Vancouver Window Repair: Clear Signs Your Windows Are In Rough Shape

A man using a drill to finish installing a window in a frame during an appointment for window repair.
Imagine your Vancouver, WA house without windows. It's a pretty dismal thought—no natural light, no fresh air, no checking out your neighborhood from the comfort of your favorite chair. At that point, we might as well be right back to square one in prehistoric cave-dwelling times. There's no doubt that windows are a key feature of your home that go a long way toward making it more comfortable, appealing, and livable, which is why it’s important that you’re able to see the signs you need Vancouver window repair services.

Windows can cause some serious issues for homeowners and business owners when they're in poor condition, and when that happens, you need expert Vancouver window repair service from a qualified handyman. If you have a broken window, you obviously know it's going to have to be replaced. However, there are signs of trouble that may not be so easy to recognize. This guide covers some of the major indications that you need window repair in Vancouver, WA sooner rather than later.

If you notice some of the problems below on your residential or commercial property, trust your local Vancouver, WA handyman to get the job done. The service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Vancouver, Camas, and Ridgefield are experienced with everything from minor repairs and adjustments to taking care of unusual or complex window repair needs. We are proud to deliver outstanding workmanship and exceptional customer service to everyone in the Vancouver, WA area.

Letting in Moisture

Leaky windows are a pretty common problem for Washington residents, but they're also a much bigger disaster than many people realize. The spaces between the glass, frame, and wall should be completely sealed off so no water can get through, but if the installation was faulty or the seal has deteriorated over time, excess moisture can seep into the interior of your walls and cause serious water damage issues like wood rot. You may see visible water seeping through your frame, or you may notice other signs of trouble such as brown water stains on your walls or ceiling or softened patches of drywall under your window. Those are indications that you need professional Vancouver window repair right away before your problem gets worse. As a bonus, our multi-skilled handyman team can take care of drywall repair at the same time.

Chilly Air Drafts

Another problem that often pairs with excess moisture seepage is cold drafts of air coming in through a damaged frame. If you avoid sitting near one particular window during winter because there's always a draft of cold air coming from it, that's a bad sign. It obviously makes your house less comfortable, but it's also draining a lot of money out of your bank account via your monthly utility bills. As air drafts change the temperature in your house, they force your HVAC system to operate for longer periods of time and use a lot more fuel to keep your home at the temperature you have set on your thermostat.

Rotting Wood on Frames

We mentioned above that wood rot can be caused by excessive moisture getting inside your walls or seeping into your wooden window frames and sills. Wood rot is actually a form of decay caused by wood-eating fungi that thrive in damp timber with a moisture content above 20% or so. That's why wood that never gets damp can remain in pristine condition for more than 100 years, but timber that is frequently exposed to moisture is highly susceptible to wood rot.

Rot causes wooden frames to soften and crumble apart, which of course lets in even more moisture along with air drafts . . . and that in turn causes even more wood rot in a never-ending cycle of decay that will spread around your house and can lead to some serious structural stability issues when it reaches the timber frame of a building.

Not sure if your interior trim has been affected by wood rot? Here are some of the symptoms of rotting timber to check for:

  • The wood texture looks spongy, stringy or webbed with cracks
  • Discolored patches that appear lighter or darker than the surrounding area, or have a faint white, yellow or purple hue
  • Wood is breaking into cube-shaped pieces (this is called cubical fracture) or crumbling into "sawdust"
  • When you press a metal tool against a suspicious patch, it sinks right in

Any or all of the above are indications that you need Vancouver window repair service from a local handyman who is experienced in dealing with wood rot. It's one of those things that really needs to be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid major headaches.

Can Wood Rot Be Fixed with Vancouver Window Repair?

There are a few different ways to deal with wood rot. It eats away at parts of the fibers that make up wood, so once those fibers have been destroyed, there's no way to make a piece of timber completely whole and solid again the way it once was. That's why the best method of handling Vancouver window repair for wood rot is to remove any affected timber entirely and replace it with new, solid material. At the same time, we'll make sure the inside of your frame is well-sealed so you won't have more moisture creeping in to ruin your newly placed timber. But if you have original wood windows in a historic home, or you've only found a couple of minor patches of rot that are in the earlier stages, your handyman may be able to deal with it by scraping or scrubbing off the rotted parts and filling the cavities with epoxy wood filler, then painting over top so it's invisible and finishing up with sealant.

