Maintaining your home’s look and feel all year round may seem overwhelming, but not when you conduct a regular inspection of your property. As you go about it, make sure to check on its exterior components, like your window units, which take the brunt of the damage from extreme weather. Given how they contribute greatly to your home’s good looks, comfort and energy efficiency, it’s crucial that they remain in tip-top shape.
Here are the top four ways harsh weather conditions affect your existing windows, plus the things you can do to deal with them:
#1. It can cause bowing and warping in frames.
Fluctuating weather and temperature can be particularly hard on your existing windows. In fact, weather variances can cause their framing material to shrink and expand, or to bow and warp. When this occurs, your units’ structural integrity may be compromised, allowing for further damage, including letting in unwanted heat and cold. Aside from looking unsightly, weather-damaged windows also make window operation difficult, even potentially risky, because the windows aren’t aligned properly.
#2. It can weaken seals.
Weather damage on windows can result in condensation between the panes. This doesn’t just disrupt outdoor views–it also lowers your windows’ insulating properties. This makes it easy for heat and cold to transfer into and out of your home, affecting thermal stability. Because your HVAC system will work overtime to maintain a pleasant indoor environment, you may notice an increase in your home’s energy consumption and costs.
#3. It can make glass cloudy.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a home with a magnificent view, you can make the most of it with the right windows. When they sustain extensive weather damage, however, it can lead to cloudy glass which will impede outdoor views. High wind speeds, for instance, can carry debris that may scratch the glass. These scratches build up over time to further reduce glass clarity.
#4. It can lead to hardware deterioration and failure.
Windows that have been exposed to severe weather day in and day out may eventually become inoperable. This doesn’t just reduce visual appeal, it can be a potential security risk, as well. If you want to keep your home safe and attractive g, you need to take proactive measures that ensure your windows remain durable and give you lasting performance.
Typical Window Lifespans
Weather and proper maintenance can either shorten or extend your windows’ life cycle. However, you should still consider the materials they’re made of because it can affect the longevity and performance of your windows. Wood-based and aluminum or aluminum-clad windows, for example, may last more than 30 years, while composite and vinyl/fiberglass may offer great performance for up to 20.
How to Make Your Windows Last
While there’s no avoiding bad weather, there are still a few things you can do to make your windows last longer. These help keep them looking good, while ensuring cold and moisture doen’t leak into your home. Here are a few tips:
- Follow proper cleaning procedures. Your windows come with specific instructions on upkeep. Make sure to adhere to these. You can also ask your window contractor for tips.
- Schedule routine maintenance. As with other essential home components like your roofing, windows require a periodic checkup so you can catch problems while they are still small, or even before they develop. This ensures your windows remain in good working order, letting you avoid costly and extensive repairs. A comprehensive inspection followed by the necessary maintenance work is ideally performed at least once a year.
- Practice proper window operation. Keep your windows working smoothly by making sure their hardware and other operable parts are intact. This means opening and closing your units the way they’re designed to work.
- Add window protection. You should consider having shutters or other exterior window treatments installed on your units. This provides additional protection from weather damage, so your windows last longer.
An Effective Alternative
If your windows have already sustained serious damage, however, you might want to invest in window replacement instead. Advanced technology has made newer windows more durable and energy-efficient, ensuring reliable protection and performance. You also won’t lack for customization options — replacement windows are available in a wide selection of colors, styles, finishes, hardware and grille patterns. This makes it easy for you to match your new units with your home’s distinctive appearance.
Just make sure you’re hiring a premier window contractor for the installation so you can get the most out of your investment. Aside from offering high-quality replacement units, a top contractor should also have the necessary business license and insurance, plus the experience to do the work right the first time. Armed with the services of a reliable contractor, keeping your home lovelier, more comfortable, and energy-efficient will be simple.
Dawn Dewey is the marketing director for Renewal by Andersen of New Mexico. One of Professional Remodeler magazine’s 40 Under 40 for 2015, she’s responsible for spreading this premier window company’s name far and wide. Aside from helping homeowners improve their home through window replacement, Dawn is also passionate about animal welfare, the environment and civil rights. Catch more of her updates on the company blog!