When the functionality of your windows begin to deteriorate, you’ll notice that they get foggy, cold, leaky, and don’t fulfill their general duties. When this happens, you may question whether or not you should repair the window or replace it in its entirety.
In the past, broken windows were repaired. Then came a trend to remove, throw out, and replace windows entirely, especially wooden frame windows, with newer vinyl, wood, metal, or fibreglass models. This trend was pushed due to large technological advances in the manufacturing techniques of modern day vinyl and fibreglass framed windows, which resulted in lower end prices for the consumer. When this happened, homeowners were beginning to question why they were repairing their windows that were not functional or effective at all to begin with.
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 it entirely. The question of whether to replace or repair becomes more difficult when ethics and municipal restrictions regarding waste management come into play, so at which point can you decide whether you want to replace or repair your windows?
Here are a few issues related to poorly functioning windows before you can decide which option would work best for you.
When you detect water by the area around the window, it is usually coming from the surroundings of the window as opposed to through the window. It may be wise to first check on your gutters and drainpipes, as poorly functioning pipes can force water towards windows. Although window seals are made to hold water back, the water that flows through your drains are strong and the seals are not equipped to handle this. Try re-routing your drainage system to see if it makes an impact.
Substantial water infiltration around the window may indicate issues related to your exterior window casing. This is less of a window issue and more of an issue related to the exterior of your home as a whole. If water does prove to be coming through the window, it is recommended to replace the window entirely.
If your windows are foggy, it means that you are experiencing water condensation inside your window’s double or triple-paned insulated glass unit. Modern windows have insulated glass units already built into them, unlike multi-paned windows of the past, which set the glass in place with the help of a glazier. Insulated glass units are permanently sealed and it is nearly impossible for a homeowner or even an experienced window technician to disassemble one. The only option in this scenario is to remove the window entirely to have it replaced.
Homeowners who are experiencing fogginess within their insulated glass unit usually replace the entire window unit on its own, including its frame. Another option may be to replace the sash only, although not every homeowner may have this option.
Broken or Cracked Glass
When the window glass is cracked or broken, safety, as well as 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.
If you have 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.
Too Much Noise
Older, single-pane windows from the past will usually allow too much noise, or hot and cold temperature from outside, infiltrate into your home. Old windows that make too much noise should be replaced with high-quality replacement windows that are energy efficient, which will allow you to save on your heating bills as well.
Rotting of Window Frames and Sashes
If you have just a small amount of paint peeling from your windows, you can normally attribute this to day to day wear and tear from the elements. Windows that are rotting could be a whole other story. This means that water has infiltrated through the window frame and sash material, and when this happens, your only solution will usually be to replace the window in its entirety with high-quality, energy efficient windows.
Something to look out for when maintaining your home is to check for paint peeling from your windows. This can be a sign of moisture penetration from the outside elements, which could mean that the windows in your home can begin to rot. Once the paint has started to peel off your windows, the exposed bare wood will deteriorate quickly when exposed to the elements. If this is not caught quickly and repainted, you will soon require replacement windows.
Substandard Exterior Casing
Exterior casing that is rotting, missing, loose, or cracked can be an eyesore and can also lead to window damage. However, damaged exterior casing alone does not immediately equate window replacement. The issue, if caught in its early stages, can be resolved by priming the wood exterior, which can be found at the large majority of home maintenance centres.
Ice and Frost Buildup
When 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 this buildup. Moisture collection on your windows is not only visually unappealing but can also lead to further deterioration in the future, leading to possible mould and mildew issues in your home later on. High-quality replacement windows should help address this problem.
If you find yourself facing these issues, it may be a good idea to replace your windows entirely rather than dealing with the headache of a possible lost investment of attempting to fix a broken window that is beyond repair.