How to Stop the Frustration of Rattling Windows

No one enjoys the sound of rattling windows in their own home. Whether it happens when a commercial truck drives by or during a strong windstorm, the result is  annoying sounds that become even more bothersome over time. 

The problem also allows warm air to escape in the winter and cool air to escape in the summer, leading to higher than necessary energy costs.

What many homeowners fail to realize is that frequent rattling windows is a sure sign that the frame or glass is loose and needs repair or replacement. This blog discusses some of the most common causes of rattling windows and what homeowners can do to fix them.

Fix Loose Glass with Caulking Material

Once homeowners determine that a pane of glass is loose, applying caulking to the frame helps to tighten it up and hold the glass in place better. Taking this step also makes the glass more airtight.

The simplest way to apply caulking is to use a putty knife to spread a small amount at a time between the glass and the window’s sash. Homeowners should be certain to fill all noticeable cracks with caulking material. If any of the caulking substance smears on the glass, they can remove it by soaking a rag in vinegar and wiping the glass with it.

Fix Wood Rot to Stop Windows from Rattling

The wood around a window can begin to rot from exposure to rainwater and other weather elements over the years. Homeowners will need to gather the following tools if they want to attempt to repair minor cases of less than 10 percent wood rot on their own:

  • Chisel
  • Coarse and fine sandpaper
  • Exterior wood paint
  • Painter’s tape
  • Putty knife
  • Quarter-inch drill bit
  • Small towel
  • Thin paintbrush
  • Wood hardener
  • Wood filler

The next step after gathering these materials is to use the chisel to dislodge warped or rotted wood until reaching wood that has not rotted. The towel will come in handy for wiping away debris created by this process. 

Next, drill small holes into the wood and apply wood hardener. The holes should be at least once inch apart from each other, and homeowners will need to apply a second coat after ensuring that the first coat has dried.

Homeowners should now use the putty knife to apply wood filler. Once it dries, they need to smoothen the wood’s surface with coarse sandpaper before switching to fine sandpaper. Painting the replaced wood is the last step.

How to Repair a Loose Window Sash

When a window sash rattles, the most likely cause is that the sash no longer fits properly on the track. It is normal for sashes to become out of alignment with window tracks after years of use and exposure to weather elements. 

However, homeowners should check first to make sure that rotting wood or other damaged window parts are not causing the problem. If not, fixing the problem is as simple as removing the loose sash and refitting it.

When Window Replacement is the Better Option

All windows wear out over time, so replacing a window or its frame with extensive damage is preferable to trying to repair it. Although homeowners will need to make a financial investment, they will enjoy improved energy efficiency and curb appeal as a result.


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