How to Know When You Need New Windows

by Melvin Munk 07/21/2019

You cannot walk through a hardware store or do-it-yourself warehouse on the weekend without someone wanting to sell you new windows. When the weather warms up, expect to have them come knocking at your door too. If you are a new homeowner, you might fall prey to their sales tactics. But how do you know for sure when your windows need replacing? This guide can clue you in.

You need new windows when …

  • Your window has cracks, chips, or broken glass. This might seem like an easy decision, but sometimes those cracks and chips are hard to see. Carefully inspecting clean windows gives you the best opportunity to see small cracks and chips. While they may seem stable in that condition, a quick change in the outside temperature or an extreme difference from inside to outdoor may cause the crack to enlarge or the chip to become a crack.
  • The glass is warped. In a historic house, the vintage glass may have curves or warps, and the former homeowners may have filled in the space with putty. However, in a modern home, it means the glass is not fitting into the frame. When the glass does not fit properly, it could fall out, or cause a leak.
  • The inside of the window is foggy or filmy. Double-paned windows create insulation via the gas in-between the panes. If there is fog or film inside the window, it means that there is a leak, and moisture has entered that space. Your windows may leak to the inside or the outside.
  • The sash sticks. When window frames warp or bend, the window is hard to open or close. Windows that stick closed need repair or replacement immediately since they can become a deadly hazard in a house fire.
  • Your energy bill is high. Sometimes, your windows are excellent, and high energy usage has other causes, but it never hurts to get an energy assessment from your local utility if they offer one. If your windows are part of the problem either because they have broken and leak, or because they are single-paned and not rated for energy efficiency, you need to replace them. 
  • They weathered a recent storm. Often, hail, high wind, and heavy rain damage homes in ways you can not always see. If tornado winds or hurricane-force weather impacted your home, contact your insurance provider to have your home inspected by an insurance adjuster experienced with storm damage.
  • You are renovating your home. Structural renovations can cause shifts and adjustments to walls and foundations that can impact the windows. Get your windows inspected after any significant changes to your home to ensure they retain their integrity.

Do not let a window salesperson scare you, but if you do need new windows, get more than one quote to make sure you get the best quality for the best price. When buying a new home, always have your realtor request a window inspection, as well as replacement of any damaged windows as part of the negotiation.

About the Author

Melvin Munk

Melvin Munk, your number one source for Parkville Real Estate, and surrounding towns.