Some houses gain charm as they age, but having drafty windows does little to add to this charm, especially come winter. Damaged windows make your home louder and less energy-efficient, and can even be dangerous during inclement weather. Window replacement can be a costly option, so many homeowners decide to forgo it altogether. Fortunately, repairs are often much easier and more cost-effective than replacement. It can be hard to spot when repairs are in order, but with these eight simple tips, you can make sure that your windows are in tip-top shape!
1. Feeling Drafty?
Good windows should help warm your house by letting in sunlight and keeping out drafts. If the air around your windows is colder than the rest of the room, they may be sucking heat from the room. On a dry, warm day, try removing an old caulk and replacing it with a new one. This will help fill up any spaces in the window frame that are letting in wind. Weather stripping applied around window sashes can also take care of pesky air leaks.
2. Keep An Eye On Your Energy Bill
Protecting your pocketbook can be a key motivation for window repairs. Damaged windows can cost you up to 25% more on your monthly energy bill. If you’ve noticed a spike in what you spend on heating in the winter or air conditioning in the summer, window glass repairs may be in order. Ensuring your windows are energy-efficient will also reduce your carbon footprint.
3. Lots Of Outside Noise
One of the key functions of your windows is keeping the outside, well, outside! Properly soundproofed windows help preserve your peace and quiet. If you live on a trafficked street and your windows aren’t doing much to filter out the ambient noise, it could be a sign that they are not doing other jobs properly. Check the seals and caulking for any issues.
4. Gaps, Cracks, Or Rot
Any visible rotting in the frames or cracks in the panes are a clear sign that you should consider having some work done. You might even see light filtering through the gaps in the frame in especially bad cases. For single-pane windows, cracks make easy repairs for glaziers or intrepid do-it-yourselfers. For multi-pane windows, try sash replacement.
Window damage might not be as visible as cracks or rot. If the frames look fine, but you notice condensation or frost collecting between the panes, your seals have failed, compromising the window’s energy efficiency. One solution here is to replace the sash rather than the whole window.
6. Difficulty Opening Or Closing
Your windows should be a breeze to open! Vintage wood frame windows, however, often are not. If your windows stick, are swollen, painted shut, or even refuse to stay open, it’s time for repairs. The frames may have come off the track or received moisture damage. Similarly, if your house was built before 1960, you may strongly consider replacing the paint. Lead-based paints were commonly used in this era, and the friction from opening and closing your windows could be releasing harmful dust into the air.
7. Living In A Storm Zone?
If your area frequently experiences storms, hurricanes, or high winds, keeping your windows in good shape becomes a matter of safety. Make sure to check your windows thoroughly before and after any inclement weather, and consider investing in weather stripping or storm windows, if you haven’t already. These repairs are especially dire if you notice any leakage from your windows.
8. Time For A Makeover!
If you’ve just moved into a new home, or if you’re considering a bit of a home makeover, you have a number of options for changing the look of your windows. While replacing windows could lower the value of an older home, a new coat of paint easily spruces up a tired-looking window frame. If it’s the exterior casing that needs work, you can buy primed replacement casings at most home improvement stores. Plus, there’s an infinite variety of window dressing options on the market to add some glam to even the dullest of windows.
You will be surprised what positive effects simple window repairs can have on your home and, of course, your wallet. However, if the problem is too severe for repairs, window replacement could be the best option to take. With regular maintenance, good-quality windows can last up to 20 years. But, once they’ve reached this age, it may be more economical in the long run to replace them than to keep making repairs.