Most homeowners are surprised to find that most problems with windows can be effectively repaired. Replacement is usually only necessary in cases of serious damage to windows, such as damage that can occur after extreme weather conditions. Safety and visual acuity influence the decision to replace a window when the glass is in poor condition. Single-pane windows can be effectively and inexpensively repaired by the homeowner or a glazier.
Putty and weather stripping are inexpensive items that you can buy at the hardware store and fix yourself. You can replace a blade that is deformed, damaged, or that no longer fits properly. To get started, check if the window is plumb, level and square using a level and tape measure. You may find that the entire window unit was incorrectly installed or changed as your home was installed.
In that case, it needs to be replaced or reinstalled. Before you decide if repairing or replacing a window is right for you, take a look at your windows. Some things that may look bad on windows are easy to repair. Chipped paint, for example, is an easy solution.
You can sand and repaint exterior windows yourself or, if you're not a do-it-yourself person, hire a professional painter. Before painting, make sure there are no cracks, holes, or gaps in the window frame. This type of damage must be repaired before repainting. Repair or replace? Repair if the damage is irregular.
Replace it if the frames are completely rotten. However, be sure to take a good look; they often look worse than they are. Repair or replace? Repair, unless replacement parts cannot be found on old windows. If they are, then you should replace them.
Even if you replaced all the windows in your house with energy-efficient windows, you would only see an average savings of 7 to 15% on your energy bill. But if you seal your window leaks, in addition to other leaks in your home, you can save 10-20% on your energy bills. But the real savings is the money you didn't spend on replacing windows. Dirt and grime can build up if you or the previous owner neglected window maintenance responsibilities.
And with multiple windows throughout your home, there's a greater chance that a problem will arise and leave you looking for answers. Of course, replacing your old windows with new ones will lower your energy bills, but it will take years to recover the thousands you'll spend on new windows and installation. Single-pane windows are a real concern because the friction of opening and closing the leaves can release lead dust and cause lead poisoning in children. For example, neglecting real wood window frames could cause them to rot so much that the glass does not sit properly in the frame.
Here are some tips from Consumer Reports experts on when to repair windows and when to replace them. Things like the condition of the glass, frame, and seal are important when determining if windows should be repaired or replaced. Repair seems to be the most likely route then, except that repair is not always possible with most modern windows. If you realize that you spend a lot of time and effort on your windows, replacement may be the least labor intensive option.
New windows provide an opportunity to improve your home by showing your style, adding architectural interest, letting in more light, or framing the outdoor landscape. If you find that your heating or cooling bills are higher than they should and have drafts, old windows are to blame, it may be time to replace them. When your windows are fogged, leaked, cold, cracked, or broken, or they are not doing their intended work, you may wonder if you should repair or replace windows. If they are false uprights and uprights, placed between two glass panels for purposes only, they cannot be replaced.