5 telling signs it's time to repair your windows

Good windows will keep a home comfy and growing in value. That's why occasionally they'll need some care. But what are the 5 telling signs it's time to repair your windows?

5 telling signs it's time to repair your windows

Natural causes, such as the ever-changing weather, can hasten the wear and tear of any part of your home. But windows are most at risk since they're the thinnest barriers between you and the outside. How will you know if it's time to renovate or repair your windows? Here are five telling signs:

1. Broken, cracked or chipped window panes

Obviously, this is the easiest sign to spot.

  • If you see scratches, chips or cracks, these are usually due to storm damage, harsh cleaners, or being hit by foreign objects. You should replace the glass and sash to bring it back into shape, or risk shattered glass on the floor inside your home.
  • If you are not well versed in window repair and installation, hire an expert to do the work for you.

2. Old, rotting and run-down wooden windows

If your home is older (you can tell by just looking at your windows) then it's probably time to repair the windows.

  • Old wooden windows may have rotted frames, cracks, and discoloured sections due to weathering.
  • In some cases, it's easy to just strip off the old paint and repaint old wood windows. However, if there are rotting parts, it is essential to replace them with new wood before repainting. Painting over rotten wood only temporarily hides the problem.
  • Extreme cases would need a complete replacement of the frame and hardware – essentially building a new window.

3. Fogging caused by broken seals

Condensation between panes builds up when window seals are already broken. This occurs on modern windows with several panes of glass. Older, single-pane windows are immune.

  • Heat is the most common culprit that destroys seals and causes condensation between panes, and the possible oxidation of the insulating gases between. The recommendation in this case is to replace the entire sash and/or pane.
  • This type of repair may cost several hundred dollars per window, but it's a fix that can prolong the life of your windows.

4. Drafts and cold air leaks

When you see cracks, peels, stripping sash and rotten wood sections, these conditions are typically caused by air leaking through gaps between window sashes, dividers and frames.

  • Sealing these gaps with painter's caulking doesn't cost much. However, if your windows need stripping or sash replacement, plan to spend some money on the required materials ($10-$200), depending on the number of windows, their size and condition.

5. Hard-to-open or stubborn windows

Hard-to-open or difficult-to-operate windows may have painted-shut sashes, broken hardware, or dirty tracks and balances.

  • Try cleaning accumulated dirt and scraping off old paint to improve matters. It's an easy fix to do.
  • If you need to replace hardware, hire a professional to help with the installation if you're unsure how to do it yourself.

Generally, home window repairs depend on the type and extent of damage to the windows and their components. There are solutions that are less costly, especially if you are able to do the repair yourself. However, if you choose a more permanent solution – like outright replacement – you will need a budget to pay for the materials and professional labour.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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