It’s difficult to know when you need to repair or when you need to replace. This is true of various materials and products, but especially true of your home windows.
You know it’s time to do something, but what something?
What complicates matters even more is when BOTH answers are correct. The fact of the matter is that there is no straight answer to this question. Whether you should repair or replace your windows is dependent on several different variables. Let’s examine just a few.
First off, you need to understand *why* you are changing up your window situation at all. Are you looking to make your home more energy efficient? Are they not keeping everything out like they should be? Or are you just simply in the middle of a comprehensive home renovation? It makes a difference.
A blown window is a window that regularly produces foggy condensation between the panes. This is caused by heat-induced contractions and expansions that eventually decimate the seals. And when the seal is done for, the pane will soon go with it. Sounds bad, right? It is bad. Fortunately, it’s a relatively easy fix. Install a new sash that will preserve the frame, and your window will be as good as new.
Broken panes aren’t something that occur over time as a result of wear-and-tear; they’re almost always the result of a specific incident, whether it be a violent storm or the reckless toss of a football in the front yard. In this instance, whether you should repair or replace is more dependent on the cost of the window. If you have relatively inexpensive vinyl windows, a replacement won’t break the bank and will be better in the long run. Other windows could cost upwards of $500 to replace, but there may be more affordable repair options available.
When your windows are closed, that means you want to keep the outside world outside. However, your windows might have a gap in the frames or dividers that is letting in a draft. This is likely the result of cracked or peeled caulking, a loose sash, or old weather stripping. Regardless of the specific cause, your best bet is likely to be to repair, rather than replace. In this instance, a wholesale replacement wouldn’t be necessary, and the repair options will be more affordable, particularly if it’s just an issue with the caulking.
Renovating an Old Home
Perhaps your windows aren’t malfunctioning in any way and you’re just looking to renovate your home. If that’s the case, you should look into the year when your home was built. This could impact what you want to do with your windows. Lead-based paint was not banned until 1978. If your home was built before that year, test for lead. If the results come back positive, it’s highly recommended that you replace them. Make sure to find a window replacement professional who knows what they’re doing, as the process can accidentally lead to an increase in lead dust.
As most homeowners know, wood can deteriorate. And when it does deteriorate, it can cause a lot of problems. Depending on how bad the situation is, rotted wood can cause water leaks into your home. The severity of the situation will also determine whether you should repair or replace your windows. If you detect only sporadic damage, epoxy should do the trick for you. If, however, the wood is thoroughly rotted, you should look into a full replacement job, and quickly.
Putting a Historic Home on the Market
Selling a historic home can be complicated. You want to “update” the home to be more energy-efficient, but you don’t want to detract from the aesthetic that gives the home its value. Ultimately, this is more of a subjective judgment call. There’s no real right or wrong answer; it’s up to you whether you think the style or the efficiency is more important. If you’re having trouble making a decision, consult your local preservation commission. They may be able to provide helpful recommendations and referrals.
Whether you choose to repair your windows or you’ve decided to go all-in on window replacement, you need to hire professionals with experience. Call us today to help you with all of your window needs.