Should I Repair or Replace my Windows?
Make the right call when it comes to window maintenance
When we think of broken windows, we tend to think of cracked glass. The solution to that is simple (though not always cheap): a new pane of glass installed and you are good to go. A bigger and more complicated problem that often arises with older homes, however, is issues with the window frames.
When a window frame or surround is damaged or deteriorated, there are several courses of action that can be taken. The first, of course, is to ignore it. That one’s popular, but it doesn’t end well.
The other two possibilities, broadly speaking, are to repair the window or replace it. Knowing which to opt for is tricky for your average homeowner or landlord, so here are some tips to guide the decision-making process.
Repairing a window frame
Repairing a window frame is the most affordable and easy option if the damage is superficial. This can be the case with older wooden window frames, which lend themselves well to minor repairs. For many owners, wooden window frames are a part of the charm of an older home and they would love to retain the original timber where possible.
Rot is a common problem in wooden window frames, and for an experienced professional it is a relatively simple fix. Hinges, handles, and fittings can be replaced. For the old-fashioned sash windows, it’s not a big job to replace sash cords, weights, and pulleys. Exterior casings can be repaired easily in most cases, and sticky or stuck window frames can be released.
Window frames and sills may also just need an aesthetic refresh. Peeling paint doesn’t mean structural damage, and windows that look like they are past the point of no return may in fact be easy to bring back. Hiring someone to do the tedious but rewarding job of sanding back and repainting wooden joinery can greatly improve the look of a home—you could even opt for a colour change!
Replacing a window frame
Sometimes, frames can’t be safely or effectively repaired—or it may work out cheaper in the long run to replace the whole shebang and be done with it. Here are a few situations in which we would recommend you consider replacement over repairs.
First, if your windows are not insulating your home well—losing heat in winter or losing cool air in summer—it may be a good idea to bite the bullet and replace them when they are in need of repair, particularly if the repair will be a pricey one. Double-glazed windows with insulative joinery like uPVC will greatly increase the energy efficiency of a home, making for a more comfortable living environment and reducing long-term energy costs.
Wooden and even aluminium window frames and joinery can warp and become misshapen as they get older. When severely warped, they are likely past the point of no return and in need of replacement.
Leaking windows are bad news for any property. While there may be a simple fix available for a small leak, if the leaking is extensive it is a good idea to start afresh with a new frame. Water getting inside the house or the walls is the last thing you want as it can cause long-term issues.
If you are still unsure of the best course of action for your window dilemma or would like advice on anything related to window maintenance, get in touch with the Maintain Your Property team. We would love to help you decide on the right solution, and can carry out any maintenance, repairs, or replacements necessary on properties all over the Wellington region.