Window Repair VS. Replacement 101

Rot, fog, and cracks—oh my! Damaged windows are an eyesore on any Anne Arundel County home. Not to mention unsafe, as sticking sashes and rusted hinges could prevent the window from opening in an emergency. Also, rotting frames weaken overtime and—if left unrepaired—could collapse.

When you notice issues with your windows, whether in the frame, panes or sash, you might debate the best action to take. There are many benefits to window repair, which typically costs less than installing. However, window replacement has benefits too. If you live in an older home with single-pane windows, it could be your opportunity to upgrade to an energy efficient model.

In previous generations, it wasn’t uncommon to do exactly that. If there was an issue with a window—say the frame has rotted through—homeowners would upgrade said frame with fiberglass, vinyl, or metal rather than repairing the damaged wood. Yet now, increasing interest in reducing waste means more homeowners are choosing window repair over replacement.

Yet, there are some instances where replacing your windows is a better option than repair—depending on the type and degree of the damage. To help you decide which course of action is best, we’ve broken it down for you. Continue reading to learn what common window damage should be repaired, and when replacement is your best option.

8 Situations When You Should Hire Window Repair Services

Generally, when it comes to windows there are two main areas that get damaged: the glass or the surrounding areas. When the glass itself is broken or causing problems, then it’s likely the window will have to be replaced. Most damage to surrounding areas such as the frame, sash, or mullions can be repaired. A few situations when hiring repair services will be a sufficient fix include:

1. Chipped and/or Peeling Paint

Spruce up your home’s exterior and improve its curb appeal by replacing chipped or peeling paint with a fresh coat. A Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and North PG technician will be able to efficiently swap your old paint for new and revive the appearance.

2. Water Damage

Have you noticed coffee-like stains around your window? Water damage can seep into your home either through cracks and chips in the glass or by saturating the surrounding area—particularly the frame. Although water damage is a pain to deal with, if the panes are intact you can simply call your local Mr. Handyman to repair the damage.

3. Rotted Frames

A common effect of water damage is rotted frames. Rotting wood frames are generally caused by heavy rain, snow melt, and even humidity. The older your home is, the more likely your frame is prone to rotting. If you can see signs of rot or the frame is soft to the touch, it’s time to call one of our window repair experts right away.

4. Broken Muntins or Mullions

Muntins and Mullions are pieces of wood that sit in between panes of glass and often make a cross-like pattern. Some muntins and mullions are purely decorative, while others actually support the window panes. Real or faux, if your muntins or mullions are chipped, peeling, or dented, they can be repaired without having to replace the entire window.

5. Worn Caulking

If your window is drafty, it could be that the caulking needs to be replaced. Caulking is used to seal gaps and can also be found around your bathtub and crown molding. It also goes between your frame and the wall. When caulking begins to wear, the resulting gaps can let in cool air, humidity, insects, and water—possibly causing further damage to your home. Replacing caulking is a relatively straightforward fix our qualified technicians are happy to offer you.

6. Difficulty Opening and Closing Windows

Windows that can’t open or close properly are a clear sign you need window repair services. Not only are sticking windows an annoyance, but also a fire hazard. Older homes in particular might have wood sashes or rusty hinges that impede a window’s ability to function properly. Generally, inoperable windows are caused by one of the following issues—all of which can be easily repaired by the team at Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and North PG;

  • The paint on a sash is too thick, which causes it to stick
  • The spring in a spring-type sash is loose
  • The sash is misaligned with the track
  • The window frame is twisted and the sash can’t work properly
  • The hinges and latches are rusty

7. Damaged Casing

Casing protects your window from damage and contributes to your home’s curb appeal, as casing is pleasing to look at. Weather and climate can damage casing, causing it to become loose, cracked, rotting, or missing entirely. While damaged casing is unattractive, it can be easily repaired by one of our carpentry experts.

8. Rotting Drip Cap

The drip cap is on the top of your frame and acts like a tiny awning by preventing moisture from getting into your house. If the drip cap is made of wood, it can rot. Regardless of whether the drip cap needs to be replaced or repaired, it’s a relatively easy fix that won’t require installing new windows.

5 Situations When You Should Hire Window Replacement Services

Many problems with your windows can be solved with the help of a window repair technician. But sometimes it’s a wiser decision to replace your windows instead. Some of the most common situations where you need to install new windows are listed below:

1. Cold Glass

If you live in an older Anne Arundel County home, it’s likely your windows are single-pane.

