Q. We have a 30-year-old house, and the windows and doors were an upper quality wood product at the time. Over the years we have added on and matched the new with the existing windows. We just finished the addition, so I am not ready to get into a major project right away, but we do plan on replacing all the existing windows/doors in the future. My problem is on a lower-level patio door that has a double slider in the middle. There is a missing chunk of the track that holds the door level. Is there a recommendation as to how I could fix it to get me a couple years until I am ready to do the rest? — Chris in Angola
A. Yes, often major brand doors and windows can have parts that break and can be replaced.
If your manufacturers are some of the common brands like Pella, Andersen, Marvin or several others they can have a service representative visit your home and look at exactly what parts are broken. These fixes can give extra years of life to an aging set of windows and doors.
Many times, weather seals, thresholds and crank operators that are malfunctioning can get repaired or replaced.
I remember several years ago there was a similar problem with a patio door and each time you went to close it, the operating panel would be closed. The roller would drop into a missing track section of the threshold and not close tight on the bottom, creating a gap to the outside. I had cut a small shim and secured it to the bottom of the end of the operational door unit. As you closed it, the shim would keep the door level so there was no gap at the bottom. This gave the manufacturer time to order a new threshold and get it fixed.
Many parts of doors and windows can be replaced like jamb liners of the windows, along with lock mechanisms.
Insulated glass panels that fog or lose their seal can also be replaced for continued use.
Jeff Deahl is past president of the Builders Association of Northeast Indiana. Questions for the Square Corners column may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.