Did you know that windows are responsible for 30% of a typical building’s heat energy losses and gains? That means your home windows could account for about a third of your heating or cooling bills! However, depending on how old or damaged they are, they could be wasting even more.
Either way, that’s a considerable amount of wasted energy and money. After all, over half of the energy used by an average household is for heating and cooling.
For that reason, it’s imperative to know how to tell if you need window repair or replacement. That way, you can stop your old or defective windows from wasting more resources.
This guide lists the top signs you need to get your windows fixed or replaced, so be sure to read on.
1. You Have Decades-Old Single Glazed Windows
As their name suggests, single-glazed windows consist of only a single glass pane. They used to be the standard, making up half of all windows sold in the 1980s.
Unfortunately, single-glazed windows have high energy transfer rates. That’s because they only have one pane, so they let significant amounts of heat escape and enter. That makes them the least energy-efficient type of windows in the market.
So, if your home still has single-pane windows, it’s time to consider upgrading them. You can have a window replacement service change them into multi-glazed ones.
If you have the budget, go for triple-pane windows, as they can be twice as efficient as the double-glazed ones.
2. Parts of the Window Are Decaying or Rotten
Incorrect window installation can result in the premature failure of window sealants. When that happens, moisture can seep into the windows’ wooden materials. That can then lead to the decay of the sashes or frames.
You’ll know that you have rotting frames if parts of the window feel soft or spongy. You may also notice a moldy or musty odor emanating from your windows. More severe decay can make sections of the window look collapsed or swollen.
All those are signs that you need the help of a window replacement company. You can check out this guide to learn more about your best window replacement options.
3. Your Window Panes Rattle So Much
Noisy windows often indicate loose glass panes, sashes, or frames.
Glass panes loosen when the adhesive that bonds them to the frame deteriorates. As more sealant breaks down, the bigger the space that forms between the pane and the sash. That gap then allows the glass to move in its frame and, thus, rattle.
Window sashes and frames also degenerate after years of exposure to environmental elements. When they warp, the glass they hold can become loose. That can make the unstable panes move and make a lot of noise, especially during windy days.
Fortunately, you can still fix rattling windows by applying caulk to the gaps. Caulk is a flexible material that you can use to seal cracks in windows. You can get it at the local hardware store and apply it yourself.
However, it may be best to call a window repair service if the sashes or frames have too much deformation. Do the same if the panes have developed cracks due to rattling around so much. It’s best not to D-I-Y such repairs, as tinkering with severely warped windows can make parts of it collapse.
4. Termites Have Infested Your Windows
Two termite species cost the world at least $40 billion in property damage every year. Those are the Formosan subterranean termites and the Asian subterranean termites. The thing is, you can find both destroying homes and commercial properties in the US.
Termites feed on organic stuff, including the wood and the adhesives in windows. What’s more, they can feast on your windows while staying undetected for years.
However, there are visible cues of termite infestations, including shed wings. Another telling sign is if you’ve seen mud trails on wooden materials, such as window frames.
Call a pest control company right away if you’ve noticed any of those indications. Then, once the termites are under control, get in touch with a window replacement company. It’s best to have them install new windows as termite-damaged frames may already be unsafe.
5. You Can No Longer Operate Operable Windows
Functional operable windows should open, close, or slide with ease. Unfortunately, warping in their frames can cause them to become immovable. If they get stuck in an open position, that’s pretty much like inviting criminals into your home.
Now, consider that close to seven million property crimes occurred in the US in 2019 alone. Almost three-quarters of those were larceny-theft cases, while 16% were burglaries.
So, if you don’t get your malfunctioning windows fixed, you’re at risk of becoming a victim of such crimes. As such, it’s best to contact a window repair company as soon as possible. The sooner you get your windows fixed, the sooner you can lock and secure them once again.
6. You Can See Discoloration Between the Window Panes
If you see dark streaks on your windows, try cleaning and wiping them away first. If they don’t disappear, the discoloration is likely within the panes themselves. That problem can occur in leaking double- or triple-pane windows.
Those markings may look like dirt, but they can be molds trapped within the panes. They may have gotten there by passing through cracks or gaps in the window seals. They were then able to grow and spread after getting exposed to moisture.
In any case, schedule your windows for repair or replacement. Window experts may still be able to save your windows if the leaks are still small. If there’s severe damage, though, you may already need replacement windows.
Don’t Put Off That Window Repair or Replacement Service You Need
Please keep in mind that severe degradation can make windows give way. If that happens, you and your loved ones could be at risk of injuries from falling frames or broken glass.
So, contact a window repair or replacement company as soon as you notice any of the signs discussed above. That way, you can keep your windows safe, secure, and as a bonus, energy-efficient.
Did you find this article informative? If so, then feel free to check out our other home-related tips and tricks!
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.