Have you been thinking about getting new windows? Replacing your windows can be a costly project, so many homeowners delay it as long as possible. However, you may reach a point where you have no other option but to replace your windows. Over time, moisture and heat can change the shape and size of your windows, meaning that they don't necessarily fit tightly into the window frame. When that happens, they become ineffective at protecting your home against the elements and they make your home less efficient with regard to energy. Here are three signs that you may not be able to delay window replacement any longer:
The windows are difficult to open or close. Do your windows stick or catch when you try to open or close them? That's a sign that the windows have warped over time, likely due to moisture and heat exposure. If your windows have become so misshapen that they don't open and close smoothly, then there are likely gaps between the windows and the frames where air and moisture are leaking into your home. That can be a drain on your energy efficiency and it can lead to greater moisture problems, such as wood rot and even mold.
There's clouding between your panes. Many homes have double- or triple-pane windows to prevent moisture from entering the home and to provide maximum energy efficiency. However, if you start to see clouding between the window panes, that means that moisture is getting inside your windows. There are likely cracks somewhere in the frames that are allowing moisture to enter. You may be able to seal smaller cracks as a temporary solution. However, if the clouding persists, you will likely need new windows.
You can feel a draft when the window is closed. This is perhaps the most obvious sign that you have either cracks in your windows or that your windows have become warped and misshapen. If your windows are closed and you can still feel air coming in, then there is clearly a gap somewhere. You may be able to use weatherstripping to seal off the gaps. Also, much like with clouding between the panes, you can probably find window sealant at your hardware store as a temporary solution.
However, sealant and weather stripping are only effective for limited periods of time. Also, if you feel drafts at multiple windows, then it's likely a problem that's too big to be fixed with sealant. Window replacement may be costly, but it could ultimately save you substantial money when it comes to energy costs.
For more information, contact a window dealer in your area such as Gilkey Windows. They can help you find the right windows for your home and budget.