As a homeowner, you have a lot on your plate. Home upkeep can not only be expensive but also time-consuming. If you don’t take care of the important elements of your home you can encounter issues that lead to further costly damage, from leaks to energy inefficiencies and serious structural damage to basement flooding. One of the most important elements of your home is the windows.
When your windows have issues, it can lead to major energy loss, serious water damage, and can even put your family at risk in case of fire. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What’s wrong with my windows” we can help determine what’s wrong and when it’s time for a replacement.
What’s Wrong With My Windows?
Condensation between window panes is one of the most common window problems. Although your windows are double- or even triple-paned, when condensation appears this is a sign the insulating gas between the panes is leaking or gone altogether. Gas is used to improve a window’s energy efficiency. The gas acts as a barrier that prevents outside air from heating or cooling your home, while preventing the warm or cool conditioned air in your home from escaping outside.
Foggy windows or frost are clear signs your windows are failing. However, it can also be a sign the seals of your windows are deteriorating. Both issues lead to increased energy costs because it takes more effort for your HVAC system to compensate for the lost heat and cool air due to your windows. The only fix for this issue is either a costly process to try to refill and reseal the windows, or complete window replacement. Really, window replacement makes more sense as you will see gains of as much as 20% more energy efficiency.
As mentioned above, windows contribute to your home’s insulation. If you feel you’re losing heat through your windows it could be due to the reasons stated above. However, it could also be something less troublesome such as the need to reseal your windows with caulking or new weatherstripping. If you feel the heat loss is through the panes themselves, this requires an investment in window replacement with energy-efficient windows.
It doesn’t take a stray baseball or branch to crack or break your window. Stress cracks are very common. This occurs when changes in temperature cause parts of the window to expand and contract. The pressure can often cause cracks. Also known as thermal stress cracks, broken or cracked glass doesn’t just look bad, it is also dangerous. If you have small children or pets, the cracks can break the windows completely even with the slightest pressure. It can also make it easier for burglars to break into your home.
Your curb appeal also suffers which affects your home’s value. Although cracks can sometimes be repaired, the fix is only temporary. It often makes more sense to have the window replaced with a secure, safe, energy-efficient window.
Broken hardware is a hassle you don’t want to have to contend with when you’re trying to get a little fresh air, or need to close the window quickly against incoming rain. As well, when hardware doesn’t work properly it can mean the difference between life and death if you need to escape your home during a fire.
Broken hardware has far more impact on your windows than you think. It can affect energy efficiency, comfortable temperatures in your home, curb appeal, privacy, and security. This includes damaged handles, locks, latches, and window cranks. Aging windows will eventually see issues with hardware as the parts become worn. Once your hardware starts failing, it’s time for window replacement.
If you find certain parts of your home feel drafty, there’s a good chance it’s due to your windows. Check the windows in drafty rooms to see if you feel cool air coming in from outside. You can also hold up a lit match or candle to see if the flame flickers. Drafts are often a good reason to consider replacing your windows.
If you can hear a dog barking a few houses down, or cars passing your home, or planes overhead are disturbing your sleep, your windows aren’t providing enough protection to muffle outdoor sounds. New windows are designed to reduce noise thanks to their advanced insulation. Local sounds, other than something unusual such as construction or a neighbour’s blaring music should not be noticeable enough to wake or disturb you.
If your windows are single-paned with one layer of glass, your windows are quite old. It’s been a few decades or so since double-pane and triple-pane windows became the norm. They are designed to improve insulation, reduce condensation, provide energy efficiency, and reduce outside noise. Single-paned windows should be replaced as soon as possible as they are a true drain on your home’s energy, and also make it impossible to keep your home warm in the dead of winter.
Lack Of Egress Windows
If your home lacks egress windows you are putting your family at risk. Egress windows offer an emergency exit, as they are designed to open easily and stay open on their own to allow you to exit the home safely in case of an emergency. They are large enough for a large adult to exit easily and are also installed at a safe height to make them accessible for anyone. They must be no more than 1.5m above the floor and meet the following standards:
- They need to provide an unobstructed opening at least 0.35 m2 (3.77 sq. ft) in area with no dimension less than 380 mm (15 inches)
- They have to remain open on their own without the need for additional support
- They must have measurements over 380 mm (15 inches) in width and height
- For basement windows with wells, the well must be at least 760 mm (about 30 inches) from the window for easy exit
- Window well openings must be over 760 mm (about 30 inches) deep
- Windows must be about 1118 mm (44 inches) maximum sill height from the floor level
- Security bars must be able to open from inside the house
If any of these window issues sound familiar, Weaver Exterior Remodeling can help. Click here for a quote.