Windows get repaired or replaced for a variety of reasons: foul-ball strike, wood rot, dislodged parts, moisture and condensation, or a desire for greater energy efficiency, just to name a few. Know whether to repair or to replace by learning more about these common issues.
Window Repair or Replacement
Cracked or Broken Pane - Whether a ball or bird in flight damaged your windowpane, you have no choice but to repair with this issue, unless you don't mind living with an unsightly cardboard patch keeping out the elements. This task does require a certain amount of skill, as you must remove the window, then take out the glass and putty, before prepping the window for the new glass. After the replacement pane goes in, you must then refinish the frame itself.
Wood Rot - Lack of gutters or leaking ones can cause rainwater to collect on windowsills and frames, resulting in wood rot. Repair of minor wood rot can be completed by digging out the dry rot, then adding epoxies to fill in the void. You must then sand, prime and paint the wood. If wood rot proves extensive, consider replacement instead.
Dislodged Parts - If a window won't open or close easily, or at all, any number of parts could have become dislodged, such as a broken locking mechanism or a snapped sash cord. In both of these cases, unless you have experience, assign the task to your professional handyman who can fish out the broken lock part and replace it or who can replace old pulleys with spring-loaded replacements that use a retractable steel tape instead.
Moisture and Condensation Between Panes - In a double-paned window, if the seal between the panes fails, moisture and condensation can occur. To repair this issue instead of replacing the window, certainly the less expensive choice, you must bore tiny holes in the insulated glass units, spray cleaning solutions in between the panes and install vents in the holes. Of all the tasks on this list, this one benefits most from professional expertise.
Energy Efficiency - One way to improve the energy efficiency of your home involves replacing older windows with Energy Star-qualified windows that can lower household energy bills by up to 15 percent. (To learn about how much you would save on your energy bill, based on where you live in the country, check out this cool map on the energystar.gov website.) That said, replacing the windows in your home proves an extremely costly project. Have your professional handyman take a look at your windows to determine whether they require replacement to improve energy efficiency or simply need additional weather-stripping to better insulate your home from outside elements and to reduce heat or cooling loss.
When it comes to improving energy efficiency, your handyman proves a much better starting point than, say, one of the many window retailers in your area, who will likely recommend replacement of all windows in your home. And while replacement often results in the highest savings in terms of utility bills, the total cost of the window replacement project may far exceed those savings, especially if you do not plan to stay in your current home long-term.
Retaining the Aesthetic Value of Older Windows
Another issue to keep in mind is the aesthetic value of your current windows. If you own an older home and prefer the charm of the original windows to more modern replacements, repair of any issues combined with improved weather-stripping might be your best bet. Again, discuss with your handyman whatever issues the windows have and ask for estimates for repair and replacement. Once you know how much each costs and what the project will involve, you can make a more informed decision.
Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.