Repair your windows before you need to replace them.
Windows are, without a doubt, one of the most important features in any home. They are both aesthetically pleasing and functional…or not. Decaying windows are a major problem for homeowners for several reasons. They’re ugly; peeling paint and rotted out frames look neglected and haggard. They’re drafty; leaking air will leave you feeling too cold or too hot. They’re expensive; paying for air leaks through your utility bill is a waste of money, and can cause water damage as well. Hopefully, knowing the signs of window decay can help you jump on a quick and easy window repair before replacement is necessary.
Image via houselogic.com
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF WINDOW DECAY?
Because windows are one of your home’s basic needs, you probably want to know what window decay looks like. If you notice any of these warning signs, you should call a professional:
Window doesn’t operate correctly
An obvious sign of window decay is that it just doesn’t work. This can mean any of the following: You can’t open your window for any reason (jammed or painted shut), you can’t keep your window open, or you can’t lock or unlock your window.
Frame shows signs of rot
Wooden window frames are particularly vulnerable to water damage, which can lead to rot. Check to see if your window frame is soft by pressing a flathead screwdriver into the frame. If it easily leaves an indentation, your frame is rotting.
Exterior paint is peeling from frame
Paint condition on and around wooden frames is another sign of water damage. Mold might be imminent if you notice paint chipping, cracking, or peeling on or around your window frame.
Trapped condensation between panes
Condensation on the inside of your window during the winter or on the outside during the summer is not a problem at all; however, if you notice condensation between the glass in your window, you have a problem with your window’s seal.
Although you might feel alarmed if you find that your windows are showing the warning signs of decay, don’t be dismayed. Being an observant and knowledgeable homeowner will save you tons of money in the long run. Window decay can often be repaired if it’s caught quickly.
REPAIR OR REPLACE?
So you’ve noticed that your window has an issue. That does not always mean that your window needs to be replaced entirely. In fact, more often than not, your window can be repaired for a fraction of the cost of a replacement window. Additionally, if you home has vintage charm and original windows, replacing those windows can actually lower the value of your home. Clever salesmen will tell you that any little problem will need a replacement window–don’t believe them. Always lean towards repair before you jump into purchasing replacement windows.
Window frames with a small amount of wood rot should simply be repaired–you can use epoxy to patch rotten spots. But, If you happen to have a lot of wood rot (for example, 75% of your window frame is rotten), you should replace your windows.
If you have relatively inexpensive vinyl windows, just go ahead and replace the window. It’ll be cheaper than purchasing a replacement pane and paying for installation. However, if you have custom or original windows, then pay the extra to repair.
If your seal is broken (you notice condensation between panes), repair. A replacement sash, as opposed to a replacement window, is your best option.
Windows that “just don’t work”:
Most of the time a faulty window can be repaired. A decent handyman should be able to repair a window that isn’t functioning up to par.
At LeafGuard® of Oklahoma, we wish that your windows could be maintenance-free, like our clog-free gutters, but, sadly, that’s just not the case. Keep an eye out for warning signs of window decay, and act fast! Although not every problem can be repaired, we hope that untimely replacement windows are not in your future.