If so, when you touch the window it will always feel cold—particularly in the winter—since it’s not insulated. But most homes built after the 1950s have double or even triple pane windows that should not be cold to the touch.

Multi-pane windows are meant to keep the cold out through added insulation. If you touch your windows during the winter and notice they’re freezing cold, there is an issue with the insulation. Unfortunately, there is no easy window repair solution for this issue.

2. Drafty Windows

Although some drafts are caused by worn-out caulking, like we noted earlier, there are a few other reasons your windows are drafty. These issues are not quite so easy to fix, but are important to address. Not only do drafty windows impact your energy bill by making your HVAC system work harder to heat/cool your home, but cold or humid air indoors can also be very uncomfortable. The following issues can cause drafts in your home, and will mean your windows need to be replaced:

  • Cracks in the glass
  • Torn screens
  • Incorrectly fitted windows

3. Foggy Windows

Foggy windows are not inherently bad, if it's the kind of fog that you can draw hearts and sweet little messages on (although that might leave streaks on the glass). Fog on the outside of your window pane is caused by a dichotomy between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, or humidity inside—say from a boiling pot. However, fog trapped between two panes of glass is not a good sign. It means that water is condensing within the window’s insulation glass unit, or IGU.

IGUs are a space between two panes of glass that’s filled with a noble gas such as argon or krypton. It insulates the window and is what enables double and triple pane windows to be energy efficient. Since these windows are sealed, the only way to fix a foggy window is to replace the sealed double pane glass in the window.

4. High Energy Bill

Have you noticed your energy bill is higher than it used to be? The cause could be your windows. Drafty windows affect your energy bill because the cold or warm air from outside impacts the indoor temperature. Accordingly, your HVAC system will have to work harder to either heat or cool your home.

Also, energy efficient windows can help you save money by lowering your energy bills. Many older homes in Anne Arundel County have single pane windows. Single pane windows aren’t built to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Just like a drafty window, single panes affect your home’s temperature and HVAC system.

5. Excessive Damage

If damage to your window is significant, then repairs are not always worthwhile. In this case, it might be more cost effective to replace it entirely. When one of our experienced technicians or carpenters visits your Anne Arundel home to look at your specific problem, we’ll advise you on the best course of action.

Our Repair and Replacement Services

When your window frame is rotting or the caulking has worn-out, our technicians can help. Not only is window repair an easy way to save time and money, but it can also reduce unnecessary waste. Our experts have a minimum of 15 years’ experience working in carpentry and the trades, so believe us when we say repairing your damages will be a breeze. We’ll diligently and efficiently fix the damage so that each window functions safely and that your home’s facade can look its best. Additionally, if you’re making the switch to an energy efficient model or have no choice but to install a new window, we can help with that too. Our window repair and replacement services include:

  • Skylight repair/replacement
  • Casement window repair/replacement
  • Picture window repair/replacement
  • Insulated window repair/replacement
  • Bay window repair/replacement

Our technicians are not only highly skilled craftsmen, but we’re also dedicated to providing outstanding customer service. We’ll arrive on-time to your scheduled appointment, ready to get to work. Our team will treat your home like it’s our own, and as if you were a dear friend or neighbor who just invited us over. We believe in putting our clients first, which is why we offer upfront pricing and unparalleled service.

We always stand behind our work. Having to repair or replace your windows can be a hassle and even an added stress for you and your family. Also, installing new windows in particular can be quite the financial investment. Yet, all these stressors are the very reason why you should hire our qualified professionals to take care of your windows. Each of our technicians are friendly and courteous and we take care to get our work done efficiently and tidily without compromising our high-quality craftsmanship. Lastly, when you make improvements to your home such as installing new windows, it’s all the more important to hire a handyman you can trust.

Hire the Pros at Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and North PG Today!

Do you need to hire window repair services? One of our experts at Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and North PG will be more than happy to help you. We’ll efficiently complete any necessary repairs or let you know if you should consider replacing your windows. Either way, we’ll be completely transparent throughout the entire process—from letting you know what repair work is being done to offering upfront pricing. We always put our customers first.

To have one of our techs take a look at your window today, we invite you to give us a call or to request a service online.