When to Repair vs. Replace Your Windows
Are you windows old, drafty, or just plain ugly? When something’s wrong with your windows, you might assume the only choice is to replace them. However, it’s sometimes possible to repair damaged windows. Consider the condition of the glass, frame, sill, and other components to help you make a cost-effective decision.
Repair vs. Replace: Rotting Wood Window Frame
If your home has real wood windows, years of neglect could cause them to start rotting. As a result, the paint is peeling and the windows don’t sit tightly in their frames, creating energy-wasting drafts.
If your windows are severely rotted, removing the glass and rebuilding the frame could cost as much as installing new windows. In this case, window replacement is a good choice.
However, if you catch the problem early, you may be able to patch small areas with epoxy. Once you sand and repaint or stain the windows, they’ll look as good as new.
Repair vs. Replace: Broken Glass
Picture this: a massive hailstorm cracks your living room window. Do you replace the pane or the entire window?
In most cases, if the frame is still in good condition, it’s more cost-effective to replace the cracked, scratched, or broken glass while keeping the original frame. However, if your windows are old, a full replacement may be a worthwhile upgrade.
Repair vs. Replace: Broken Window Seal
Double-pane windows feature an airtight seal that helps to insulate the glass by slowing heat transfer. If this seal breaks, condensation can get in and cause the window to fog up from the inside.
This condition, known as a blown window, is difficult to repair. De-fogging equipment promises to restore your window to like-new condition, but online reviews reveal dissatisfaction with such products.
Therefore, it’s best to replace any windows that have a broken seal. If the frame is still holding up, it may be possible to merely replace the sash.
Repair vs. Replace: Window Doesn’t Operate Smoothly
Old windows tend to be difficult to open and close. Whether from being painted shut, accumulating dirt and grit, having hardware break, or falling out of alignment as the foundation settles, this common problem leaves homeowners feeling frustrated.
The severity of the issue depends on the cause. Is the window dirty or painted shut? If so, simply clean the tracks or remove excess paint with a putty knife. If any hardware is broken, look for replacements. A new window may only be necessary if replacement parts are impossible to come by or if the window has stopped working properly because it’s out of square.
Repair vs. Replace: Drafty Windows
Does everyone huddle in the middle of the room to avoid the uncomfortable drafts coming from the windows? It may be possible to fix this problem with caulk and weatherstripping.
However, if the draft is caused by a loose sash, rotten wood, or single-pane glass, a window replacement is probably your best bet. New double-pane windows will help make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient.
Replace the Windows in Your DC, MD, or VA Home
If you decide a damaged window needs to be replaced, turn to Quality Window & Door for a job well done. We install replacement windows in homes and businesses throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia. If your goal is to improve home efficiency, we recommend replacing all your windows. Otherwise, you can replace a single damaged window with the same style and material as the other windows in your home.
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