Garage Door Window Insert Replacement: DIY

Window inserts add a decorative covering to a garage door’s windowpanes. Garage door window inserts slip into the recess between the exterior sides of the door’s glass pane and the window frame. However, they are not immune to damage. Over time, sunlight and weather will cause the inserts to change color and warp. Dark-colored window inserts fade, while their white-colored counterparts turn yellow.

Usually, garage door window inserts come from the manufacturer in sets, with each insert panel having its own pattern. To keep the insert’s pattern uniform, you will have to replace the entire set of inserts at the same time, unless you’re going for an artier type of mismatched garage door window insert.

Replacing garage door window insert replacements is so easy, you’ll be glad you took a DIY approach. If you’re up to the challenge (and really, it’s not challenging at all), read the simple instructions below and go for it.

Level of danger: 1

DIY Level: 1

What you need:

  • Window cleaner (whatever brand you prefer)
  • Rag (non-scratch, do not use anything containing steel-wool)

Please be careful. Even though this job is easy, your safety is important. If you feel the panels are too heavy, get someone to help you.

Step 1: Grab a window insert near one corner with your hand and pull it away from the windowpane about 2-3 inches. If the window insert has a crossmember contained in its pattern, pull out the crossmember while removing the corner. Gently work the insert’s corner out of the window frame.

Step 2: Working from the loose corner across each side, pull the edge of the insert out of the garage door window. You can remove all the inserts using the same method.

Step 3: Using your rag and window cleaner, clean the exterior side of the windowpane. It is recommended that you spray the cleaner on the rag instead of directly onto the windowpane itself. It’ll be less streaky.

Step 4: Lay the new window inserts below the garage door windows and verify that the pattern matches the door, paying special attention to the pattern’s curvatures.

Step 5: Dampen the garage door windowpane with some of the window cleaner. Do not dry the glass pane because the window cleaner keeps them loose and you need that lubrication.

Step 6: Hold one corner of the window insert against its corner of the garage windowpane with the textured side of the insert facing away from the glass pane. Next, bend the window insert slightly and place each insert corner into its respective windowpane corner. This will cause the center of the insert to bow out, away from the glass pane.

Step 7: While applying pressure to the center of the garage door window insert, work the insert’s edge into the seam between the garage door’s windowpane and its window frame. Should the insert stick to the glass or window frame, dampen the insert with the window cleaner. Repeat this step for each insert.

Easy stuff, right? However, if you’re unsure about window inserts or have questions, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask a professional. If you’re in California, don’t be afraid to call Mesa at 1.800.893.1107 and we’ll send over one of our garage door technicians for a free estimate.


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