Vinyl Window Frame Repair Basics

Vinyl window frames are easily damaged.  The good news is that they are often easily fixed.  Let’s address the most common issues.

Warps:

Warps and bends usually occur when an object strikes the frame.  To straighten them out, all you need is a straight edge, like a ruler or a putty knife, and a hair dryer.  Vinyl has the property of “memory”, meaning that it wants to retain its original molded form.

Using your hair dryer on its highest setting, slowly warm the area at and around the warp.  This takes a little time and patience.  You must be sure to heat the area evenly and slowly.  Do not hold the dryer too close to the vinyl, as it possible to actually melt it causing sagging or even bubbling.  This is BAD.  The goal is just to soften the area. The distance from the vinyl and time required to soften it will vary with the intensity of heat source.  Take your time and keep the heat source moving.  It is always better to heat a larger area than needed. 

Once the area has become pliable, use your straight edge to coax it back into shape with one hand while maintaining heat with the other.  If you have to use any force, carefully apply more heat.  When you have the desired shape, stop heating the area and maintain the shape with the straight edge until the vinyl cools to rigidity.

Minor Scuffs and Scratches:

Minor damage can be easily repaired using acetone and a rag or paper towel.  Lightly soak the rag and carefully rub the affected area until the surface of the vinyl starts to melt.  Again, don’t be in too big a hurry, as you may melt it more than you wanted to.  Minor scuffs and stains usually disappear immediately, you should see the scratches begin to fill and blend back into the original appearance.

Chatter and Deeper Scratches:

For deeper scratches or chatter you can use sandpaper to even the surface.  Start with a grit of 100-150.  When the area appears even, move to 220, then 400, and continue with finer grades until you have the desired finish.  If you wish, you can melt the surface very smooth using the technique described above.   Spray enamel will bring the sheen back and cover stains, but test for color match on a small area first.  When dealing with any spray finish, mask thoroughly and take your time, using mist coats to avoid runs, sags, and bubbles.  Patience will pay off in the final finish!