These 8 questions will help you decide
Repair or replace? That is the question homeowners ask themselves when dealing with broken windows. In many cases, the cost of repairing windows is higher than the cost of replacing them. It depends on the condition of various components, such as glass, frames, seals and hardware. How do you know when it’s time to repair or replace?
Windows Add Value
Windows are an important investment. They shelter us from the elements and secure our property.
Impact resistant windows protect us from extreme weather and would-be intruders, and energy-efficient ones keep energy bills down and noise out. Windows also offer homeowners an opportunity to increase the value of their homes, beautify them and make architectural statements.
It’s a Matter of Time
Because of wear and tear and weather events, windows don’t remain in perfect condition indefinitely. At some point, you’ll have to either repair or replace some of your windows to protect your home and your investment.
Repair or Replace?
To help you decide whether to repair or replace windows in your home, following is a list of questions to ask yourself when making this important decision—one you’ll live with for years, if not decades.
1. Are your windows damaged or broken?
Minor problems can be fixed, but damaged, warped or broken windows almost always need to be replaced.
Cracked or Broken Glass
Glass usually can be effectively and inexpensively repaired, though sometimes it’s cheaper to replace the entire window. When a multi-paned glass is broken or cracked, the sash can be replaced.
One telltale sign that you need new windows is rotting wood. Typically, rot is the result of water exposure. In most cases, the cost of repairing the wood costs more than a new window set, so you should replace windows with rotten wood.
Seal ruptures are often the result of condensation and heat causing the dampened seals to expand and contract. Broken seals tend to be irreversible problems that call for replacing, rather than repairing, windows.
2. Are you feeling a draft?
If your house seems colder or warmer than normal, despite the usual air conditioning and heat settings, you may have drafty windows. Wear and tear cause windows to be less tightly sealed, letting unwanted air in and cooled or heated air out.
Examine your windows for drafts by standing close to them and feeling around them with your hands. If you’re feeling drafts, you can replace the weather stripping, but that’s a temporary fix. You will need to replace your windows sooner or later.
3. Do you live in a hurricane zone?
There’s no repair that can equip standard windows, new or old, to resist hurricane conditions. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, consider replacing your standard windows with high quality impact resistant windows.
Impact resistant windows
These windows are built to resist high-intensity winds, rains, pressure changes and flying debris. Even when the glass shatters, an impact window resistant windows stays in one piece, keeping wind, water and debris outside the home. (Make sure the windows meet Florida Product Approval and/or Miami-Dade County NOA standards.)
Even when the glass shatters, an impact window remains intact, keeping wind, water and debris outside the home.
4. Has your power bill gone up?
Are you using more electricity or gas to cool and heat your house? Drafty windows, broken glass, defective seals, etc., make it more difficult to heat and cool your home. Check your windows to see if there’s anything that can be repaired, such as a cracked glass pane.
Consider replacing regular windows with energy-efficient windows that provide more insulation and, therefore, lower your cooling and heating costs.
5. Are your windows difficult to open or close?
Windows that are difficult or impossible to open, close or lock indicate problems that could be fixed. Some of these problems include multiple layers of paint, windows that have been painted or nailed shut and faulty or missing hardware.
You can fix a lock and cut through paint layers, but although you can attempt to fix a warped window, this repair will only postpone an eventual replacement.
6. Is water getting in the house?
When you find water inside the house near a window, chances are you have a leaky window. Window seals are meant to hold back water but may fail when faced with very heavy rains and wind.
Excessive water infiltration around the window might mean that your exterior window casing is faulty or that you need to clean your gutters. If water is coming through the window or if you’ve noticed signs of water damage, inspect the window to find the cause. If it’s a major functional issue, you will need to replace the window.
7. Do you need better windows?
One of the reasons homeowners replace their windows is to benefit from newer, better windows. Through technology and innovation, window manufacturers are designing and building higher quality windows. For example, newer vinyl and fiberglass frames are more durable and better insulated than old wood frames.
8. Could your home use a new look?
If your windows no longer contribute to the aesthetic value of your home, it may be time for a window makeover. Windows are one of the most prominent features of a house. New windows can transform your home in unexpected ways and boost its curb appeal. There are numerous styles, materials and colors to choose from, so have fun with it!
The Bottom Line
We hope you now have a better idea on how to decide whether to repair or replace your windows.
When facing window problems, it’s always a good idea to talk to a window professional to determine what course of action is right for you. It may be an easy fix, or you may need a new window. In any case, budget permitting, replacing older or standard windows with new, impact resistant, energy efficient windows are an investment worth considering.