Clera Windows + Doors Blog

Should you repair or replace your windows?

How do you know if the windows in your house are beyond repair and need to be replaced? Here are a few things to consider and a few tests you can do to help you answer that question:

Too much noise
Old windows made with single glass allow too much noise, and cold or hot temperatures from the outside, to enter your home. Those old noisy windows are energy-wasters and should be replaced with good quality replacement windows.

Cracked or broken window glass
If one of the panes of glass in your windows breaks for no apparent reason, it could be that moisture is getting into the glazing pocket and causing expansion and contraction and, as a result, breakage. Try to determine the cause of your broken glass and if it looks like it wasn’t caused by impact, it may be time to replace your windows.

Hot and cold spots on your windows
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 good quality vinyl windows

Excessive rotting of window frames and sashes
A little bit of paint peeling from your windows could be attributed to normal wear and tear from the elements. Rotting windows are another story altogether. It usually means that water has penetrated the window frame and sash materials and the only solution at that point is to replace the window with a vinyl replacement window.

Paint peeling off your windows
If the paint is peeling off of your windows, it could be symptomatic of moisture penetration, which means that the windows in your house could soon start to rot. Once paint has started to peel off your windows, bare wood will be exposed which will deteriorate quickly. If you don’t prime and paint them quickly, you’ll soon be replacing your windows.

Frost and ice buildup on your windows
If your windows aren’t providing adequate insulation, they could allow a very quick transition from hot to cold air, which can cause frost and/or ice buildup on your windows. Not only is this unsightly, but moisture on your windows will cause them to break down more quickly and could cause mould and mildew issues in your home. Good quality vinyl windows should help to alleviate the problem.

Here are a few simple tests that you can perform to determine if you should replace 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 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. Not only are sticky and hard-to-open windows dangerous (in case of a fire, for example) but they are usually a 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 probably be replaced with new vinyl windows.


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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