Residential windows aren't meant to last forever. Windows have moving parts and they experience a great deal of wear and tear. On average, aluminum windows are meant to last for about 15-20 years while wooden windows have a longer life span, up to 30 years. Vinyl windows have a wider range, between 10 and 30 years depending on the quality of the frame. But besides the obvious signs like total frame breakdown, how do you know when it's time to have all the windows in your home replaced? Here are four signs.
Broken Locking Mechanisms
Moving parts always seem to be the first thing to go and locking mechanisms are constantly being maneuvered. While it may be possible to simply replace the mechanism on a wooden window, it's not as easy with aluminum or vinyl windows. Also, sometimes the age of your window means that replacement parts are no longer available. A broken lock may require a new frame. And if you're experiencing this phenomenon on multiple windows in your home, it's likely a result of aging parts.
Windows are an area that can be responsible for massive energy loss in your house. If you're feeling draftiness or moisture near your windows, it's a problem. In fact, heat loss and heat gain through windows and the necessary heating and cooling as a result is responsible for 25 to 30% of the energy used in a residential home. If you live in an older home and your windows have a single pane, it might be time to upgrade. Modern windows incorporate a dual and even triple-pane design. These panes are separated by an inert gas like argon that helps insulate.
Condensation Between Panes
Although the dual and triple pane design with a gas insulating layer massively helps reduce energy loss in your home, it can also deteriorate with age when the seals start to degrade. If you start to notice condensation on your windows that you can't get rid of by wiping down either side, it's likely a problem with aging or faulty seals. Once the seals fail, the gas will leak out and moisture will get in. You'll also experience more energy loss due to the loss of that extra insulating layer.
Soft or Sagging Frames
While it's possible to replace certain broken parts on a window, things like broken panes or sometimes locking mechanisms, a broken frame usually requires a window replacement. This is especially true if you have wood windows and you've noticed that the frame feels soft. That means moisture has caused the frame to rot. Additionally, a frame that's sagging is cause for replacement.
Reach out to a residential glass service to learn more.