Condensation on your glass and sticking windows are easily discernible signs of window problems, but they could also be pointing you towards more serious underlying issues. Be alert for these signs and learn what they could mean for your home.
Windows That Stick
When your casement, double-hung, or sliding windows won’t open and shut as smoothly as they should, then that’s certainly a problem.
What it means for your window: Debris could have built up on the window’s track, or the parts that facilitate movement may need lubrication or replacement. The operator handle on casement windows can likewise wear out; it requires maintenance and replacement from time to time. For the debris, make sure to clean the moving parts of your window and along the track as well.. Be careful when using lubricants. Dry lubricant can be used to avoid affecting the weatherstripping or damaging the frame, but it’s best you consult your contractor or your product maintenance guide on the appropriate thing to do.
What it means for your home: If the windows in your home are beginning to stick more often, it could be a sign of a problem with your home’s foundation. Houses settle over time, causing eventual misalignment of your windows. Other telltale signs are stuck doors or cracks on your walls. If you’re seeing all these, it might be time to have an expert come in to professionally assess the situation.
Water Is Leaking Around the Window
Is water getting in through your windows? During heavy rains, water can build up in your window track without draining out. When moisture settles in, it can cause mold, mildew, and the peeling off of paint around your window.
What it means for your window: First, your window might not be able to close properly. Make sure to remove anything that could be blocking the window and make sure that the locks are in good condition. Second, the weatherstripping might be worn out or coming loose around the window sash. This is also a common cause of draftiness in the home. Look out for stripping that is either peeling off or missing in places. If you see any of these signs, make sure to contact your window contractor to have the necessary parts replaced.
What it means for your home: If water is still getting into your home even when your window is shut tight, the leak could be coming from somewhere else. It could be coming from penetrations in the roof or siding, dripping down the wall and entering around your window.
Condensation Forming On Your Windows
The moisture that forms on your window can block your view, drip onto your floor, or even cause your windows to frost over. Moisture can also cause your window sills to rot if left unattended. While exterior condensation is a natural occurrence of dew from the outside, interior condensation on your windows indicates other issues.
What it means for your window: If you see condensation forming between the panes of glass, look for signs of deterioration on the seals of your double-pane window. The moisture that would otherwise have been kept out is instead let in and gets trapped, creating the droplets that form on the glass, and making it foggy. Make sure to have the panes replaced by a professional.
What it means for your home: When condensation on your windows is accompanied by sweating pipes, staining or discoloration of interior surfaces, cracking or peeling interior paint, and a “damp” feeling inside your home, your problem might lie in excess humidity. Newer homes tend to have this problem because they are built to be more tightly insulated; moisture tends to stay inside without adequate ventilation.
The condensation could be a sign of the home’s high moisture level – in this case, don’t blame your windows, use them. Windows that optimize ventilation and air flow can help reduce moisture levels. Opening a single window for about 15 minutes a day to exchange indoor air with drier outside air can help balance the humidity in your home.
Understanding the problems with your windows can help to prevent damage not only with your window assembly but also with your home. Make sure to keep an eye out for early signs of potential issues. Your windows could indeed be telling you more than you think.
Charlie Gindele is the owner of Renewal by Andersen of Orange County. His over 45 years of experience in the window replacement industry has propelled him to become one of the most trusted people in his niche. This recognition has also led him teach budding contractors across North America about the essentials covering various industries and topics. He frequently shares his thoughts through his blog.