Windows get cracked, leaky, and foggy over time. Sometimes, they do not do the job you intended. All of these scenarios leave you wondering if you should repair or replace your windows. This can be a tough choice but many choose a replacement. That is until they learn that the cost can be around $650 per window. Then repairs become more attractive except that not every window is easy to repair. Modern double and triple-paned windows are harder to repair than older single-paned versions. So repair is not always going to be possible. So, when should you repair your windows and when should you replace them?
Should I Repair Or Replace My Windows?
When to Choose Repairs?
- Cracked or Broken Glass: Safety and visual acuity are important. Single-pane windows can easily be repaired by glaziers, and a cracked or broken multi-paned window can be repaired with a sash replacement.
- Worn Muntins or Mullions: These help hold the glass and the putty can go missing or become brittle, but this is easy to fix. You remove the glass, scrape and clean the area, then apply fresh putty.
- Stuck Sashes: Older windows typically have problems with lower sashes getting stuck. Sashes can come off their track or get painted together. The spring can fail or come loose, and this type of problem is easy to repair.
- Rotting Drip Cap: The drip cap is the exterior shield at top of the window and it can easily become rusted. You can avoid this by getting rot-free or rust-free aluminum drip caps from your local hardware store or home centers. Just nail them into place and caulk over them.
- Poor Window Casing: Rotted, missing, or cracked window casting is unattractive and can increase the risk of damage to the glass. This can be repaired and does not necessarily require replacement. You can find primed wood exterior casing at your local home center to make the repairs yourself. Remove the existing casing and replace it. You will need to paint this after installation because primed wood is not weather-resistant.
- Minor Leakage: If you see water near a window, it likely is coming from around the window and not through it. Gutters that are not draining properly can force water down to windows and the seals are not designed to handle the force. You can try rerouting or clearing your drainage system to help prevent this.
- Losing Heat: If your windows aren’t properly insulated, warm or cool air can escape. Have your windows inspected by a reliable heating service.
When to Choose Replacement?
- Foggy Windows: Windows that turn foggy are caused by condensation that is trapped between panes. The seals on these multi-paned systems are permanent so replacement or removal are the only options.
- Structural Problems: The outer structure of a window is difficult to repair so you will need replacement if this becomes damaged. Be sure to check the area around the window too as studs, sheathing, and siding may be damaged too. This warrants replacing the window and rebuilding parts of the wall. Your solution is a new construction window, not a replacement window.
- Major Leakage: You may see excessive leaking when the outer window casing is bad. This is a problem with the exterior of the building and window area, and replacement is required.
Which Windows Do I Replace?
If you are buying or selling a home, you may need to consider replacing some windows. There are a few things to consider to help you decide which windows, if any, should be replaced.
- Curb Appeal: A foggy, cracked, or broken window will take away from the visual appeal of a home. This may involve replacing a single outdated window or replacing the windows at the front of the house to create a consistent and more appealing look.
- Window Function: A window that is not functioning properly needs to be replaced. It will save money and headaches in the long run. If only one window is causing you problems, a quick replacement works. One failing window may also inspire you to check the others and if they are in similar condition or close to failing too, full replacement of all windows may be needed. It is more efficient to take care of them at the same time, than replacing single windows slowly over time.
We can help check your windows and evaluate if you need repairs or replacements. We can help you find the right solution and get your windows looking their best and can even help you upgrade to get more sunlight and better energy savings.