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I’m sure it is no surprise when we say your windows are an integral part of your home’s structure. They need to be tough enough to stand up to anything mother nature throws at them, including rain, strong winds, hail, and even ice storms. Yet we rely on our windows to brighten up our home by allowing natural light in as well as allowing fresh air in and stale air out of your home when opened. Like most items that are exposed to the elements and suffer wear and tear, eventually you will need to look into window replacement options.

How to tell if you need new windows? A simple inspection of your windows may be all you need.

When examining your windows there are three things to look for Damage, Drafts, and Condensation.

1. Damage

Some damage is much easier to notice than others. For instance, if your window pane is broken or cracked you should be able to see that fairly easily. In these situations, you may be able to just replace the glass itself and keep the frame as is. Looking for frame damage may not be as easy to spot. Look for any warping or distortions in the frame. If your window frames are damaged, you will more than likely require a full window replacement.

2. Drafts

Because your windows have both external and internal exposure to your home, there is a possibility for air transfer or drafts. If this is true in your home, you are probably paying 10%-20% more on your energy bills due to heat escaping in the winter and entering in the summer. Sealing up these drafts can be as simple as having new caulking applied to the outside of your windows. However, many cases will require the finished moulding to be removed and additional expanding foam insulation applied around the windows to fully eliminate the draft. Damaged frames are another reason for drafts, in these cases you will need to look at replacement options.

3. Condensation

With most energy efficient windows, some condensation on either the inside or outside of your windows is to be expected. Air holds moisture, and when moisture rich warm air hits the cooler surface of your window, it deposits this moisture on the glass in the form of condensation. This is the same process that happens with your cold drinks on a hot summer’s day. In these scenarios, make sure to clean up any pooling water, as it can cause damage to your sills, frames, casings, and dry wall. If you notice condensation between your window panes (double or triple paned windows), this is a sign of a real issue. This means that the seal between the window panes has been compromised, drastically reducing the efficiency of your window.

Most windows have a life expectancy of 15-25 years, a quick inspection for damage, drafts, and condensation can help you decide if it is time to replace your windows. The wear and tear will differ from one window to another on your home. A window that has full sun exposure will break down quicker than one that is in the shade, so make sure to inspect each window separately. If you find a damaged window or are in need of replacement windows, call Southfield Windows and Doors at 519-699-3872 for a no-obligation estimate.