How to Choose the Right Window Replacement for Your Home
When it comes to choosing windows for your home, there are many factors to consider. Some of the most important include style, durability, energy efficiency, and maintenance.
To begin, measure your existing window frame’s width in three places, jamb to jamb, and note the smallest measurement. This will give you a general idea of what size replacement you’ll need. For professional help, contact Window Replacement Ellicott City, MD now!
A rogue baseball or a heavy storm can shatter window glass, leaving your home vulnerable to the elements. While replacing the entire window may seem like your only option, it’s often less costly to replace just the pane. Plus, it can save you money on energy bills and resale value.
Single-pane windows can be repaired by replacing the glass and using a new seal. This is a fairly easy project that you can do yourself, and is cheaper than buying a whole new window. Before starting, clean the frame and remove any curtains or blinds. Cover the floor with a sheet of plastic or cloth to protect it from glass dust and caulking shards. Then, remove any molding around the sash and set it aside. Next, scrape away the rubber glazing and cut off the sealant that holds the old window unit in the frame.
When ordering a replacement pane, be sure to measure the height and width of the opening in at least two places. This way, you’ll get a piece that’s exactly right. Also, remember that wood expands and contracts as it’s exposed to the elements. So subtract 1/8 inch from your measurements when calculating how big of a pane to order.
In addition to standard clear glass, there are a variety of other options for single-pane windows, including low-E coatings. These help keep the heat from escaping your house in winter and keeping it cooler in summer. You can also choose tinted glass that reduces glare while still allowing sunlight to shine through.
If you have thermal pane windows, a broken seal can leave you with a foggy mess and moisture build up. This is a good reason to consider window replacement sooner rather than later, so you can avoid bigger problems like mold and mildew. If you don’t want to replace your windows, an alternative is to install a clear thermal pane between the existing sheets of glass. This will save you money on heating and cooling costs, and give your home a fresh new look.
While replacement windows are the primary focus of a window replacement project, it’s important to keep in mind the frames that support them. These structures provide a structural foundation that is critical for the longevity of your new windows, and they also impact the look and performance of your window as well as your home’s energy efficiency.
Window frames come in a variety of materials. While vinyl, fiberglass and aluminum are a good choice for homeowners looking for low maintenance and affordability, wood remains a popular option for those who want classic aesthetics or better insulation.
The frame is the structure that encloses your window sash, and it’s an important component of your window system. It’s not only what determines how much light your window lets in, but it’s also the material that can contribute to moisture or air leakage problems.
Most replacement windows are affixed to their frames with fasteners that secure them in place. The type of fasteners that are used is a key factor in determining how long your replacement windows will last. The most common fasteners are nails or screws, but there are also a number of other options including rivets, screw eyes and cleats.
There are two major methods of replacing existing windows: inserts and full-frame replacements. During a full-frame replacement, your installer will remove the exterior trim and interior casing surrounding your old window, then install a brand-new frame that perfectly fits into the opening. It’s a more comprehensive approach that often results in improved window performance and better overall opening energy efficiency.
An alternative method is an insert window replacement, which involves nesting a new pocket window inside the existing frame. While this is a simpler process that requires less advanced carpentry skills, it’s not ideal for older or historic homes because it limits your selection of window styles and may leave some lingering issues with the frame, sash or sill.
An insert window is a good choice if your current frames are still in decent shape, though. Your installation team can assess any rot or softness that’s present in the original frames and make necessary repairs before installing a new replacement. However, the lack of access to the wall area around your existing window makes it more difficult to perform other important adjustments such as shimming or re-insulating without removing the exterior casing.
If you have older windows that are leaking, rusting or rotting, it may be time to replace them. Older windows don’t offer the same energy efficiency, protection or security as newer models, and they can also increase your utility bills and noise levels. If you have sash windows, consider replacing them with double-hung or casement models. They are easy to clean and have many features that help to improve your home’s energy efficiency, such as Low-E glass, argon gas fill and laminated panes.
To get your windows ready for repainting, wash them with Selleys Original Sugar Soap and wipe down to remove any dirt or debris. You can also sand the frame for a smooth finish and to enhance adhesion. Masking or painters tape can be used to prevent paint splatters from interfering with other parts of your walls or views, and dust sheets can protect the floor and furniture from any dripping or spraying paint. Before you start painting, be sure to use a high-quality brush and thoroughly mix your paint. Dip your brush into the paint and tap it against the side of the bucket to remove any excess. Start on the outside of the window and work your way around it. When you’re done, allow the paint to dry completely before using your window again.
On the inside of your windows, you can choose to paint the frame or the sash itself. If you decide to paint the frame, start by removing any window furniture like handles and stays, then sanding the surface to prepare for painting. You can use a hand sander for any intricate areas or an electric power sander to make quick work of the larger surfaces. Once the windows are cleaned and sanded, you can start by painting the top and left uprights of the frame, then any other frames and finally the sill.
Alternatively, you can also have your windows replaced with insert window replacement. This is when the new windows are installed within your existing frame to save you the cost of a full-frame replacement and preserve the integrity of your exterior and interior trim.
Over time even the best-sealed windows can develop problems like water damage. Moisture seeping into the wood or surrounding areas of a window can cause wood rot, discoloration, and peeling paint. This is why it is important to inspect both the interior and exterior of your home regularly for signs of a leaky window. A window leak can lead to expensive repairs to the frame, rotting drywall, and potential insect and mold problems.
If you notice water stains on the walls or ceiling around your window, it is likely due to a leak in the sill or frame. It is important to address any issues with water damage caused by a window immediately to avoid further structural damage to your home.
Leaking frames are not only a source of moisture inside your home but also attract pests like rats and mice. These pests can carry diseases that can affect you and your family’s health. It is important to repair any leaking frames and sills as soon as you can to prevent unwanted houseguests.
Another common sign of a leaky window is cracking and warping of the framing. This can be caused by excessive moisture or from the frame shifting as it expands and contracts with the changing temperatures of your home. It is important to replace any rotting or warped frames and to reseal the area with caulk to avoid further damage.
Often homeowners think that replacing the window will solve the problem, but this is not always the case. If the leak is in the structure of the wall or in the area of the house AROUND the window, it will not be fixed by a new window installed into a leaking opening. It is best to have a professional perform a complete evaluation and let you know if the leak is related to the window or if it is from somewhere else in your home.
If you suspect a leak, start by looking for clogged drainage holes. These holes allow any water that gets past the window seals to drain out of your home and into the outdoors. If these are clogged, it is likely that debris from the weather has collected in the channel and blocked the water flow. If the drain channels are clear, you likely have an issue with the flashing or the slope of the window.