How to Know Whether You Should Replace Your Windows



It’s no fun for a window cleaner to bid on a home, come to find in the midst of his work that there’s a deeper problem.  So I can only imagine what you must feel in those times, when bits of damage here and there are pointed out, racking up time and expenses you weren’t counting on.


The bad news is…well, I’ve said it before…doing nothing only makes it worse.  Whether it was a natural disaster, atrophy, improper installation, or simply the aging of the window, we all come to the point when replacing these valuable commodities is more efficient and economical than continually trying to improve them.  Here are 8 ways to know that it’s time to let go (other than that time your husband threw a Frisbee with too much force and too little aim)!


1. They’re warped.


Atrophy happens in certain kinds of windows after a time.  The molecules are trying to escape, but they are sealed in tight, making for a rather bizarre bulge in the window.


2. They have damaged frames.


Vinyl frames may have less character than wood or aluminum, but they certainly last the longest.  Because trees used for lumber are engineered to grow more rapidly these days, they actually tend to be weaker, and are susceptible to breaks and rot.  Aluminum frames just simply don’t do well in extreme climates.  If your frames are damaged, it can cause a number of problems for the windows themselves.


3. Ice crystals form on the inside.


…Need I say more?


4. They’re hot to the touch in warm weather.


Temperature-sensitive windows are a sign of uninsulated windows, which will massively affect your family’s comfort (not to mention do quite a number on your electric bill).


5. Speaking of which…they’re not energy efficient.


Ours is a world of limited resources.  You can contribute to energy conservation in such a simple manner!


6. They have broken seals.


If your upset because your competent, trustworthy professional window cleaner has cleaned the inside and outside of your window, and it’s still horribly foggy, that is a sign of broken seals.  What happens is that those unsightly water stains are actually accumulated condensation in between the two panes of glass.  This is caused by either aging, or improper installation, and sadly, no mere mortal of a professional window cleaner can magic it away.


7. They have scratches and/or cracks.


Did the guy who did the construction clean on your brand new house use a razor on tempered glass and scratch up the whole window?  Ouch.  And what about that time when your daughter was in high school, and her boyfriend classically threw pebbles at her window to get her attention, leaving a spidering crack in her bedroom window’s bottom left corner?  There are many who would consider going ahead and replacing those poor, broken panes.

However, here is where I get to deliver a bit of good news!  Scratches can be buffed, and cracks sealed by restorative professionals.  You don’t necessarily have to replace broken windows if they can be restored to their former glory.  There are still those, however, who would consider this a “better safe than sorry” situation, and splurge for the replacements.


8. It’s time to update.


A window’s primary (though not it’s only) function is the aesthetic pleasure it lends to a house.  And, let’s face it, a mammoth scratch, a broken seal, or being just plain outdated can lend a certain charmless distinction for guests and neighbors (not to mention the people who gaze out of them every single morning).  In other words, if your gut is telling you it’s time, it’s time.



Now, let’s be clear, here.  I am by no means suggesting that you whip out a credit card and go on a window-shopping spree over the weekend. I am simply making you aware of the considerations and recommendations concerning the comfort, well-being and overall value of your home.


The rest of the decision making is up to you!

So how do your windows look (and feel!) to you?  Do you think it’s time?  Or is there plenty of wear left in those panes?