As your windows age, you’re likely to begin experiencing numerous window problems. Some of them are pretty easy to deal with, but most of the time, issues will require extensive repairs or maybe a complete replacement. By this time, you should know how important windows are to your home. They are your primary sources of light, keeping your spaces vibrant during daytime and are also a significant factor in improving overall ventilation and energy-efficiency in the home. With such huge responsibilities to fulfill, your windows need to stay in top condition all the time. To do that, it’s important that you’re aware of the threats they may face. To help you out, Here’s a look at six of the most common window problems you might encounter, along with tips on how to solve them.
DAMAGED WINDOWS: When a window is difficult to operate, it means that its edges may be worn-out or the frames have started to warp.
Difficulty in Operation
As windows are constantly exposed to the elements, their edges become worn out, producing more friction that makes using them more difficult. Overexposure to moisture can also lead to warping, which leads to misalignment that also makes opening or closing a window troublesome. Hard-to-operate windows are an inconvenience but you should also pay attention to them because they can also be hazardous in homes.
To free stuck windows, you can remove the sash and rub lubricant along its edges and that of the window. This will allow your windows to glide more smoothly. If this does not help, it means that your windows are badly warped and your best solution is to replace your units completely.
Drafts do not only bring discomfort to your family; they also indicate that your windows are wasting energy. Since outside air can get inside your home easily, it disrupts indoor temperature stability. As a result, your utility systems need to work harder to maintain your interior comfort, leading to increased energy consumption over time.
NEW AND ENERGY-EFFICIENT: While drafty windows can be repaired, replacing them completely with new, energy-efficient units is a surefire way to boost your insulating levels.
Some of the temporary fixes you can implement are to re-apply weatherstripping and seals or invest in window treatments. For a longer lasting solution, however, it’s best to replace your old units with new and energy-efficient ones. Most windows manufactured today come with insulated frames and low-emissivity glass that help boost their thermal performance. With these innovations, they can keep regulated air in while blocking out drafts from passing through their frames.
If you have casement windows, the crank that lets you operate your units may break or the hinges may fail. With double hung windows, the latch that locks glass panes in place when the window is shut may snap. The simplest way to solve these problems is to remove the existing hardware and install a new piece in its place. However, it might be tricky to find a replacement hardware that matches your window, especially if your units are quite old.
If you’re due for an upgrade anyway, consider installing new windows altogether. Aside from matching hardware, this will also let you enjoy advanced framing and glass technology that don’t only make windows function well but also look good. Don’t forget to take advantage of customization options so you can have a window that perfectly matches your home.
STOP CONDENSATION: Excess moisture brought by window condensation can cause numerous problems around the home, including discomfort and mold issues.
Like cold drafts, this problem can affect the comfort of everyone living in your home. Worse, excess moisture brought about by window condensation can cause damage to your furniture, ceilings, and other wooden materials in your interior. You may spot condensation on three window areas:
- Along the Corners of the Glass – This means that your home is suffering from poor ventilation or high moisture levels. If left unattended, this can lead to rotten wood sills and mold problems. You can reduce humidity levels by opening your windows most of the time or by installing vents around your home.
- On the Center of the Glass Facing Inside Your Home – Multi-pane windows come with gas fills, such as krypton and argon, that act as insulation boosters, stunting heat transfer. If you see condensation on the middle of the pane, this means that the insulating gas might be leaking. Your first step should be to call your local window contractor immediately for repairs. If the damage is too extensive to fix, your best option is a complete window replacement.
- Between the Glass Panes – When you see condensation in between your panes, this means that the seals around your windows are broken. You can have the seals replaced, but for a more comprehensive solution, contact a window expert for recommendations on durable windows with proper seals.
EXPERT CONSULTATION: Don’t just focus on low cost! To maximize your investment, be sure to get expert recommendations from the pros.
Damaged Window Screens
Window screens can be easily damaged by strong winds, rain, snow, and other elements. And when they are damaged, they don’t only stop performing as they should but they also run the risk of incurring damage to your windows as well. Have them replaced immediately so you can keep your windows protected from overexposure to weather and physical damage.
Now that you know some of the most common problems with windows, you should be proactive about what needs to be done. If you’ve been having a lot of issues, your best bet may be to replace your windows completely. Sure, you can re-insulate or repair damaged windows annually or as needed because doing so helps you save on costs, but the task is actually more expensive down the line. In many instances, homeowners find that replacing windows can require a significant investment upfront but the value they get in the long run makes it well worth it. If you see any of the signs above, don’t hesitate to call a reputable contractor in your area so they can provide you with window solutions right away.
Alex Esler is a marketing manager for Renewal by Andersen, the window replacement subsidiary of Andersen Corporation. Proud to be part of the local, family-owned offices in Southern New England, Greater Philadelphia and Colorado that make up the largest replacement window company in a network of 100 Renewal by Andersen Dealers, she shares what she knows through the company blog. Check it out to get updates from Alex!