inside and outside the frame. Take multiple measurements to ensure accuracy, as even slight discrepancies can lead to ill-fitting windows.

Purchasing a new storm window

With the measurements in hand, visit a local home improvement store or contact a reputable window supplier to purchase a new storm window. Consider the window’s material, style, and energy efficiency ratings to make an informed decision. Opt for a window that fits your specific needs and complements your home’s aesthetics.

Installing the new storm window

Once you have the new storm window, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. Typically, this involves positioning the window within the frame and securing it using screws or nails. Ensure the window is centered, level, and securely fastened. Check for any gaps or misalignments and make adjustments as necessary.

Sealing and weatherproofing

To maximize the efficiency of your new storm window, apply a bead of exterior caulk around the window frame to seal any gaps or openings. Use a caulking gun for precise application. Additionally, replace worn-out weatherstripping to ensure a tight seal. Proper sealing and weatherproofing will prevent drafts and enhance energy efficiency.

Repairing a Storm Window

Assessing the extent of damage

If your storm window is repairable, start by assessing the extent of the damage. Thoroughly inspect the window for cracks, holes, or other issues. Determine whether it requires simple repairs or if specific components, such as the glass or weatherstripping, need replacement.

Repairing minor damages

For minor damages, such as small cracks or loose frames, you can often make repairs yourself. Use an appropriate adhesive or sealant to fix cracks, and tighten loose frames using screws or nails. Ensure the repairs are secure and allow sufficient time for any adhesives or sealants to cure.

Patching holes or cracks

Larger holes or cracks may require patching. Clean the damaged area thoroughly and apply an appropriate patching material, such as epoxy or putty. Smooth out the patch, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and allow it to cure completely. Once cured, sand and paint the patch to match the window’s finish.

Replacing broken glass

If your storm window has broken or cracked glass, replacement is necessary. Remove the damaged glass carefully, wearing protective gloves and eyewear. Take accurate measurements and order a replacement glass panel from a local glass supplier. Install the new glass panel using glazier’s points or a suitable adhesive, ensuring a secure fit.

Replacing worn-out weatherstripping

Weatherstripping plays a crucial role in maintaining a tight seal around the storm window. If the weatherstripping is worn or damaged, remove it and replace it with new weatherstripping. Ensure the new weatherstripping is of the appropriate type and size for your window. Proper weatherstripping will prevent air leakage and improve insulation.

Maintenance Tips for Storm Windows

To prolong the lifespan of your storm windows and keep them in optimal condition, consider the following maintenance tips:

  1. Regularly clean the glass and frames to remove dirt and debris.
  2. Inspect the weatherstripping and replace it if worn or damaged.
  3. Lubricate moving parts, such as hinges and tracks, to ensure smooth operation.
  4. Check for any signs of damage or wear and address them promptly.
  5. During extreme weather conditions, consider adding an extra layer of protection by installing storm window panels or covers.


Repairing or replacing a storm window is essential for maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can address storm window issues effectively. Remember to assess the damage, gather the necessary tools and materials, and proceed with caution. Whether you choose to repair or replace, ensure proper sealing and weatherproofing for optimal performance.


  1. Can I replace a storm window on my own? Yes, with the right tools and instructions, replacing a storm window can be a DIY project. However, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it’s best to consult a professional.
  2. How long does it take to replace a storm window? The time required to replace a storm window depends on various factors, such as the window’s size, complexity, and your familiarity with the process. On average, it can take a few hours to half a day.
  3. Can I repair a storm window instead of replacing it? Yes, minor damages like cracks or worn weatherstripping can often be repaired. Assess the extent of the damage and choose the most suitable repair method.
  4. What type of storm window should I choose? The type of storm window you choose depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Consider factors such as insulation properties, durability, and ease of maintenance.
  5. How do I maintain my storm windows? Regularly inspect your storm windows for any signs of damage or wear. Clean the windows, check the weatherstripping, and ensure proper sealing to maintain their efficiency.

Sharing Is Caring:

The Howtowise team has helped thousands of homemakers fix their household problems with step-by-step tutorials. Howtowise has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, Lifehacker, and more.