Windows are an integral part of any house; we don’t feel their importance until they break or leak. Old windows have stood the test of time for over 70 years and are still going strong.
However, they need frequent repairs to stop external elements from getting inside the house.
Repairing old windows is inexpensive yet requires a lot of effort and maintenance while replacing them can be more expensive and they won’t last as long as the old windows.
New windows last for 20-40 years while we can find century-old windows. Read on to know when it’s better to repair your old windows and when to replace them.
1. The Wood is Rotten
If you found festering rot around the glass in your windows, you will most probably need to replace them. Rot is formed when water leaks through cracks in the wood and is caused by poor paint jobs.
The water comes from rainfall, cleaning, or appears to be seeping through the gutters. The rot is usually found in the frames, sashes, and dividers.
However, if you notice wood rot in its early stages, the affected spots can be patched and repainted. Trying to repair windows afflicted by rot might cost you more than replacing them.
2. The Glass is Broken or Cracked
Most old windows have single-pane glass which is easy to repair. You can repair it yourself or get a professional to do it. Repairing single-pane windows is inexpensive and won’t take time.
If the glass of the window is multi-paned and has been cracked or broken, you will have to replace the sash only.
However, if you have been facing problems with your multi-pane windows for a long time, it will be better to replace them.
3. You Live in a Historic Home
If your home is historic or located in a historic district, it might not be possible to change anything in it without asking the homeowner. It is essential to know what you can or can’t change in the house.
Window replacement might not be allowed in certain historic districts or houses which will force you to repair them if any problems arise.
4. The Windows are Foggy
You won’t find this problem in single-pane windows. If a multi-paned window starts to fog from inside, it means that moisture has seeped between the layers of glass.
An insulated glass unit (IGU) is the area between the glass layers that are supposed to be permanently sealed.
If your old window gets foggy, you will need window installation services to replace it as the moisture can’t be dried up without damaging the window.
It also means that the gas in the IGU has been let out which can’t be easily replaced. Repairing multi-paned windows costs more than replacing them altogether.
5. Exterior Casing is Damaged
The exterior casing of old windows withstands the elements for so long, but when signs of rot appear, or parts become loose or go missing, you may think it’s time for a replacement; however, in some cases, a repair would suffice.
If rot or damage is in the casing only, you can replace it easily by purchasing a new one from your local hardware store or hiring a professional windows services company.
Look at the damage and as long as it doesn’t reach the window itself, it can be repaired.
6. Air is Leaking
One of the primary jobs of windows is to keep the air in or out. If your old windows are letting air seep through, you need better insulation.
Since air-leaking windows affect the house’s insulation, it drives the electricity bill up as you try to keep the temperature in check.
When a window is loose or has lost the ability to insulate a room, a repair or replacement is in order depending on the severity of each issue.
Both problems can be caused by old weather stripping, cracked or peeled caulking, wood rot, or loosened sashes.
It is easy to fix cracked or peeled caulking as all you have to do is apply new caulk inside the gaps.
The other problems indicate that you need to replace your window as repairing them might prove more costly.
Each case is different, and you have to assess the problem accurately to choose between replacing and repairing your old windows.
If you are still at a loss whether to replace or repair, it is best to contact a professional window repair and installation service to take a look at the window’s condition and offer you the best course of action.
Replacing old windows means you will lose the sturdiness and quality of old windows that can live up to 200 years, but it might be less expensive than repairing them.