How to Know When It’s Time to Replace or Repair Your Windows

By: Architectural Visions

High-quality windows are designed to last a long time, but not even the very best ones will last forever. There comes a time in every homeowner’s life to repair or replace windows, but it’s important to know when the time is right.

From the window experts at AVI, here is our advice for how to know when to replace or just repair the windows on your home.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are many warning signs indicating a window may need to be replaced including drafts of air, condensation, and mildew.
  • Before deciding to replace a window, meet with a professional to determine the problem
  • Weather can impact the longevity of how long a window can last

Signs It’s Time for Window Replacement

There are quite a few warning signs that indicate it’s time to repair or replace windows in one or more rooms of your home. Those can include:

  • You feel drafts of air
  • The windows stick when you try to open them
  • You notice condensation between the panes of glass
  • You notice water stains, chips, or other signs of damage
  • You notice water marks or mildew on the walls or window sills
  • You have trouble locking your windows
  • Your energy bill has skyrocketed

Different signs can mean different things, from a bad seal to rotting within a window. So, it’s always best to have a professional look at the windows to determine what’s wrong and what the best course of action is to fix them.

Even if you’re not noticing these signs of wear and tear on your windows, you might choose to replace them because you want to reduce your household energy usage and costs or you just want an updated look. New windows can boost the overall value of your home and give your home a fresh new look.

Factors That Affect Window Longevity

The brand and quality of windows you choose have a huge impact on how long your windows will last. With windows, you really do get what you pay for, so keep this in mind when you are shopping for new ones.

The age of your windows, what the weather conditions are usually like in your area, and the materials they are made from affect longevity. Other factors to consider when choosing new replacement windows are the style of windows, the window screens, any special coatings they are made with, and how easy they are to operate with handles or levers.

Even relatively new homes often have cheaper windows installed in them that don’t have double-pane insulating glass or low-E glass with argon or krypton glass between the panes. These windows can be more prone to rot and deterioration, necessitating replacement sooner than you might think.

Something else to consider is that Energy Star ratings have changed in recent years. A 10-year-old window that was Energy-Star-rated back then likely isn’t as good as new windows that have an up-to-date Energy Star rating. This is because there have been significant advances in energy efficiency standards in recent years, so there really is a difference between new high-quality windows and old ones.

Window installation services

Tips for Replacing Windows

How Many Should You Replace at Once?

Choosing how many windows to replace at once depends on your budget and timing needs. It can be advantageous to have all windows changed at once to cut back on the number of times the installation team needs to come to your home, thus saving money on installation costs. Having all windows replaced at once also helps minimize any downtime where you’re unable to use and enjoy your room.

What Time of Year Should You Replace Your Windows?

Window replacements are generally an easy process, so any time of year will work. A couple of factors to include may be weather and your area’s “busy season”.

For example, you might choose a time of the year that is less rainy so that there is no chance for delays or inconvenient messes associated with installing your windows due to weather. Luckily, the replacement process is very short per window, so even if you need to choose a rainy season for window replacement, you can generally get it done relatively mess-free.

Some seasons tend to be busier for window installation based on where you’re located, so you might also pick a time of the year when installers are less busy so that it’s easier to get your windows up quickly and to work around your schedule. Most installation jobs can be done within one to three days, so there is generally minimal downtime for this type of home improvement project.

When a Window Repair Is Good Enough

Oftentimes, it is necessary to replace old windows because of extensive damage due to weathering and age. But some high-quality windows can be improved by simply repairing them rather than tearing them out and putting up brand-new ones.

For example, windows that appear perpetually foggy may be able to be repaired by removing the moisture between the panes of glass. This may be able to restore a clear view through your windows by eliminating condensation caused by an inadequate seal. However, fogging can be a symptom of poor insulation or rotting of the window. In that case, a repair might only be a temporary fix a full replacement might be necessary down the road.

One challenge with window repairs is that old windows have often been discontinued by the manufacturer, which means that replacement parts are hard (or even impossible) to find. Meanwhile, old vinyl windows were never designed to be repaired. You can contact the manufacturer to find out whether parts can be found for decades-old windows, but you might be disappointed by the results.

Old wooden windows may have antique significance, so replacing them would deter from the historic quality of a home. This might be a reason to seek a repair rather than a replacement, although you might be sacrificing energy efficiency for the sake of period-specific authenticity.

Trust Our Experts at AVI Windows & Doors

Replacing or repairing your windows might seem like a confusing or complicated matter, but it doesn’t have to be when you put your trust in AVI Windows & Doors. We offer hassle-free, customer-focused consultations where we’ll let you know if you can repair your windows or if a full replacement is needed.

If a full replacement is needed, we simplify the process by helping at every step in the process – from shopping and designing your windows, to installing them with a quality guarantee. We’ll help you find the windows that match your personal style and budget.

Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you with window replacement in the Southeast, or stop by one of our 7 showrooms:

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