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Repairing or Replacing Your Windows?

Repairing or Replacing Your Windows?

Interior renovationsRepairing or Replacing Your Windows?

Every homeowner knows that replacing windows entails quite an expense. Strangely enough, most of us think about making this important decision as soon as our windows start showing signs of wear and tear or malfunction, despite anticipating the considerable costs associated with this choice. But is it always the right decision?

While there is no doubt that windows in serious disrepair need to be replaced, others require more careful consideration. In fact, note that in some cases, it may be wiser to just have them repaired instead of replaced.

Repairing or Replacing Your Windows

wooden windows_repairing or replacing your windows?

Sliding Windows

Sliding windows, most commonly found in 1960-style bungalows, are known for their durability and, in turn, for the limited amount of problems they are prone to develop. However, this type of window can open and close awkwardly after accumulated wear and tear over time. However, this is a minor problem and can be rectified by spraying the tracks with lubricant.

In fact, maintaining clean tracks is an efficient way to prevent any premature wear and tear. If you need to repair your sliding windows' tracks system, check out our article detailing all the necessary tips and tricks of the trade!

Hung Windows

For wooden hung windows, note that a damaged frame can be restored by calling upon the expertise of an experienced craftsman unless the frame's condition stems from decay. The weight and balance pulley system which opens the window will inevitably wear out and may become more difficult to operate. Nevertheless, it is important to know that such a problem is not beyond repair. Although, this type of mechanism may be difficult to restore, therefore the help of a professional is preferred. 

On the other hand, aluminum hung windows often develop certain problems related to their opening or closing mechanism. Due to the frame's wear and tear, an aluminum rod may protrude from the frame. However, this problem can also be solved by replacing the stopper that leads to the mechanism.

Casement Windows

As opposed to sliding windows, casement windows have a much more elaborate opening and closing mechanism, which is why they tend to be more damage-prone. In most cases, lubricating the mechanism can restore it to its former state of glory. Still, replacing the mechanism or part of it may be the only viable solution. However, to many people's dismay, there is still one teeny tiny problem.

The problem is that it can be somewhat difficult to get your hands on the required parts to carry out the necessary repairs. This is a huge problem for anyone who wants to replace the window's cranking or locking mechanism. Either patience will be required to find the necessary parts for the repair or the entire window may need to be replaced. In any case, the crank should never be forcefully manoeuvred or the problem will just be made worse.

Cremone Bolt Windows

As we briefly mentioned in a previous article, the cremone bolt window system may eventually become difficult to manoeuvre after several years of use. Bear in mind that you can replace the mechanism yourself, just be mindful when purchasing and ensure that you choose the right model. 

So, to replace ’em or not?

old window_repairing or replacing your windows?

As mentioned, it is possible to avoid having to replace the entire window system by making certain repairs or by letting experienced professionals handle these repairs. That being said, if the window in question has more than one problem (damaged frame, foggy glass, run-down appearance, or air leaks), the cost of all the necessary repairs should be factored in. In some cases, it may be more expensive than replacing the entire window itself, which is why you should choose the latter option.

Moving on, note that changing all of your windows is not normally recommended unless your windows are in a particularly advanced state of wear and tear or have been subject to water damage.

Also, keep in mind that replacing a window in a historic (or heritage) building can be tricky for a number of reasons: it can be difficult to find a very similar model, and it can be hard to find a skilled craftsman who can replicate the original model, or it can be hindered by certain restrictions set by the city. If your house is identified as a heritage/historical building, you should contact your municipality to find out if you can go ahead with your planned window replacement.

Improving Energy Efficiency: A Valid Argument?

yellow window on blue wall finish_repairing or replacing your windows?

Many homeowners rationalize window replacement as a way to improve energy efficiency. While this may be a valid argument, it does not in itself justify replacing windows.

On that note, it is worth noting that replacing a window with a brand new one with up to three times the insulating value may only yield a measly few saved dollars each month. Given the significant cost associated with replacing a damaged or broken window, this gives pause!

In fact, to significantly improve an old window's energy efficiency, apply a Low-E film to its surface. Even the skeptics will be shocked because it seems that the results of this method are similar to those of new windows! Amazing, huh? Looking to further optimize your windows' energy efficiency? Opt for warm edge spacers to help you reach your goal.

It is not unusual for an old window's thermopane glass to fog up. Although some companies offer fog removal treatment, EcoHome strongly advises against this solution and suggests instead replacing the thermopane glass, which will provide long-term and lasting results while avoiding a window replacement. For windows with double thermal panes, note that by removing the interior moulding, the thermal pane can be replaced.

Do your basement windows need to be replaced? Check out our article How to Replace Your Basement Windows

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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