To repair or replace windows? It’s the question that we all ask about so many other things that we own. It’s broken, do we repair it, or just replace it? We ask this about just about everything from our cars to our toasters! Well, what about the windows in our homes? When is it truly best just to pull the old ones out and start over?
Deciding whether to repair or replace your windows really boils down to what is causing the problem with them. We have put together a few scenarios and what we would do in each situation to help decide the right time to repair or replace windows in your home.
If your window has defects in its appearance like chipped paint, dirty glass, or stubborn working hardware, then a quick and easy fix may be the answer.
Appearance Defects: Repair my windows
Sanding and repainting the exterior of your windows is a pretty straightforward job. Even if you aren’t into DIY projects there are lots of professional painters who will gladly come and do this for you. Just make sure that the paint isn’t damaged due to cracks, holes or voids in the actual frame of your windows. If there is this type of damage to the parts then just painting over them will not fix your real problem. All this type of damage needs to be repaired before re-painting.
Dirty Glass: Repair my windows
Dirty glass, again, is an easy fix. There are many kinds of retail window washing products to buy if you want to DIY. If not, contact a professional cleaning company to inquire if they ‘do windows’. Be sure to check and make sure that the ‘dirt’ or cloudiness that you see on your windows is truly on the exterior. If any of the cloudiness, dirt or moisture that you see is actually between the panes of glass then washing the outside of them will not solve your problem.
Condensation, dirt or cloudiness in your window is a sign that the seal that holds your actual window sash into the window frame has failed. This has allowed moisture and dirt to come between the panes of glass and has also made your window less energy efficient by allowing air to flow between the glass panes. You essentially now have the energy efficiency of a single pane of glass. This is not good. These windows definitely need to be replaced. Some window manufacturers may have a warranty to help you with this issue, but often this isn’t the case. The average window has a 10-15 year limited manufacturer’s warranty. It surely doesn’t hurt to contact them and ask.
Minor hardware problems: Repair my windows
If your windows are really hard to maneuver it could be the hardware. Check out your window hardware and see if there is a buildup of dirt, debris or grease. A good cleaning with the vacuum and a soft moist cloth with mild soap may do the trick. Some window hardware can actually be re-lubricated. Contact your window manufacturer for their specific instructions on hardware cleaning and maintenance.
Warped window frame: Replace my windows
If your hardware is not the problem and you are still having issues operating your windows it may be that they are warped. Originally, your windows should have been set square, level and flush in the rough opening of your wall. Over time your home can settle causing the rough opening to alter or your windows have changed in shape due to stress caused by weather, moisture or actual failure of the structural integrity of the window.
Windows not opening or locking correctly: Replace my windows
If your window hardware is not locking securely or opening easily this also poses a security risk. Windows are an entry and exit point in your house. This is one of the reasons that it is unsafe to paint a window shut or nail it shut. In case of emergency, you or a loved one may need to open these windows to exit your home. Or, if your locks aren’t working properly then the risk of an accidental fall is at hand. Either way, any of these would be a major tragedy. Having properly working windows is very important.
This should hopefully make it easier for you to choose whether to repair or replace windows in your home. Here at Window Nation, we pride ourselves in helping our clients know when the time is right to replace their windows. We will walk you through every step of the process. If you are considering replacing one or all of the windows in your home we are the right choice for you. Learn more about our replacement windows or simply contact us for more information.