Should You Replace Your Windows? How to Tell

Windows take plenty of abuse throughout the year from freezing temperatures and heavy precipitation, but not every home needs window replacements when spring arrives. After reading this post, you will be able to determine if your windows need full replacement or just a few simple repairs.

How to Determine If Your Window Needs to Be Replaced

The first step in maintaining the beauty of your home’s windows is to check if they need simple routine maintenance or if they need to be completely replaced. The early thaw of spring is a great time to check them for signs of damage incurred over the winter.

Check the condition of the windows on all sides of the home. Wear tends to be uneven on certain sides of the home, especially on the outside, due to higher exposure to weather and sun.  If rot is found on the windows, you should consider replacing before it makes it way to the framing of the house.

Check the windows for performance. If they’re hard to open or close, or they’re letting drafts in, they may need to be re-caulked or weather stripped, but if the the gaps are large to to swelling or improper installation you may want to consider replacement.   If you’re seeing a lot of condensation in-between the panes, there is an issue with the window seals (seal failures) and they will most likely need to be replaced.

Examine how they look. Any deterioration or water stains around the window means that it needs to be replaced. Chipping paint and small areas of rot may only need to be removed, treated with epoxy, or repainted.

Consider the effort put into cleaning the windows. If you’re spending extra time cleaning the window and it’s not getting clean, the glass itself has degraded and the window should be replaced.

Consider the energy loss.  If you single pane windows with or without storm windows or have double pane windows but they do not have the newer energy upgrades such as Low E and Argon to prevent thermal transfer through the glass, you may want to consider replacement windows to increase the energy efficiency of the home.


How to Touch Up Windows That Don’t Need to Be Replaced

While replacing your windows can improve the look and energy efficiency of your home, it can sometimes be an unnecessary expense. If your windows aren’t in dire need of replacing, or you don’t have the money to do so, there are a few ways to touch them up and prolong their life or break up the expense.

Remove and replace old caulking around the window to cut down on moisture. You will need to scrape off the old caulk, and use a caulking gun to refill the space between the window trim and the house. Inside, simply caulk around the window trim.

Use a weather stripping kit to stop air leaks. It needs to be applied to a clean, dry surface.

If your windows are painted shut or sticking from buildup, you can use a sash saw or putty knife to cut the paint out. After removing the paint, you can sand out old build-up and putty.

Small areas of window rot can be patched with epoxy, but if the frame is rotted it will need to be replaced so as not to cause damage to the walls.

If replacement is the answer but the expense is just too much, break the project into phases and do a few at a time to work within your budget

For other questions or concerns, or if you need a window assessment, please be sure to contact us at Tri County Windows and Siding.

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