Home window repair vs. replacement – know what is best for you

I have recently been asked by a number of people about the pros and cons of window repair vs. replacement, beyond the obvious difference in cost.

For this reason, I have teamed up with Apex Window Werks and did some in-depth research to help you decide whether repair or replacement is the best option for you, should your window fail.

Window repair

What causes Windows to fail?

Before we go head-first into the discussion, it is important to get some important window care basics down.

  • Inspection

Normally, I advise everyone to include window inspection and basic care routines into an annual household maintenance schedule.

If you have wooden windows, start by assessing for any visible weathering and then press against the frames, sills, and sashes of your windows for any signs of “give” or softness. This indicates that you may have a rot or insect damage problem (both encouraged by water seeping into the wood) that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Look out for any signs of rust or corrosion on your metal windows as these may signify that moisture is getting into your closed windows, the gasket may also need replacing.

Also, pay attention to any visible cracks or peeling paint or varnish that needs to be addressed, as well as inspect for any wear and tear on the hinges, seals, joints or fixtures of your windows.

  • Maintenance

Your annual maintenance routine should typically include applying lubricant to metal hinges, thorough cleaning and clearing of sills, patching of damaged areas of the walls around your windows, etc.

  • Excessive Damage

If you have identified some windows beyond simple maintenance issues, you need to decide whether to replace or repair.

Repair vs. Replace

Repairing your windows, rather than replacing them, may include certain components being replaced, like a sash or sill, but is cheaper than a full window installation, but this can still be time-consuming if you plan to do it alone.

For time-efficiency, consider calling in a local, reliable and well-reputed window specialist to help you out. Angie’s list and local community forums are a great place to find referrals and reviews about companies in your area.

DIY

These are simple wooden window repair jobs you can do yourself:

  • Remove your windows from the frame for ease of access and then strip off excessive paint build-up, sand and re-coat your windows, allow to dry, and then re-hang the window. This may be time and labour intensive but is worth it once you see the final result.
  • Use liquid epoxy, wood filler/putty or resin to fill in small cracks and fissures in the frame etc. after which it can be sanded and painted to match the rest of the window.
  • Adhesive vinyl weather stripping can be used to plug gaps in sashes while still allowing you to open and close the windows.
  • For added energy efficiency and security, window tint and film can be applied, reducing heat loss, blocking UV rays and privacy.

Erin Emanuel

One Comment

  1. This is such an excellent idea Erin. Making my own “HOME WINDOW REPAIR VS. REPLACEMENT – KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU” has always been a task I kept postponing because of my lack of confidence in doing it on my own. You made me feel assured that I can really do it! Just a quick question, do you have a rough estimate of the cost of this project?

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