Don't Open and Close Easily

It's a really nice amenity to have a window that can open and close because you can get a cooling breeze moving through the house on a hot day or just air out the stuffiness of winter once warm weather arrives. But if you have to shove or heave just to budge it open inch by inch, you may be worried that you'll never get it shut again and not even bother.

There are a few potential causes for this irritating Vancouver window repair problem. It could be that the frame and/or sash have been warped over time by the house settling, or by excessive moisture, and the sash no longer fits properly into the frame. In older houses, sometimes the problem is that the frame and sash have been painted so many times, the places with a buildup of paint are scraping against one another and making it really difficult to operate the sash as intended.

The repair method will, of course, depend on the problem—if the frame or sash is badly warped, you may need to replace the whole package. But if it's paint buildup, we can deal with that by removing all those layers so it can function the way it's supposed to again.

Peeling or Flaking Paint

When you see that the paint on your interior or exterior window trim is peeling off in shreds or flaking off in chunks, that's a big warning sign that wood rot isn't far behind. When water seeps into the wood, the timber swells up and puts pressure on the paint from behind, causing it to lift and then crack apart and peel off. If you get a professional Vancouver window repair service to stop the source of moisture and refinish the timber before it gets any worse, you can prevent it from rotting and falling apart—which, as we saw above, leads to even worse issues. Your handyman can strip off the damaged paint or solid stain and reapply it, then add sealant (especially for exterior trim that is exposed to rain) to prevent further moisture damage in the future.

Encourage Pest Infestations

Destructive, unsanitary insects like termites, cockroaches, and carpenter ants spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get inside your house, and they'll be all too pleased to take advantage of any entry point they discover. That entry point could be a winding path through a deteriorated window frame, but the more likely scenario is that you've got rips and holes in your screen mesh and they're just waltzing right in every time you try to get some fresh air. In these types of situations, Vancouver window repair may involve replacing the frame or resealing the inside of it with caulk to block access to insects (which will also help block out drafts and moisture). If your screen is damaged, we can simply remove the torn mesh and insert a new panel of mesh into the old frame so you can catch a breeze without letting in dozens of unwelcome visitors.

What Mesh Screen Size Do I Need to Keep Out Mosquitoes?

Termites and carpenter ants are irritating and destructive, but mosquitoes might just be the most aggravating creature on the face of the planet. If you have mesh screens, their main purpose is to keep those little bloodsuckers outside where they can snack on you and whine in your ear all night long, so it makes sense to ensure the mesh is small enough to block them when you get window screen repair. Vancouver, WA residents can rest easy with just the standard size when it comes to keeping out mosquitoes.

The standard mesh size is 18 x 16, which means there are 18 strands per inch in one direction and 16 strands per inch in the other direction. Mosquitoes range in size from about a tenth of an inch to a quarter of an inch for the big, juicy ones, so an 18 x 16 mesh is going to be far too small for even the skinniest mosquito to squeeze through. That being said, if you're worried about their nasty little cousin the no-see-um (also called biting midges or gnats), 20 x 20 mesh is a better choice.

Can't Shut Out Noise From Outside

If you live in a noisier area that is near a busy street or next door to a playground, you already know how important it is to be able to go inside and escape the noise when you're trying to relax or doing something that requires quiet. If you've noticed that the sound separation between the interior of your house and outdoors isn't as good as it used to be, don't blame your neighbors just yet—it could be a sign that you need Vancouver window repair service. You may need repair work to fix a rotten frame or sash. If you have single panes of glass, replacing them with double-pane windows will make a huge difference in noise reduction, so you can finally get the peace and quiet you're craving.

Foggy or Misty Glass

Do you have double pane glass that looks foggy or misty because there are condensation droplets trapped between the panes? For that type of problem, the most cost-effective Vancouver window repair strategy will likely involve glass replacement. This happens because the seal around the edge of the two panes has been compromised and is letting in moisture and humidity. It is sometimes possible to seal up the edge of the existing panes, but it's often only effective for a short time and you'll need more service calls in the future until it is finally replaced.

Need Expert Window Repair in Vancouver, WA? Count On Your Local Handyman!

Whether you're in Vancouver, WA, or a nearby part of Washington such as Battle Ground, Ridgefield, or Camas, you can rely on the Vancouver window repair experts at Mr. Handyman of Vancouver, Camas, and Ridgefield. As our reviews show, we deliver the highest standards of workmanship and excellent customer service on every job, from fixing commercial windows to residential window repair.

Pick up the phone and give us a call today to speak with our friendly customer care staff about which repair services your property needs to be more comfortable and livable or to schedule an appointment for service at a time that works best for you.