Clera Windows + Doors Blog

Should I Repair or Replace My Windows?

The primary functions of your home’s windows is to protect you from the elements, provide natural lightning, and enable sufficient ventilation as needed. 

When the functionality of your windows begins to deteriorate, you’ll notice that they get foggy, cold, leaky, and don’t fulfill their general duties. If this happens, you may ask the question: Should I repair or replace my windows? 

With the rise of the green movement, an increasing amount of homeowners want to reduce their environmental footprint as much as possible. With this in mind, people are looking to reuse their items more and more as opposed to replacing them entirely. The question of whether to replace or repair becomes more difficult to answer when ethics and municipal restrictions regarding waste management come into play. 

So, how do you determine whether your windows are still repairable or if they need to be replaced? Here are a few things to consider and a few tests you can carry out to help you answer that question. 

A close-up of a bay window being replaced entirely

Telltale Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Windows

Too Much Noise

Old windows made with single-pane glass allow too much outside noise to enter your home. Those old windows may have been helpful to a certain extent, but the truth is that they are energy-wasters and should be replaced with high-quality windows that keep the noise and the drafts where they belong. 

Cracked or Broken Glass

If the window glass is cracked or broken, safety and visual appearance will play a role in whether or not you opt to replace the window. While single-pane windows can often be replaced effectively and inexpensively by a homeowner or a glazier, it may be a different story if you have multi-paned glass. 

In case your home has a multi-paned window that is cracked or broken, you can look into getting a sash replacement. However, if this has been a pressing issue for a long period of time, it may be a good idea to replace the window in its entirety.

Hot and Cold Spots (H3) 

On very hot and/or very cold days, check to see if you can feel hot or cold spots on the inside of your windows. If you can, chances are that the windows in your house are not providing adequate insulation and should be replaced with vinyl windows of better quality

Rotting of Window Frames and Sashes

If you have just a small amount of paint peeling on your windows, you can normally attribute this to everyday wear and tear caused by the elements. 

On the other hand, windows that are rotting are a whole different story. More often than not, this means that water has infiltrated through the window frame and sash material. When this happens, your only solution will usually be to replace the entire window with a more reliable, energy-efficient one.  

Substandard Exterior Casing

Exterior casing that is rotting, missing, loose, or cracked tends to be an eyesore and can also lead to window damage. However, damaged exterior casing alone does not immediately equate to window replacement. 

If caught in the early stages, you can nip it in the bud by priming the wood exterior.

Condensation on a window

Ice and Frost Build-up

If you notice ice and frost build-up on your windows, it can signal poor window insulation. This happens when the windows allow a quick transition between the hot and cold air, leading to ice and frost buildup.  

Aside from being visually unappealing, moisture collection on your windows can also trigger more damaging deterioration in the future. Consequently, it could potentially lead to mould and mildew issues in your home. To prevent this from happening, look for gaps or cracks on your window frames that might need repairs. If that doesn’t help, it’s best to upgrade to well-insulated windows to prevent more damage to your home. 

How to Test If Your Windows Need to Be Repaired or Replaced

Sometimes, the window issue isn’t always visible to the naked eye. In those cases, here are a few simple tests that you can perform to determine if you should replace or simply repair your windows: 

The Flickering Flame Test

Slowly move a lit match, candle, or lighter around the perimeter of the window, where the sashes meet the window frame. If you see excessive flickering, you have too much air leakage. 

Have You Seen the Light?

Stand outside of the window and point a flashlight around the perimeter of the window, where the sashes meet the window frame. If someone standing on the inside can see the light bleeding through the window, this signals too much energy loss through your windows. 

Check Window Operation

The windows in your home should open and close smoothly. Sticky and hard-to-open windows are fire hazards and also a clear sign of deterioration. Once a window in your home starts to deteriorate to the point that it can’t be opened properly, it has become an energy-waster and should be replaced with new vinyl windows

Top-Quality Windows You Can Count On

That wraps our guide on answering the question, “Should I repair or replace my windows?” 

If you find yourself facing any of these issues, it may be a good idea to replace your windows entirely rather than struggling to fix a window that is damaged beyond repair. 

At Clera Windows + Doors, we specialize in producing and installing premium windows with quality that you can trust. Windows need to be reliable, and ours are in it for the long haul. 

Reach out to get a quote for top-quality windows today!


1 Comment

  • Avatar for Sarah Avery Sarah Avery says:

    This is great advice! I had heard about using the “flickering flame” test, but I had never considered shining a light through it. Flickering flames only work if there is some wind I think, but shining the light through is a sure thing. After realizing how much heat and air was being lost through the cracks in my windows I knew it was time for some replacements! Now, I am enjoying my new windows and no longer have to wonder about how much money I’m wasting. Replacement windows make a huge difference for sure.

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