Windows are an essential part of any structure. More than just allowing a pleasant view of the surrounding area, windows allow control over airflow, help regulate heat, and provide access to a building’s exterior. Proper maintenance and care for windows should be near the top of any homeowner or landlord’s priorities. However, a difficult question arises, given the expenses involved. This is particularly true for windows that have special glass. Is it better to repair or outright replace windows?
The design of the windows being considered for replacement or repair is crucial. Simple, single-pane windows only have a few parts and are easy to work with. On the other hand, complex windows with two or even three panes become much more difficult to maintain. Some panes can move, while others are unable to. When considering repair or replacement, it is important to consider the effort that must go into disassembling a window.
Great thought must be given to each of the individual sashes, panes, and screws. In some cases, the complexity of a window’s design may make it impossible to conduct repairs that are not equivalent to total replacement. The more complex the design, the more effort required for maintenance. This directly translates to increased costs.
Another factor to consider when deciding to repair or replace windows is the availability of glass panels and panes. Specially designed panes or specific types of glass are much harder to come by. Oftentimes, special types of glass require custom production. This then leads to longer timeframes during which the building suffers more from environmental conditions and exposure.
Due to the nature of custom versus common designs, issues of supply and timeframes are more prevalent for homes, which often tailor to the owners. Office buildings and other metropolitan structures tend to feature simpler designs and are easier to repair or replace.
The cost will always be a factor in the decision to repair or replace a window. There are certain conditions wherein repair is quicker and more feasible. These conditions include cracked or broken glass panels, destroyed muntins and mullions, stuck sashes, or minor water leakage. Each of these conditions typically means a defect with just one or two components.
Total replacement usually applies to windows made of more advanced components created by recent technological or manufacturing developments. While this makes windows more durable and provides special properties, it also means that repairing them becomes harder. Most often in these cases, replacement is the only feasible course of action.
Many modern windows feature IGUs or Insulated Glass Units. IGUs are sealed and permanent, which means that if fog builds up within, it is permanent and the entire window will need to be replaced. A few companies are specialized in drilling small holes in the glass to suck the moisture out, but this is expensive and time-consuming.
Structural issues as a result of deformation will also require replacement. Deformation compromises many components, therefore making the replacement of individual components insufficient. Major water leakage is a primary cause of this deformation. Initial cases of water leakage may still provide room for simple repairs. However, even this requires caution, as water and exposure can lead to rot and rust within very small spaces. Oftentimes, rot and rust in windows are hard to detect until they begin to seriously affect window integrity.
Additional Reading: 10 Signs it’s Time to Replace the Windows in Your Home
At North Country Windows & Baths, our Windows are backed by a Lifetime Warranty giving our customers peace of mind. Each window is custom-made to fit your home with state-of-the-art engineering by design, and energy efficiency enhanced by style. Our windows are made to last for years of maintenance-free beauty.
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