Have you checked your windows lately? Given their vital role in maintaining your home’s beauty, comfort, and energy efficiency, you need to make sure they are always in top form. A brief walk through your home might be in order. After all, age and extreme weather might have left them in bad shape, compromising your home’s look and feel as a result. Check their condition and identify potential issues. This way, you can promptly turn to reliable window company and get the necessary solutions. Here are five of the most common window problems and how you can deal with them:
Common Window Problems
- Damaged Framing Material. Maybe you’ve noticed the cracks and gaps along your window frames. You might even see evidence of rot on the sashes. These openings can make it easy for air to enter your home and for heating or cooling energy to leak out, affecting thermal stability. A marked increase in energy costs may be an end result. At the same time, this can lead to excessive indoor moisture, allowing for poor air quality. Have your window contractor take a close look at this problem. Depending on the extent of damage, they will either seal minor openings or replace the windows full-frame if they’re thoroughly rotten. This helps prevent significant energy loss.
- Broken Window Panes. This is among the most obvious indications of window damage. Cracks, chips, and scratches on the glass don’t just lead to air leakage — it’s also a safety issue. The fracture line can shift over time and create a raised, sharp edge. Don’t wait for the glass to shatter completely. Instead, have your window expert replace them as soon as possible.
A prompt replacement may be in order if your window has rotted frames.
- Difficulties in Operation. Your windows’ mechanical parts may also jam or stick, making them difficult to open and close. This is especially true for operable units, like double-hung, casement, and sliding windows. You can usually deal with this by adjusting the unit so it fits the opening better. Replacing rusted or damaged hardware will also help.
- Foggy Windows. This can mean a broken seal, which allows the insulating gas fill between the window panes to dissipate. Moist air and dirt then condense in the glass’ interior surface, resulting in a hazy film. Because the insulating gas has already leaked out, the windows’ ability to resist heat flow is also reduced, allowing for energy loss. Your window contractor will either replace the panel with a new one or choose to replace the entire unit to ensure a durable, airtight seal.
Condensation may occur when the insulating gas between the window panes oxidizes, reducing the unit’s level of energy efficiency.
- Leaking Windows. When it rains, your windows should be able to keep the water at bay. However, if you find water leaking through your windows, check if the seals around the units are still intact. With constant exposure to water, your windows might develop mold or rot. These can lead to structural problems over time, so make sure that the gap between your windows and the wall are properly caulked and sealed.
There are times, however, when fast fixes and repair just aren’t enough to deal with window damage. If your windows are showing extensive signs of wear and tear, the better and longer-lasting solution is window replacement by a trusted home improvement company. This project doesn’t just keep your home dry and damage-free, it also adds to its curb appeal and energy efficiency.
Countering Window Problems through Replacement
Newer windows feature more durable seals that keep water and moisture out. At the same time, they ensure that costly energy doesn’t escape your home. Add the fact that today’s replacement windows come in a wide selection of materials, styles, and customization options, helping you get the most of your investment. Here’s what to consider when choosing new units for your home.
Keep the windows’ build, quality, and energy efficiency in mind when making your selection.
- Durable and Efficient Framing Material. From wood and vinyl to aluminum and composite, window frames come in different materials. It pays to weigh each option’s pros and cons before making your choice. For instance, wood offers great insulating value but is prone to rot and moisture damage. Vinyl, while requiring little maintenance, expands and contracts when exposed to extreme thermal changes. Aluminum looks light and sleek but is not as energy-efficient as other options. Composite, on the other hand, can deliver some of the better features of vinyl and wood. It’s stronger, less prone to warping, and more weather tight.
- Advanced Glass Package. Don’t overlook window glass when it comes to choosing your new units. Make sure that it comes with Low-E (low-emissivity) coatings, which help reduce radiant heat transmission. This leads to more thermally comfortable spaces, minus the high energy bills. At the same time, this glass protects your home’s interior from damaging UV light. This means you can enjoy the considerable natural light while keeping your floor, furniture, or walls from fading.
Keep energy performance in mind when choosing your new windows. You can easily check if your replacement units meet energy performance ratings by looking for the blue-and-white ENERGY STAR label. Additionally, you can take a close look the at the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label included in the unit. It shows the window’s’ U-factor, which measures how well it conducts non-solar heat flow. Other factors to check include SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient), which rates how well your window blocks solar heat, and visible transmittance (VT), which measures the amount of visible light that streams inside your home.
Ensure that your window replacement goes on without a hitch by hiring a premier window company for the job.
Hiring a Trusted Window Company
Window replacement may be the best solution to units that have sustained irreparable damage, but you need to make sure you’re hiring the right contractor for the job. After all, this home improvement project can take a significant amount of your time and money. Choosing a reliable window company ensures that the installation adheres to safety and quality standards.
Start your search by getting local referrals from your friends and neighbors. This gets you a more accurate description of what your experience will be like and how a given company does business. Next, confirm that they have the necessary credentials, including business license, bonds, and insurance. This helps protect you from fly-by-night companies. Check their online presence, plus reviews and scores on Angie’s List for your greater ease of mind. Finally, make sure that the replacement windows they offer are of high quality and include solid warranties.
Checking your windows periodically for damage may help you head off further issues. However, it’s also important to know when a window replacement makes more sense. With this home improvement, keeping your home lovely, comfortable, and efficient is worry-free.
Jim Jones is President of Seamless Exterior, a family-owned windows company he started in 1997. He has since helped homeowners with their remodeling needs through superior workmanship and customer excellence. Today, Jim is proud that Seamless Exterior is the leading windows company in Waterloo, IA and surrounding areas, continuing to provide the high-quality home-grown installation services that the communities they serve have come to expect.