Your windows are often the last thing you would consider worrying about in winter, but they are not immune to cold weather problems. Issues with your windows can allow moisture in, which could potentially damage the sills or frames, and heat out, which can cause your heating bill to skyrocket. If you notice the following issues with your windows, it may be time to consider replacing them with new, energy-efficient windows.
Drafts and Leaks
Windows are supposed to prevent drafts, not cause them. Older windows begin to develop drafts as the seals loosen over time. If you have drafty windows, consider purchasing weather stripping to help seal out the air. You can also run lines of fresh caulk around the window seals, if you notice that the old caulking has worn away. If you have an older home, the cost of your heating bill can be greatly reduced by replacing drafty windows with newer, insulated ones.
Ice is caused by humidity in the home freezing on poorly insulated window glass. Single pane windows are especially poor insulators against the cold. Double-pane glass is your best protection again cold air getting in and heat escaping, but even double-pane windows can be vulnerable to ice if they are poorly installed. This usually is caused by seal failures, as detailed below. Keep single-pane windows wiped down so the excess moisture does not have a change to ice over and consider replacing them if the issue happens often. Ice can even contribute to the glass warping over time, due to the contraction and expansion caused by melting and freezing. If the ice is significant, this can pose the risk of breaking or cracking the glass. Melting ice can also pool on the sill, causing water damage.
Condensation is a common issue that can range from a minor nuisance to serious damage in the form of moisture-induced rot. You can have condensation on the inside or outside of your windows, or even between the layers of glass. It can appear as wet condensation or as frost. Each type of condensation clues you in to what is causing it. Not all condensation is a cause for concern—for example, light condensation on the inside of the glass is merely caused by high humidity in the home. A dehumidifier or running ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to increase the movement of the air can usually fix the problem. Condensation on the exterior of the glass is generally a summer problem, caused by a discrepancy between the indoor and outdoor temperatures. If the issue persists, consider installing a plastic window insulation kit.
Fogging Between Glass Layers
Double-pane aka thermal windows are an excellent option for energy efficiency, but run a small chance of vulnerability to this issue. Fogging or condensation between the glass of multi-layered windows is a sure sign of a seal failure. Moisture gets in between the panes of glass where it’s not supposed to be. If you notice fogging or condensation inside your double-pane windows, fixing it will require either replacement of the window glass or the entire window, as it is not possible to reseal a thermal window.
A final problem that occurs exclusively with wooden frames is rot, especially with older homes. Moisture combines with freezing temperatures and causes the wood to expand and contract, warping over time. If the wood stays moist for a long time, rot can begin to set in. This can leave the wood frames vulnerable to breakage and pest infestation. If your home has wooden window frames, make sure to inspect them twice a year, before winter starts and again when the weather begins to warm up, to check for any signs of rot such as splitting.
If you are considering window replacement, especially if you are worried about the cost being too high, Budget Exteriors can help. Give us a call today at 978-289-9222 to discuss your best options. You can also visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BudgetExteriorsMA for the latest in window-related information.