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Should You Replace Your Old Windows?

Updated: Oct 15


Should You Replace Your Old Windows?

6 Ways to Know When It’s Time to Repair or Replace


Colder weather is on its way… Is your home ready for it? Weatherizing your home with insulation is a great way to lower your heating consumption to benefit your budget and the environment…


But what if the windows you’re trying to better insulate actually require DIY window replacement instead? Here’s what to look for as you inspect your home’s windows for wear and signs of damage requiring repair vs. replacement:


  1. Water seeping into your home may not necessarily be the fault of the window itself. Before deciding to replace it, check the water flowing through gutters and downspouts first. Also, look for damage to siding or fascia. Sometimes, water is a sign of a different root issue, and it is always a significant and urgent concern. Homeowner beware: never procrastinate when you see water anywhere that it shouldn’t be.

  2. Cracks or breaks in glass panes may not require a full window replacement; a home repair contractor or glazier should be affordable and convenient to hire. However, multi-pane glass will likely require a full sash replacement. Whether that is more economical than a replacement window will vary.

  3. Cracks or breaks in mullions and muntins— the pieces of wood between glass window panes— will require repair if these are real pieces of wood holding together the glass pains. However, if they are faux, they do not affect the performance of the window.

  4. Sashes that won’t move can require repair if it’s a matter of putting it back onto its track, or removing layers of paint if the window has become painted shut. As long as the repairs can be made without shattering the glass panes, replacement is not generally required.

  5. Foggy windows generally signals a need for replacement of multi-pane windows. Once the seal is broken and moisture is accumulating, the process of rebuilding a multi-pane window is not advisable compared to replacing either the window or just the sash, depending on how it’s constructed.

  6. Problems with Drip Cap and Casing usually require simple repair work, rather than window replacement. Aluminum drip cap and wooden window casing are readily available at your local home improvement store.

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