Your home's windows withstand a great deal of environmental pressures and weather exposure throughout the year, from strong winds to both hot and cold temperatures and torrential downpours. Over time, no matter what your windows are made out of, they can begin to degrade and fall apart, greatly reducing their ability to keep all of those weather conditions outside of your home. Fortunately, there are a few different things that you can look out for to determine when your windows have begun to degrade and need to be replaced.
1. Rising Utility Bills
One of the clearest indicators that your windows are no longer keeping the elements on the outside of your home is the fact that your energy bills are increasing noticeably, no matter what season it is. Since all of the windows in your home are likely to be installed at the same time, they will all also begin to fall into disrepair around the same time as well. Beyond increases in your monthly bills, you should also be sure to watch out for drafts of hot or cold air (depending on the season), which can also indicate that the seal around your windows has given out.
2. Condensation and Moisture
Another clear sign that your windows need to be replaced is if you see droplets of water building up on the interior of your windowpanes, between the two pieces of glass. This can be caused by small chips and cracks which may not be able to be seen with your naked eye, or even by a broken seal, that allows exterior humidity to find its way into the panes of glass. This causes two main problems. Firstly, since the space between the panes of glass is no longer a vacuum, heat can more easily flow into and out of your home, reducing the ability of your windows to insulate the interior of your home. Secondly, condensation that has made its way into the middle of your windowpane can cause rot and moisture damage to the frame, which can be more expensive and complicated to fix.
3. Physical Damage and Cracking
As previously mentioned, any signs of rot or mold in your window frames can point to the necessity of having your entire window replaced. However, you should also keep an eye out for physical damage, like cracks, missing caulking, warping wood, rust (if you have metal frames), and other indicators. All of these point to entranceways for the water to make its way into your home, and can quickly become worse if not patched up by replacement window installation.
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