Many people want to replace their windows, but when do you really need to replace them? Most people think that windows last forever, but the truth is that there comes a time when they must be removed. It should take about 10 years before you really need to change them, but here are a few things that you should check to see if it’s finally time.
Opening and Closing
New windows should be easy to open and close. Even a child should be able to move the windows with ease. At the same time, many people have windows that stick or they have to consistently lubricate the sides so that the windows will move. A little stickiness just means that they are getting old, but windows that are nearly impossible to move should be replaced.
This is often because the sides are getting warped, rusted and damaged from constant use. There may also be some dirt and dust clogging the track, but a good cleaning should remove the particles. If that doesn’t fix the problem, then it’s time to replace the windows.
The energy-efficient windows 10 years ago look like a joke compared to today’s windows. Manufacturers are always getting better at helping you reduce your energy consumption so that you can keep the money in your pocket. While you shouldn’t replace your windows just because the newer ones are slightly more efficient, you should see how your windows compare.
If there is a major difference, then you may want to get a replacement. You should also consider upgrading to a double-paned or triple-paned window to use even less energy.
Windows don’t just reduce energy consumption or allow light into the house. They are also used to seal the home against wind and water. The glass will obviously be wet after a storm, but there shouldn’t be any condensation. There are handful of reasons why condensation can form, but most of them are because the window isn’t properly sealed. If the seal is broken, then water might start leaking into the house, mold can grow inside of the window and the energy efficiency will dramatically diminish.
You can often fix this by just changing the glass, but it could be a good idea to replace the entire window.
Another common way to test for seal failure is to see if external noise is coming into your home. While a window can’t block all of the noise, it should significantly diminish it. If you can easily hear a soft conversation from across the street with the windows closed and locked, then there is probably a problem with the seal.
The light test will show you if and where the seal is broken. It’s best to do this during the night and you should have two people doing this. One person should stand outside while the other shines a flashlight around the window’s perimeter. If the one person sees the light shine through the border, then that means that the seal is broken.
This might seem like a crude test, but many professionals use it because it works well.
Repair or Replace
You can fix many of the problems above by repairing the windows, which is often cheaper than replacing them. At the same time, repairing them isn’t always going to work. If you have a minor problem with your seal or if you want the window to have more panes, then repairing or upgrading is usually a fine choice that can save you some money.
If the sides are severely worn, the glass feels weak or there’s a major problem with the seal, then it’s usually better to replace the windows. Not only will this completely remove any problems, but it can be cheaper than repairing the windows because less work has to be done.
There’s a major difference between wanting to change your windows and needing to. Old windows that have broken seals, damaged sides and lack energy efficiency should be changed as soon as possible. Failing to do so can cost you money and rain, noise and wind can get through the window, which will just be annoying.
George Dennis is president of King Shade and Window, a home improvement company that supplies replacement windows for the Boston area. They also help customers compare roller shade and replacement windows in Boston for all windows. Find the perfect replacement windows from KingShadeandWindow.com for your home.