Window Repair vs. Window Replacement
There is nothing more uncomfortable during a harsh winter or unbearable summer than having windows that can’t open or that are so cracked, damaged and poorly sealed that they let the outside air into your home. Windows that are inefficient mean extra energy burned, money wasted and overall less comfort in your home.
The question that most homeowners have when faced with windows that are in need of help is if window repair or window replacement is the way to go. Purchasing brand new windows can be a costly investment but repairs might bring more problems down the road that can lead to more repair work. So how do you know if it’s time to replace or repair?
The answer depends on the issue you’re experiencing. Read on to find out when you should replace and when you should repair your windows.
When It’s Time to Replace Your Windows
Knowing when it’s time to replace your windows isn’t always going to be obvious. However, there are a few things to look out for that may signify it’s time for your old windows to go and new ones to take their place.
Are Your Windows Difficult to Use?
General rule of thumb is if your windows are not operating smoothly, this is a sign that they are passed their prime and need to go. If you are struggling to open and close your windows or they have a hard time staying open on their own, it’s time to replace.
Windows that don’t operate how they should are risky to keep around as they can pose serious danger in case of a fire or emergency. This should be enough of a reason to replace old, non-functioning windows in and of itself.
Aside from the annoyance and safety risks inoperable windows bring, they also play a part in how much energy you use. If your window is not functioning properly, you can also be sure that it is not keeping the elements out of your home properly. As a result, you find yourself cranking the AC in the summer and jacking up the heat in the winter. This results in a higher energy bill for you at the end of each month.
The solution is simple for this: replace your windows. Any upgraded window replacement will make a huge difference in your home. These new windows will be operable which will bring you energy savings and no longer pose a risk to you and your family.
Are You Still Using Storm Windows?
Storm windows can be beneficial when looking to save some extra money on your energy bills. They are windows typically placed outside of a normal window to add protection and insulation against bad weather. Some storm windows can be installed on the inside of your windows, as well.
While storm windows sound like they are a great addition to your home, their use may imply that there still is a problem with your normal windows. Using storm windows over your regular windows can mean your windows are not efficient enough to protect your home from the elements and that they don’t provide enough insulation on their own.
As a result, you’re still paying more in energy bills than you should be and you have the added frustration of removing and reinstalling storm windows each time the season changes. That is an added headache you don’t need.
In order to stop using storm windows, you will need efficient enough windows that will block all the unwanted outside elements from entering your home on their own. Luckily enough, any replacement window on the market today will be able to help with this, regardless if you choose to add extra features to it or not.
Are Your Windows Single Paned?
Single paned windows are windows that consist of only a single pane of glass and most older homes come with these types of windows. Since glass is a good conductor of heat, when there is a difference between the temperature inside and outside of your home, the transfer of heat takes place through it.
As a result, when heating your home in the winter, there can be a large amount of heat loss through the single pane glass. On the flip side, when cooling your home during hot summer months, the same can happen. The outside heat can affect the cool indoors.
Single paned windows can make the insulation of your home difficult. Since insulating your home is more difficult, you are using excess energy to heat and cool it when applicable. This makes your heating and cooling bills higher than average.
Double or triple paned replacement windows are the solution to inefficient single paned windows. You’ll automatically notice a difference in how your new windows keep your heat in your home when it’s cold out and vice versa during the hot months. As a result of better insulation, you will be saving on your energy bill and your home will be more comfortable all year round.
Do You Have Faded Furniture?
Another way for you to tell it’s time for your old windows to go is if you notice your furniture, rugs and/or carpeting start to fade in color. When this happens, it means your windows are not doing their job of keeping harmful UV rays out of your home.
These household objects, especially when made of organic materials, are very vulnerable when exposed to sunlight. Changing your old windows out and replacing them with new ones can reduce fading and extend the life of your furniture.
There are additional features that you can look for in your replacement windows to prevent harmful UV rays from entering your home. Low-E glazed glass does a great job at this without compromising how much natural light comes in.
Low-E is a thin, transparent coating which is applied to the window glass to reflect UV rays and heat. Not only will it prevent your furniture from fading, but it prevents heat from entering your home when you don’t want it to.
Are Your Windows Falling Apart?
The most obvious sign that you need to replace your windows is if they are rotting and falling apart right before your eyes. Not only is this dangerous and should be taken care of right away, but it is also a huge eye sore and can make the inside and outside of your home look unappealing.
