Windows that are aged or otherwise in poor condition can lead to a whole number of problems and are considered to be one of the biggest culprits when it comes to poor energy efficiency. For this reason, a window replacement is considered to be a home improvement project that you can’t really afford to “put off” otherwise the financial implications could be serious. We serve clients in Scarborough, Richmond Hill, Markham and Durham and we always like to remind them that some of the weather conditions that their window frames are exposed to during the course of an average year are absolutely brutal, and this wear and tear can eventually result in a drop in performance. This information is often greeted by a response such as “But how will I know when to replace my windows?” There’s no hard and fast rule with regards to when a window replacement is necessary, but there are a number of signs you can watch out for that might be indicative of the drop in performance we just mentioned, some of which we are going to discuss during the course of this article.
You May Be in Need of a Window Replacement If…
As a homeowner you have a responsibility to maintain your property in good condition and part of that involves inspecting the condition of your windows periodically (one or two times per year is recommended). Here are a few things to watch out for when you carry out those checks:
- The Paint is Peeling – If your window frames have been painted (common if they are made from either wood, aluminium or steel) and are peeling, it’s a sign that they are no longer able to resist moisture, which is a “must-have” attribute for window frames. If this problem is spotted quickly, it may be a problem that can be solved relatively easily with little expense, simply by applying a fresh coat. However, if this has gone unnoticed for some time (which is exactly why regular checks are important), excessive amounts of moisture could have soaked into the frames, causing rot or rust and rendering the frames damaged beyond repair. This is not just an aesthetic problem either, like many people think; it can have a negative impact upon your home’s energy efficiency too.
- You Can Feel a Draft Blowing Through – If this is something you now consider “normal” in your home, you need to take action. This draft means air has a clear passage from the exterior of your property to the interior of your property, allowing heat energy to escape, driving up energy bills and reducing the level of comfort in your home. It could also provide moisture with a clear route into your property, which can often lead to the development of mold (take it from us, this isn’t nice!). Sometimes, a draft might not actually be that noticeable and it’s always worth carrying out the following test on each of your windows. Simply hold a candle close to each window and check to see whether it flickers; if it does, you’ve got air blowing through. Sometimes you might be able to fix this with a bit of caulk, but if the problem is severe you will probably need a window replacement.
- Your Windows Always Seem to Cloud Up – Moisture should never be able to get inside your window panes. However, over time, as the condition of the seals deteriorates, this is something that can happen and your windows will “cloud up” as a result. At this point, it’s fairly safe to say that you’ll need to start ringing window companies in the area (remember we cover Scarborough, Richmond Hill, Markham and Durham) for a quote for a window replacement. You have to be sure that your windows are steaming up inside though, as they can also steam up on the outside, but that’s just water vapour condensing on the nearest cold surface.
- Are Overly Hot or Cold to Touch – When windows are in good condition and are doing an efficient job at insulating your property, they shouldn’t be overly hot or cold to touch. If you notice that they feel boiling hot in summer or freezing cold in winter, it’s a good sign that they are performing poorly and a window replacement could be a wise move as your current windows are probably bumping your heating and cooling costs up significantly.
- A Pain to Operate – While the manner in which they do so varies, the majority of windows are able to open and close (picture windows being one exception). You should find them relatively easy to operate and there should be very little resistance. However, if you really struggle to either open or close your windows, and there are no obvious solutions to this problem, a full window replacement may be your only option.
- You Experience Frequent Ice Build-Ups in Winter – Icy build-ups occur as a result of warm air escaping through your windows in the winter months. This warm air then condenses on the exterior of the windows and freezes. This wouldn’t happen if your windows weren’t allowing the heat to escape in the first place and a window replacement may be necessary in order to resolve this issue.