A focal point that draws light into your home, your windows help create a warm, inviting atmosphere in your place of residence. In the summer, you’re able to look outside at the green leaves and lush lawns while staying cool in your air-conditioned living room. In the winter, you can gaze at the fresh-fallen snow coating the ground and dusting the tree branches while you stay warm and toasty in your heated home.
But when the integrity of your windows is compromised, you may experience cold or hot air sneaking in or out through the frame, disrupting the comfortable climate inside your house and hiking up your utility bill. Windows, both fragile and sturdy, are designed to withstand inclement weather including strong winds and heavy rain. But the elements can eventually take a toll on them, leading to stress cracks around the frame or moisture-filled window panes.
Keeping your windows well-maintained is important to ensure you are not letting money slip through the cracks. In some cases, your window may need to be replaced entirely, but in other instances, there are measures you can take to repair minor damages.
From cracked sills to foggy glass, performing minor repairs on your windows could save you from shelling out cash on replacement windows and increased utility bills.
Cracks around your window casing can be unsightly and allow air to seep into your home. A common issue among older windows, particularly ones with wooden frames, hairline cracks are often due to the natural settling of a house. Leaving the problem unattended could lead to the cracks worsening, a drafty room and moisture seeping its way into your home, creating the perfect conditions for mold. Using a sealant to fill the cracks is a fast, inexpensive fix to the problem.
Whether your home has wood or vinyl windows, it’s important to regularly inspect the exterior seal to make sure there are no cracks or missing caulk. Addressing broken seals will ensure your windows are as energy-efficient as possible, keeping your home climate-controlled and free from moisture, which could let in moisture, potentially leading to mold and warping of walls.
There’s nothing worse than looking outside and having your visibility obscured by hazy, moisture-filled double pane windows. The insulated glass is beneficial in that it helps maintain a consistent temperature between the panes, reducing the possibility of heat loss. But when the inner seal is compromised, condensation will begin to form between the panels, fogging them up. Before going out and replacing the window, there are a couple methods you can try to clear up the panes.
A defogging procedure can be conducted in which a couple small holes are drilled on the outside pane of glass, releasing the trapped moisture and condensation. Then, an anti-fog solution is applied between the panes and a seal is used to fill the drilled hole. If you want to go this route, hiring a professional is advisable, because there is a chance you may crack the glass in the process of drilling. Another option is to replace the glass itself, but this can be nearly as costly as replacing the entire window.
A simple, non-intrusive way to remove moisture is by placing a dehumidifier next to the window to slowly pull out the excess condensation. If you’re able to locate and address the break in the window’s seal, you may be able to add caulking to fill it and possibly prevent the problem for reoccurring.
If your window pane isn’t gliding up the way it’s supposed to, or it isn’t remaining open without a prop, you probably have a faulty window spring. On a breezy spring afternoon, there’s nothing better than keeping your window open to let in some fresh air. But if your window is slamming shut as soon as you open it, you’ll need to decide whether to hire a professional to fix the problem or tackle it yourself.
Luckily, to fix this problem on your own, all you’ll need is a flathead screwdriver and a new spring. If your window allows, extract the lower sash so you’re able to see the balance mechanisms. Then you’ll extract them and replace them with the new hardware. Once you’ve replaced and tightened the new springs, put your window pane back in place. To get a visual on how this task is done, check out a YouTube tutorial that displays the process.
If you’re experiencing a drafty window and are looking for an easy, temporary fix, here are a few options:
When a storm hits, it’s important to stay away from your windows. Strong winds can send debris flying toward your home, and windows are one of the most vulnerable areas on your residence. If a tree branch crashes through the glass, shattering the window, keeping your distance could save you from severe bodily harm.
Once the storm has passed, be sure to sweep up any glass that has fallen to the floor. If the glass has shattered over a carpeted area, you’ll need to thoroughly vacuum the area to make sure every shard of glass is extracted. Because glass can shatter into tiny, microscopic pieces, this process will need to be extremely thorough, vacuuming at the highest suction setting to pull out any pieces that may be entangled within the fibers. If you’re unable to pull all the shards out of the carpeting, you may need to consider replacing it.
A broken window and related damage caused by a storm is likely covered in your homeowners insurance, so be sure to file an insurance claim as soon as possible. Consider hiring a public insurance adjuster to survey the damage and get you the best payout possible.
Related: If you experience damage to your home, it’s important to immediately file a claim and have it repaired to ensure the issue doesn’t drive down your home’s value.
K-Factor Advocates is a public adjusting firm that specializes in claims negotiation, policy language and interpretation, and claims estimating. Coverage areas include Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.