Should You Repair uPVC Window or Replace It? [2024 Guide]

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Did you know that office buildings in the UK lose up to 18% of their heating and cooling through inefficient windows? If your commercial property has ageing uPVC windows that are drafty, stuck, or not opening properly, that energy loss and discomfort add up fast.

You have an important decision to make: should you repair uPVC windows or replace them with new windows? While the lower upfront cost of repairs may seem appealing, replacing old windows often makes the most financial and operational sense for companies in the long run.

Join us as we explore when it’s right to either repair or replace your uPVC window.

When Does It Make Sense to Repair uPVC Windows?

In our guide describing how long windows last, we mentioned that the average lifespan of uPVC windows in the UK is 10–35 years. After a few decades of use and exposure to cold weather, it’s common for uPVC front windows and doors to show signs of ageing like discolouration, difficulty opening or closing, draftiness, and other minor issues. At this point, companies often face the question: should we make repairs to uPVC windows or replace them?

In some cases, it makes sense to repair; in other cases, replacing the entire window unit is the way to go.

5 Ways to Repair uPVC Windows

If your uPVC windows or doors are still structurally sound but need minor fixes, repairs can be a cost-effective and energy-efficient solution to extend their lifespan.

Some common window or door repairs for uPVC include:

  • Replacing damaged or broken hardware like hinges, handles, and locks: This can typically be done in a few hours by professionals offering commercial glazing refurbishment services and at a reasonable cost.
  • Re-sealing and weatherstripping windows to improve energy efficiency and reduce drafts: Applying new sealant and weatherstripping is a quick, inexpensive job that can significantly improve the performance of older uPVC windows. For example, this can help reduce heat loss through windows.
  • Reglazing windows by replacing cracked or broken glass panes: As long as the uPVC window frame is still in good shape, reglazing is a straightforward process that glazing professionals can complete in a day.
  • Light sanding and repainting faded or discoloured uPVC frames: A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to restore the appearance of uPVC windows and make them look like new.
  • Minor sill or frame repairs: Small cracks, dents, or holes in uPVC window sills and frames can often be repaired with epoxy, sealant, or reinforcement materials. More extensive damage may require sill or frame replacement.

For most companies, minor uPVC window repairs and refurbishments are typically the most budget-friendly option to gain additional years of service before full replacement becomes necessary. That said, when is the right time to replace a uPVC window? Continue reading for details.

4 Cases When You Should Replace uPVC Windows

If you observe chronic condensation, warping or cracking frames, difficulty in repair, or simply want to upgrade to better technology, consider installing new double-glazing or energy-efficient windows in your office building.

1. When condensation becomes chronic.

Condensation build-up between double-glazed panes indicates the seals have failed, compromising insulation. While simple fixes may provide temporary relief, chronic condensation requires professional glass replacement to remedy. New, high-performance windows, like triple-glazing, can not only eliminate condensation but also slash energy bills by up to 50% annually.

Tip: Check out our article on how to get rid of condensation between double-glazed windows.

2. When the frames warp, crack or fade.

uPVC window frames are durable but not indestructible. Exposure to weather over time can cause warping, cracking, or fading.

Warped or cracked frames mean your windows are no longer airtight or structurally sound. Fading frames are an eyesore and indicate UV damage that will continue to worsen.

In these cases, replacement is the best option for restoring appearance, improving energy efficiency, and preventing air leakage or structural issues.

3. When it’s difficult or impossible to repair.

Some types of damage to uPVC windows, like broken or fallen double-glazing units, badly warped or cracked frames, or water damage behind the frames, can be difficult or impossible to repair. Attempting DIY repairs may seem budget-friendly but often provides only a temporary solution. Professional glazing inspections and window replacement are recommended in these situations.

4. When opting for an improved technology.

New uPVC windows offer technological improvements for better performance. Modern triple- or double-glazed windows provide superior insulation and noise reduction. They are also more resistant to condensation build-up and UV damage.

If your current windows have started developing issues, contact a professional glazier to know if there are better alternatives that you can upgrade to. Replacing an entire window can significantly boost the comfort and energy efficiency of offices.

If your uPVC windows show signs of ageing or damage, a replacement window or door may be the most cost-effective option in the long run. But how do you determine the right window replacement or repair company? In the next section, we outline certain tips to guide your search.

Finding the Right uPVC Window Repair or Replacement Company

When it comes to finding the right uPVC window service, you want a team with experience handling projects of similar quality, scale and complexity. You should also ask the right questions and consider their licensing.

1. Look for specialisation and experience.

Seek out companies that specialise specifically in uPVC window or double glazing repairs, installation and replacement. They will have the proper training, tools, and experience to do the job right the first time.

Ask about their experience with commercial projects comparable to yours. Have they worked with other office buildings in your area or industry? Do they have a proven track record of success? These will help determine if they can handle yours.

For reference, you can check out our past works at GLRE, some of which include Heathrow Airport and Alexandra Palace.

2. Ask the right questions.

When meeting with contractors, ask questions about the specifics of your project. Discuss timelines, permits required, types of uPVC windows and hardware they recommend, and what’s included in their price (disposal of old windows, installation, finishing, etc.). They should give you a detailed plan for how they will approach the work. If they seem vague or uninformed, that’s likely a red flag.

3. Check credentials and licensing.

Make sure any company you consider is properly credentialed, licensed, and insured to carry out uPVC window replacement and repair services in commercial buildings. Ask for copies of certification, licences, membership and accreditations. Never take chances with “handymen” or unlicensed contractors.

Following these steps will help ensure you find a reputable company to get your uPVC windows back in working order. The time you invest upfront in finding the right team will save you money, headaches, and hassle down the road. Your building’s energy efficiency and comfort depend on high-performing windows, so this is not a decision to take lightly. In a nutshell, do your due diligence, and you’ll end up with results that stand the test of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you repair damaged uPVC windows?

Yes, minor damages to uPVC windows can often be repaired. Faulty window hinges, uPVC window frames, and window beading can be replaced, avoiding the need to replace the whole window unit. However, if the uPVC damage is major, a full window replacement may be necessary. Always consult a glazing professional for the best course of action.

How do you fix a dropped uPVC window?

Fixing dropped uPVC or sash windows involves carefully removing the glass, then closing the sash and aligning it with the frame. It’s a delicate task that may require professional assistance to ensure it’s done correctly and safely. Always consult a commercial glass refurbishment expert for such repairs.

Can you replace part of a uPVC window?

Yes, parts of a uPVC window, like the window beading, can be replaced if they’re damaged, avoiding the need for a complete window replacement. However, if there’s substantial damage to the uPVC, a full window replacement may be needed. Always seek professional advice in such cases.


The damage severity often determines when it’s right to repair uPVC windows or order a full replacement. To make the right decision, you need to weigh up your priorities — saving money in the short term versus increased energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs down the line.

If your organisation is cash-strapped at the moment but seeks to future-proof, repairing the existing frames and replacing just the sealed units could be a good compromise. However, if your windows are really on their last legs, replacement may be the most cost-effective option to avoid continued high repair and heating bills.

Contact the GLRE glazing team for assessment to determine whether to replace or repair your uPVC windows!

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