Keeping your windows clean and in working order is a necessary chore for all homeowners, especially those who live in older houses. The National Association of Realtors recently reported that new windows offers the biggest return-on-investment when selling a house. So, a well-maintained house demands a much higher price than one in a simply fair condition.
So, when do you know when it’s time to invest in new replacement windows? The look and condition of your windows offer immediate hints as to whether or not it is time to replace your windows, but there are other clues that you can look for as well.
Warm & Cool Spots: Finding a warm spot on the window frame on a hot day, or a cool spot on a cold day, means that the window is not properly insulating the house and allowing air to pass through to the inside. It’s been shown that on sunny, 80 degree days, the exterior of a building can reach up to 150 degrees, which can easily pass into your home, increasing your energy costs. If you discover a warm or cool spot in your window frame, it is probably time for some new replacement windows.
Window Frames: Older window frames tend to deteriorate and get softer, letting more air leak into your home. An easy test is to check the softness of the wood with a flat-blade or blunted screwdriver. If the screwdriver can be easily pushed into the wood, then that is a sign that the wood is decaying rapidly and replacement windows are usually needed.
Frost or Ice Build-Up: Frost and ice commonly forms around windows that are older and have poor insulation or use poor thermal material. These problems permit a too-quick transition from hot to cold air, which causes condensation. Too much condensation can cause water to run off the window pane onto the frame, staining the wood or even the adjoining walls. This can cause mold or mildew, so it’s important to attend to this problem as soon as possible.
Window Appearance: The appearance and general condition of your windows is one of the first things that you should look for and one of the most obvious signs that new replacement windows are needed. Check for chipping, deterioration, or water stains on or around the exterior and interior of the window. Peeling paint is a hint as well, since it is caused by moisture traveling through windows, making the frame to expand or contract.
Window Operation: As mentioned before, look for air leaks in the frame or condensation and fogging between glass panes. Be sure to also test each window by opening and closing it to make sure it functions properly. Windows that are swollen so much that they cannot be opened, or windows that need a prop to stay open, are in need of replacement.
Window Age: This may sound strange, but windows that have a style that is outdated or doesn’t fit in with the rest of the house are usually in need of replacement, even if they seem to be working properly. If you have tried to fix them by purchasing replacement parts, and the parts are difficult or impossible to find at a hardware store that is giving you a sign that your windows are older and need updating.
Caulking: Telling the difference between a properly placed and well-done caulk job and one that is deteriorating can be a difficult task. However, there’s a simple test that makes it easier. While you stand outside traveling around the entire exterior window frame with a flashlight, have someone stand inside the window. If this person can see light coming through the frame, then caulking failure is likely and air infiltration and energy loss is occurring as well.
Rotting: Once windows begin to rot it is very difficult to stop it from traveling. Therefore, it’s imperative that you check your home regularly for signs of rotting, mold or mildew. Rot can spread from one surface to another, so also check the walls around your windows as well.
Exterior Noise: Old windows generally mean poor insulation, which creates openings that allow drafts and outside noise into the interior of the house. One great trick for finding small openings like this is to hold a lighted candle in front of a suspected spot and watch to see if it flickers. If it does, there’s a leak and unwelcome outside air is being let in, causing energy loss and unwanted heat transfer.
Black Label Services LLC can help you determine the replacement window option that is suitable for you and your home. Call us for a free consultation and estimate today!