For 40 years, Magic has provided the GTA with some of the most advanced residential windows in the world. Our innovative replacement windows, patio doors and Window Walls can add style and performance to any home. Welcome to our blog, where we provide consumers with the information and inspiration they need to make informed decisions about replacing their windows.
Investing in window replacement can be a daunting prospect for many homeowners. More often than not, this primarily has to do with the expense, as well as the pressure to invest in the right products and the right company. As a result, it can become easy to ignore the warning signs. But while the initial cost and hassle may seem undesirable, window replacement can save you energy, keep your home more secure and boost the value of your home in the long run.
So instead of putting it off, it’s important for homeowners to actively understand the state of their windows. It can help determine whether they are due for a replacement, or whether they are just in need of repairs. Read on to learn about six ways to tell whether you need to repair or replace windows.
1. Are Drafts Coming Through the Windows?
The first step in determining whether you have leaky windows is the visual test: have a close look at your windows and doors to see if there are any cracks or gaps leading to the outside causing leakage. Seeing any sort of daylight around the door or window frame is an immediate red flag and is a sign that you should look into a replacement.
Another way to test if your window is allowing in the air from the outside into your home is with “The Draft Test”. Stand near your window with an open flame from a lighter or match and hold the flame next to the edge of your window’s interior. If the flame responds to a draft at one of the edges, this is a sign the windows aren’t up to standard. The place that the draft is originating will determine whether this issue stems from the original installation or the existing hardware.
If you’re unsure about where specific drafts are coming from, or you want total assurance as to the energy efficiency of your home, you may also want to consider a professional home energy audit.
2. Is the Window Caulking Cracking?
The caulking on a window runs along the perimeter of the frame. Caulking deteriorates faster than any other part of a window. This can be visibly detected in the form of cracks or broken pieces. In most cases, deteriorated caulking doesn’t call for a full window replacement. You can replace the aged caulking with a fresh layer to better seal your home against the elements. That said, it’s important to keep an eye on any fresh caulking to determine whether or not the problem persists.
VERDICT: REPAIR (BUT KEEP AN EYE ON IT)
3. The Hardware is Crucial in Deciding Whether to Repair or Replace Windows
Traditional windows usually come equipped with handles, latches and cranks that are meant to improve and guide functionality. Test the mechanical features of the window. Be sure they are easy to use and not getting stuck or strained within an open and close cycle. If there are signs of visible rust and hardware decomposition, this calls for a window replacement.
Because window cranks are mechanically flawed and present numerous potential issues, you may want to consider a replacement regardless of whether the hardware is in decent working order. Because cranks only work by moving the sash from the bottom, the top of the sash only ever reacts. Over time, this type of uneven motion will cause the sash to warp, sag and bow within the frame. Crank mechanisms also stand a greater chance to strip, break and loosen over time.
4. Is the Weatherstripping Damaged?
Weatherstripping is a narrow piece of vinyl, rubber, metal or felt that seals the contact area between the fixed and movable sections of a window or door. Weatherstripping on windows can become worn out over time. If you have sliding windows, the friction produced by consistent use is even more likely to damage the weather stripping. It’s crucial to ensure that there are no gaps that allow drafts to escape through the stripping. Homeowners can replace weatherstripping without a full window replacement. That said, if you’re using weatherstripping as a stopgap to address particularly old or leaky windows, it is always advisable to consult a professional and consider a replacement.
VERDICT: REPAIR (IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES)
5. Inspect the Frames to Tell Whether You Need to Repair or Replace Windows
Various companies use a number of different materials in designing window frames. Each of these materials react differently to the elements after prolonged use. Older windows can become warped as a result of temperature changes. Inspect the corners of the window frame, as this is typically where deterioration first presents itself. Vinyl windows tend to be more durable to the elements than their aluminum or wood counterpart. Damaged frames are a definitive sign that you need a full window replacement and installation. When that time comes, consider stronger frames made from vinyl, steel and aluminum that combine the very best of style and performance.
6. Is Condensation Forming Between the Window Panes?
If you notice condensation forming between the two panes of glass, it means the integrity of the window seal has been compromised and that water vapour is beginning to condense into water inside the window unit itself. This is quite common in:
- Newer homes with hollow vinyl PVC frames that expand and contract drastically with weather fluctuations.
- Older homes with ageing windows.
While this may not seem like an issue at first, drafty and improperly sealed windows can lead to air leakage, energy waste and irreparably damaged windows.
Once you have carefully assessed the window and are positive that the condensation is indeed between the panes, it’s time to consider replacing the window altogether. Why not just replace the glass? Because seal failure is primarily caused by cheaper frames, such as ones made from unreinforced vinyl PVC frames or fibreglass. If the seal has failed in these types of cheaper window frames, it will fail again in the future. The solution? Go with a stronger, reinforced frame design.
Still Unsure Whether to Repair or Replace Windows? Call Magic
Whether you are uncertain about the state of your windows, or you’re positive you need a replacement on the grounds of performance or style, book a free, no-hassle consultation with us today.
We understand that every home has unique needs based on its aesthetics, geography and construction. One of our certified project managers will help to explain the innovative design features that set our windows apart and how they can be customized to suit any home. Book a free consultation today and see first-hand why Magic produces the world’s most advanced replacement windows for homeowners in Toronto, Oakville, Mississauga, Ontario cottage country, and beyond.