If your windows are falling apart, it’s easy to see how much of an affect that will have on your home’s energy use. Since these windows provide little to no insulation, you will have to use more energy to heat and cool your home. As a result, your energy bills will be through the roof.
Replace any windows that are rotting and falling apart immediately. There are windows available on the market that are long lasting and almost maintenance free.
A popular choice among homeowners are windows that are made out of vinyl since they cannot rot and can last a long time. Replacing your windows with windows made out of materials like vinyl will save you the headache of having to deal with rotted wood and windows that come apart. As an added benefit, you will be saving on your energy bills.
When It’s Time to Repair Your Windows
It’s important to know that window replacement may not always be the way to go. There are times when doing repair work to your windows will be just as effective. Not only will you have properly working windows again, but you will save money going with repair over replacement.
Do You Have Any Cracked or Broken Window Glass?
If the panes of your window are cracked or broken, there is no need to replace the full window. Full window replacement entails removing the entire window, frame and all, and replacing it with a brand new one. When you have an issue that involves just the glass, such as scratches and cracks on it, you have the option of replacing just the glass itself.
It’s also important to mention that if you have double or triple paned windows and only one pane is broken, you can replace that specific piece of glass. It is not necessary to replace all of the panes if they are in tact.
If the rest of your window is in good condition, the most affordable and efficient option would be to replace only the damaged glass. There are many glass replacement companies out there that can assist you with this project.
Are All Window Parts Working Correctly?
Have you noticed that the crank on your casement window won’t crank anymore? Or that the lock on one of your windows won’t work? Not only is it dangerous to have a window that cannot open or lock, but they are a pain to deal with on a daily basis.
The solution here isn’t necessarily to replace the entire window, but to replace the part that is affected itself. This will be the cheapest option.
There are two ways to go about getting parts of your window repaired. You can either choose to do it on your own or have a professional come in and do the repair work.
There will be a higher cost associated with getting someone to do the work for you. However, this ensures the work will be correctly and professionally done. If the part repair is simple and you want to save a couple of bucks, replacing the part on your own is the best option for you.
Is the Caulking or Weather Stripping Falling Apart?
When the caulking and weather stripping starts to come off of your window, it will affect the energy efficiency that it provides. Your house will be harder to heat in the winter and harder to cool in the summer.
Not only that, but peeling caulking and weather stripping is not very appealing to look at. Any caulk or weather stripping that’s coming off will automatically make your window look in worse shape that it actually is.
Since you might think the window is in bad shape, it might be tempting to replace the whole thing. The solution is just to replace the caulk and weather stripping that’s falling apart.
The best option for caulking that’s falling apart is to replace it yourself. It’s affordable and a relatively easy process to get through. The results will look professionally done and it will make your entire window look better overall. You can learn more about how to caulk a window yourself here.
Do Your Windows Have Fog in Between the Panes?
Have your windows ever developed a fog on the glass and wiping the inside and outside pane doesn’t seem to get rid of it? The reason it doesn’t go away is because the cloudiness has actually developed between the panes of glass, not on it. This is what happens when your window experiences seal failure.
There are many reasons why your window might experience seal failure. The seal could have broken down over time due to being exposed to a lot of water, heat or just overall wear and tear over the years.
For the most part, double and triple pane windows do a great job at combating heat, cold, rain, wind and what have you. However, despite at how good these windows are at their job, there’s a good chance that at least one pane in your house full of windows will experience seal failure. This is especially common in more unpredictable climates.
Your first instinct might be to replace the whole window, but that is not necessary. You don’t have to take on an expensive window replacement project to get this fixed. It is recommended to hire a specialist who can replace the affected pane and seal the window back up so it doesn’t experience the failure again. It’s a low cost option that will get the job done.
Window Replacement or Window Repair: Which One Wins?
So do you replace your windows or simply just repair them? After reading the article, the answer may be clear for you depending on what issues your window is experiencing or it still may not be.
New windows are tempting because they offer so many benefits. You’ll get a much smoother operation, lower maintenance, energy savings, fewer drafts and easier cleaning with brand new windows. The downside is that they can be expensive and are a major investment.
With window repair, you are able to take care of the problems your windows are having while saving money at the same time. The issue with window repair is that older windows in need of repair will always require maintenance. Repair work may be continual as your window ages more and more, which can end up costly as well.
At the end of the day, you will have to decide what the best option for you and your windows is. Hopefully this information will help make that decision easier to come to.