Time to Repair or Replace Your Windows?
Stephanie Clark 11/21/2016
As a homeowner, you may have asked yourself “how do I know when to repair or replace my home’s windows?” Well, take the first step and review the list below for tips on determining if your windows need a repair or replacement.
Top Signs to Repair or Replace Home Windows:
- You could easily repair many issues with your windows, such as replacing weather-stripping or missing hardware.
- Replace your windows if the visible damage is a sagging casement, or the frame has damage, warping or shows rot or decay.
- Even the best windows can allow some air to infiltrate your home, but it should never be something you feel or notice.
- Drafts could mean the frame has warped from exposure to moisture and cause the window to be tight in some areas or have gaps in others.
- It is possible to update the weather stripping, but this is rarely a permanent fix.
Ease of Operation
- Older double hung or single hung windows can become out of balance and can cause them to fall when open or being difficult to open or close. This is a major safety issue and a sign to replace your windows.
- Wood or metal windows can experience issues if they have not been properly painted or maintained too.
Condensation or Fog
- Condensation or fog inside the glass is a sure sign that the window needs replacing.
- The condensation and fog can indicate seal failure and that moisture is able to enter the space between the panes. The insulated glass is no longer a barrier to cold air.
- You cannot fix fogged double-pane glass.
High Energy Bills
- There are a number of possibilities to high-energy bills, which include inefficient windows.
- Drafty windows could cause you 10-25% higher energy bills, according to energy.gov. New windows offer energy-efficient options best for your climate and effective at retaining heat and air conditioning.
- Replacing your windows could be a cost effective way to improve energy efficiency by lowering your heating, cooling and even lighting costs.
- Look for Energy Star® labels set by the Department of Energy when you replace.
- Windows are a prominent feature of a home and if they appear worn, your home will too.
- You can repair screens and paint some frames is the color has faded.
- However, if the frame has warped, it might be time to replace.
- You may want to update the style of your home with new windows.
Amount of Maintenance
- If you want to lower the amount of maintenance you have to work to keep your windows operating, then you may want to consider new windows.
- New windows will reduce or eliminate maintenance such as painting, easier cleaning, caulking and weather stripping.
- You may not be able to find replacement hardware for repairs and hopefully your window manufacturer can help find parts if they are available.
- If your windows do not open properly, it is a safety hazard that you want to fix or replace right away.
Options for Replacement
Wood Wood/Clad or vinyl inserts
- Wood Wood/Clad or vinyl window inserts cost about the same as a complete new window, but are easy to install because you leave the old frame and trim intact.
- This option removes the old sash and then slip a new window insert into the old frame. You will get the benefit of high-efficiency glass, weather tightness and maintenance-free exterior with minimal impact on the appearance of your home.
- This works well with double-hung windows and sometimes for casements and sliding windows.
- The old frame must be rot-free and reasonable square. You will still need to maintain the old wood frame and trim.
- Complete remove the old window and frame to replace with a new window. Casement and slider windows typically require this option. However, there are some casement options that allow for an insert. It will be a little more difficult because you will need to make the new windows weathertight and replace the trim.
- The plus side is that the new window will be low-maintenance and you can reframe the opening and even change the window size. Challenges will be exterior brick, stucco or siding that butt right up against the window frame.
- Depending on the level of rot or need in replacing windows, we suggest replacing them all at the same time. If your budget does not allow, then replace all the windows on one side of your house at the same time. They will blend better for aesthetics.
Features to Consider for Replacement Windows:
- Replacement windows should be made of quality materials to last for many years to come. Depending on the style that you want, you have several options in material. We suggest all wood, wood / clad (aluminum covered wood), wood / Ultrex (fiberglass) or all Ultrex fiberglass.
- Most of the new materials are maintenance free.
- Your homes’ windows reflect its style from Contemporary to Traditional as well the type of opening from double hung to sliding or glider to casement. You will want windows that fit the exterior as well as the interior feel and colors.
- Does the hardware blend with your existing hardware? Are the cranks or locking devices solid? Will they withstand heavy use?
- Can you add divided lites?
- Try out how the new windows work. Do they open and close smoothly?
- If you like clean windows, can you easily reach both the interior and exterior glass? Test them in the showroom.
- Energy-efficient double-pane glass is standard in today’s window market. However, features worth paying a little extra for include low-E coatings and argon glass between the panes to assist with energy efficiency.
- Replacing windows with energy-efficient ones can help reduce your utility bills, but the benefits go much further. Choosing energy-efficient windows makes your home more comfortable, as their performance determines how much heat comes in and escapes out through the windows.
- What is the policy if something does break or wear out? Can you replace the weather-stripping when it wears out?
- Compare the warranties for parts and finishes. Most reputable companies offer a 20-year warranty.
At Southern Supply, we know windows and our team has the knowledge you need when it comes time to repair or replace your home’s windows. We will take the time to listen to your window problems and offer suggestions based on the industry’s latest trends and options. Think of us as your supply partner for your home build or remodel who will provide the best solutions for your building needs.
New windows today can offer so many options for your home that older windows simply cannot compare. From styles to operation and glass to material options, replacing your home’s windows could improve your home’s value and energy efficiency.
Talk to Southern Supply, your Partner for Building Solutions to get started at 417-866-3551 or stop by our newly remodel building materials showroom at the NW corner or Highway 65 and Division in Springfield, Mo. Check out our Inspiration Gallery at www.southernsupply.com to pick out your favorites.