Repair Or Replace: How To Tell When It's Time For New Windows

Posted on: 20 February 2015

Sometimes, it's easy to tell when you need new windows in your home. For example, if they're busted, missing, or filled with cracks as big as the Grand Canyon, it's probably a good idea to sort out some replacement windows, STAT, unless you like the idea of woodland creatures having easy access to the interior of your home. However, it's not always easy to tell if you need your windows replaced completely, or if you can just get away with having them repaired. Here's how you can tell when it's time for new windows, and when you can get away with a little glass repair.

Drafty windows

When you walk past your windows, do you feel as though you've passed through a refrigerator? Cold drafts are a sign of trouble, because they often indicate that the window isn't fitting tightly in place. Over time, heat and cold can cause windows to expand and contract, altering the way that they fit in place. After several years, they really should be replaced, since filling the cracks and gaps around the window will only provide a temporary fix for the problem. 

If you think you can't afford new windows, or don't want to alter the look of your windows (because you have an older style house and want to preserve the look), you can repair the windows yourself. You could also replace the windows with salvaged ones, but you need to make sure the salvaged windows are fitted properly and in good condition, or you could still have drafts to contend with.

Windows with condensation

If you have double-paned windows that get condensation between the two panes of glass, you probably want to have a professional take a look at them. That condensation is typically caused by a leak in the seal around the glass. The seal is meant to keep warm air from your home from getting between the two chilly panes of glass, but when it fails, condensation forms. Condensation is more than just annoying, it can lead to mold growth if it's not treated. Usually, replacing or repairing the seal will take care of the problem, but if your windows are old or otherwise in poor condition, go ahead and replace them.

Old windows with damaged frames

Some homeowners will try and repair absolutely everything in order to save money, but sometimes, repairing old windows just doesn't make good sense. Windows whose frames are rotting, or that don't fit well, aren't just an eyesore, they're hazards to anyone who tries to open and close them. Damaged frames can make opening windows difficult, and they may make it impossible for the window to open properly at all.

While you can repair a damaged or rotting frame, it pays to consider the overall condition of the window. If the glass is single pane, and the window offers little in the way of insulation against heat loss, you are better off replacing it with something newer and more energy efficient.  Your home's windows play a very important part in your home's overall energy efficiency. The right windows can help keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, reducing your overall energy costs. Yes, replacing your windows costs more than repairing them, but in the long term, new windows could lower your heating and cooling bills, so it's worth considering a complete replacement of any inefficient windows.

When in doubt about whether you should repair or replace your windows, consider your budget, and then speak to a professional window replacement company about your options. They can give you a good idea of the replacement cost, or let you know if repairs will be sufficient to keep your windows in place, working for you to keep your home warm and safe.

If you're looking for more specific information about repair or replacement costs, you can talk to a professional, or find out here