When it comes to windows, it isn’t always obvious when they need to be replaced. In fact, if the issue isn’t obvious, you might be more tempted to put it out of your mind instead of committing to the time, energy and money needed to replace them.
While older windows might look good and still seem to function properly, looks can be deceiving. It’s important to know about the different warning signs, as the long term costs and potential hassles involved with ignoring faulty windows can cause far more headaches than committing to a window replacement when the time is right.
Plus, when you install newer, stylish, energy efficient windows, you’re investing in the future. Your house can become more efficient, you can save big on your utility bills, and you’re refreshing the look and feel of your home, which can pay off big time when it comes to resale value.
To help you understand whether your windows are still working as they should or if they’re beyond their prime, we spoke to Magic, a leading window a door company based in Woodbridge, to identify four signs it’s time to replace your windows.
1. Drafts are coming in through the windows
Can you hear whistling sounds coming through your windows or feel air coming in near the window frames? That’s a telltale sign that your windows have draft issues and an immediate red flag that should tell you it’s time to look into a replacement. Drafty windows are certainly more noticeable in winter, so you probably just experienced this over the past few months.
If you’re tired of putting up plastic sheets to seal your windows each year or paying to run your furnace harder than it needs to, it might be time to upgrade your windows.
2. Your window hardware is stripped, loose, or damaged
Over time, crank systems, locks, and latches can break down, strip, or fail completely from being over or under used, or from the weight of the older windows. As your windows age, it’s very important to test these mechanical features regularly to ensure everything works as it should. Is the window getting stuck or strained during an open and close cycle? Are there visible signs of rust, wear and tear or decomposition? If so, this is a clear sign your windows are not giving your home the performance it needs.
If these issues are left unaddressed, faulty or broken window hardware can prevent a window from performing essential functions. Whether you want to open your windows completely to enjoy the summer breeze, ensure they are locked properly for security purposes, or as an alternative means of escape in an emergency, your window hardware simply has to work.
3. Your window frames are bent, warped, or damaged
In addition to window hardware, it’s important to keep a close eye on the frames surrounding your windows as they age. The window itself is only as good as its frame and so much of the unit’s integrity, efficiency, and durability depend on it remaining undamaged. Depending on the materials your windows frames are made from, there are different issues to keep an eye out for:
- Wooden frames are more likely to rot, warp, or develop mold and mildew.
- Vinyl frames can expand and contract as the weather changes, which can cause dents and cracks.
- Fiberglass windows are more susceptible to cracking frames, peeling paint, leaks, warping, and pooling, as they remain rigid while the house settles over time.
You should regularly inspect the corners of your window frames, as that’s generally where issues first become noticeable. And if there are any dents, bends, or even rotten portions, you should check with an expert to see if they can be repaired, or if they need to be replaced.
Fortunately, new generations of windows are designed and built with modern materials to last longer, and Magic offers a 40-year warranty on their windows.
4. Condensation and moisture is forming between the window panes
Inside their frames, window units consist of multiple panes of glass separated by a tightly sealed gap filled with gasses like argon, which is heavier than air and provides additional insulation. This spacing and tight seal help to protect the inside of your home from the elements. However, that seal can break over time, allowing air and moisture to build up between the glass.
If you’ve noticed moisture, condensation, or frost forming between the panes, it means the window seal is broken, and water vapour is condensing inside the window itself. This is most common in older homes with ageing windows, and newer homes with hollow vinyl window frames that can expand and contract based when weather fluctuates. This may not seem like an issue at first, but windows with a broken or faulty seal can lead to air leakage, energy waste, and irreparable damage.
However, Magic pointed out that seeing condensation on the outside or inside of a window isn’t necessarily a problem, so don’t panic. The main problem to look for is condensation between the window panes.
There are many different signs that it’s time to replace your windows. If you notice any issues, it’s smart to have your windows checked out right away, as minor issues can quickly become major issues if you don’t address things early on.
If you have any leaks or drafts, learn more about upgrading your windows at www.MagicWindow.ca.