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Windows in pane? When to repair, and when to replace.

Washington Energy | 08/20/2015 | Posted in Windows

What do a stray baseball, a rotting frame, and a broken seal have in common?
Each scenario forces you to make a decision about your windows: repair or replace? There are several factors to contemplate when the time comes to answer this question. Windows are a key aspect of curb appeal, home décor, and most importantly, home efficiency. Time, hassle, and cost are also factors. In the midst of all of these considerations, there are a few simple questions you should ask yourself before you reach for the toolbox or the window catalogs:


Do your windows have ongoing problems?

An occasional window repair makes sense from a time and cost perspective. Frequent window work, such as continuously removing condensation between panes, painting wood frames, or fixing drafty windows is another story. If you regularly find yourself opening your wallet simply to open your windows, it might be time to consider replacing them.

How do they affect day-to-day comfort?

For homes with single-pane windows, winters can be especially frigid, and summers frequently unbearable. Double-pane vinyl windows are budget friendly and energy efficient, as they help block the heat in summer and contain it in winter. Plus, they’re more resistant to condensation. Whether you’re shivering due to icy drafts and cold-to-the-touch glass, or melting in the beaming rays and stagnant heat, vinyl windows are an attractive option to make your home more comfortable and efficient year-round.

How feasible is window repair?

If you have the time, patience, and experience, your windows might be repairable. Minor (and quickly attended) rot can be patched with epoxy and small drafts can sometimes be eliminated with fresh caulk and new weather stripping. If you live in a historic home, with original or era-specific glass or window frames, repair is probably the best option, as replacing them can affect the home’s overall appeal and resale value.

However, there are some instances, when replacement is simply the better option:

  • Repair would result in exposure to lead-based paint
  • Pervasive rot
  • Fog between glass panes
  • Window hardware is no longer manufactured
Fog between glass panes

Preserving your windows

Ultimately, the best way to fix problem windows is to prevent issues before they start. Each year before the winter season, check your windows for seal breaks, rot (if wood framed), condensation, drafts, and broken hardware. Preserving your windows might be as simple as purchasing a tube of caulking or weather stripping. You may also find that professional repair or replacement is necessary. In any case, complete the work before the issue results in heat and energy loss.

Still not sure what to do? Feel free to give us a call to discuss your options. Our residential window experts will work closely with you to find the right solution for your unique home, style, and budget. After all, windows should provide light and a view of the world—not become a source of headaches.

8 Responses to “Windows in pane? When to repair, and when to replace.”

  • Steele Honda

    Thanks for pointing out that double-pane windows are budget friendly and energy efficient. My husband and I just moved into a new house and are thinking about getting our windows replaced since they seem to let in a lot of the cold. I think we should look at new windows as an overall investment since they could help lower our heating bill.

  • Steele Honda
      I appreciate you mentioning the situations in which window repair is simply better than repairing. I believe that I have one of them as there is fog between glass panels. I will make sure to find a reliable window service to evaluate the situation and decide which option I should go for.
  • Harper Campbell

    It’s good to know that when it comes to repairing a window that there are some things that we need to look for to determine if it needs to be repaired or replaced. One thing that you mentioned that I never considered is seeing how it affects our day-to-day comfort. I like how you mentioned that if we are cold than we need to make sure that we get a get a new window that is weather resistant.

  • Marcus Coons

    I loved when you mentioned how if you find yourself paying regularly to open your windows it might be time to replace them. It is important to remember that taking the time to look into this can help you avoid having to deal with problems with your windows and enjoy them better. We are planning on replacing our windows and want to make sure we find the best person to help us, so I’m glad I found your post.

  • Veronica Marks

    I see that you included fog in between glass panes as a reason to replace windows. Is there ever a reason that fog or condensation might be present there and the windows don’t need to be replaced? We often have that happen, but our windows are actually fairly new.

    • Washington Energy

      Hi Veronica, if fog exists between panes, a failure of the window has occurred. If they’re under warranty, we would suggest talking to the installer and/or the manufacturer about replacement options.

  • Kate Branham

    I like how you said, “If you regularly find yourself opening your wallet simply to open your windows, it might be time to consider replacing them”. I live in a house built in the 1950’s and it still has the original windows. I think that they are beautiful, but the wood on them is not doing so well. I have had to repair them, but keep running into problems. I guess it is time for me to replace them.

    • Washington Energy

      It’s true. The old saying “They don’t make ’em like they used to” can sometimes be a positive thing – and that is certainly the case with windows. We’ve done many replacements on older homes in the Puget Sound. If you’re in our service area, give us a call!


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