Properly installed windows will last several years with minimal maintenance. However, your windows will ultimately succumb to the elements, calling for a new installation. So how do you know if your windows are bad? More importantly, how do to stop the damage and get the most from them? Homeowners and businesses looking to maintain the integrity of their windows have three solutions; preventative maintenance, repair, and replacement.
Eight Signs of a Bad Window
A window will tell you in various ways when it needs attention. Here are eight signs of a bad window and what to do for each.
1. Drafts from the Window
If you notice a draft from any of your windows, it could be due to:
- Age. Weatherstripping and caulking can age especially fast if a window isn’t suited to the climate it is used in. The glazing putty which holds the glass in its place may also grow brittle and fall out.
- Lack of Maintenance. Just like your roof, having windows inspected and ‘tuned up’ every few years can help them last longer. Keeping your windows clean can also help them last longer.
- Installation. One last thing which could produce drafts is if the window wasn’t correctly installed to begin with. In this case, taking them out and re-installing them may take care of the drafts.
Drafty windows often mean it’s time to replace them. Speak with a professional window contractor about your options.
2. High Energy Bills
Damaged windows will let in cold air into your house during winter and hot air in summer. Your air conditioner and heater will have to work harder to maintain the inside temperature. This can result in soaring energy bills, in addition to faster HVAC wear and tear.
There are two possible causes for gaps:
- Decay. Gaps between your window frames and joints could stem from decay. This needs prompt repair or replacement depending on the scale of damage.
- Caulking. Gaps can also be due to loose, bad, or missing caulking, in which case re-caulking will fix the issue.
- Seals. Seals can also break, requiring immediate repair.
4. Hard To Open or Close
If your windows are hard to open or close, the frames could be out of whack. This is often more prevalent among wood window frames as they expand and contract with the changing temperatures and seasons.
More importantly, this is also a sign of a failing foundation. Call an expert to inspect both. Many issues can be repaired with reshaping or re-installing the same window. You can also choose to install new windows if the problem is a direct result of old age.
Condensation is natural during winter when the air inside is warmer than outside. However, excess condensation can escalate damage to a window. You can use a dehumidifier during winter to reduce the level of condensation. If this doesn’t work, or your windows have condensation even during warmer days, you should call a professional for inspection and repair or replacement.
Noises shouldn’t be loud or overly noticeable when your window is installed well; it is soundproof. If the noise recently became louder, it could be due to gaps, broken seals, or bad caulking. You can hire a window expert to help you restore worn-out seals and caulking.
7. Moldy or Decaying Frames
Mold can grow on your window frames and exposed glazing putty, especially when there’s a lot of condensation going on. Moisture is the leading cause of moldy or decaying frames. If you notice mold or decay on your frame, you should immediately involve an expert for fixing the window. Some cases will only need a repair, but others may call for complete replacement. Mold is a bad sign and requires efficient solutions, so you should involve a reputable window company as soon as possible.
8. Broken Glass or Frame
Glass panes can break for various reasons, including accidental knocks and bangs. They are easy to replace, and you can call a technician to replace the broken glass. If the frame has broken, it may be time for a full window replacement. Broken glass and frames require immediate attention as they leave your home exposed to outside elements.
Who To Call When You Need Help
The question of “How do you know if your windows are bad?” can be answered in many ways depending on the window you have. Wooden frames wear out differently from ones made with vinyl, aluminum, steel, or other materials. However, the above signs apply to all window types. It is vital to call for help when you notice these signs with your window. You need a reputable contractor with experienced personnel and high-quality service guarantees. This is precisely what you’ll get when you work with Midwest Roofing Siding & Windows. We offer all clients transparent communication, warranty, and integrity. We also pride ourselves on providing premium-quality services. Contact Midwest Roofing Siding & Windows in the Twin Cities to learn more about window installation, repair, replacement, and maintenance.