A well-constructed, well-installed window can last for decades, but as with everything else, the time will come when even a good window will need to be replaced. Besides the obvious scenario of someone throwing a baseball through the window, how does a homeowner know when that is? Here are four signs:
1. They are Hard to Open and Close
Windows should be easy to open and close. If doing both for a window has become strenuous, it may be time to replace it. Windows become tough to open and shut because over time they become imbalanced, or they have been attacked by rot or rust. Sometimes a homeowner can actually see that the window seems crooked, either from the inside or outside of the house. Some windows are tough to work because the hinges, clasps and other fixtures haven’t been used in a long time.
2. The Windows are Drafty
No window is completely airtight, but if the homeowner is actually noticing a draft, it is time to have that window replaced. Even a small draft can affect the interior temperature of the house and make it too hot or too cold. This makes the heating and air conditioning system work that much harder to keep the rooms comfortable, which will run up energy bills. The homeowner can add weatherstripping or caulking to the window for a while, but these are only temporary solutions.
3. There are Signs of Water Damage or Rot Around the Window Frames
If the window frames are soft from water or decay, they can’t possibly be repaired and must be replaced. The homeowner should check for damage both inside and outside the window. Wooden frames can be tested for soundness by tapping them with a flat screwdriver. If they do not resist or if they start to flake, it is time to replace them. Another sign that the window needs to be replaced is when the homeowner sees condensation, frost or even mold between the panes of window glass. This means that the seal has failed. Moreover, mold causes the window frames to deteriorate that much faster.
4. They Don’t Block Sound the Way They Should
Residential windows are rarely soundproof, but they shouldn’t let in so much noise that they might as well be open. If the windows are in such bad shape that they allow the outside noises to come in, they need to be replaced.
Windows allow light, air and beautiful views to come into the house. The best ones are themselves beautiful as well as functional. Though replacing an entire window can be costly, a window that’s defective should be replaced as soon as is practicable.