There are many problems that can be wrong with a window, but not all of them demand an entire window replacement. Even breaks in the glass can sometimes only require a simple repair in certain circumstances. While disreputable or inexperienced window installers may say replacement is always the way to go, this is simply not true. Repairing instead of replacing windows can be less expensive, better for matching the style of historic buildings, and even more environmentally sustainable than replacement windows. Here are a few of the guidelines to keep in mind when you are faced with a repair vs. replacement window decision.

How Extensive is the Damage?

While virtually anything can be repaired, it may be a bit too daunting to fix too many problems at once. Cracked glass and split muntins can be taken care of. But when you are also dealing with an immobile sash, rotting casing, and brittle putty, the task keeps increasing in difficulty and expense. If you encounter at least 3 distinct issues with your windows, it may be easier to replace them rather than attempt a repair. Fortunately, older windows (whether wood or steel) are generally very sturdily constructed, and they are built to allow different sections to be repaired without having to replace the whole window. By repairing windows instead of replacing them, you may be able to get another century out of them.

Do You Have a Period Home?

It is becoming very popular in the Northeastern United States to opt for era-appropriate window repairs instead of vinyl replacement windows in order to maintain the period touches of wood windows. While this entails a greater level of maintenance (use of storm windows, frequently cleaning window exteriors, periodic re-glazing and re-painting, etc.), owners of historic homes are choosing more and more to invest their energy in the character of their homes’ windows. However, for busy families who don’t have the time for such routine maintenance, there are many imitation wood window choices (primarily made from energy efficient materials like vinyl and fiberglass) that will match the look of the home while reducing the upkeep significantly. Even wood replacement windows can be easier to maintain than the originals.

How Much Insulation Do You Require?

Repairing windows is a very green approach to window maintenance because it uses fewer materials than new replacement windows. However, repaired, single-pane wood windows will never be as energy efficient as high-quality, double-pane vinyl replacement windows. If energy efficiency is a priority, you may also want to look at where your heat loss is occurring. Un-insulated attics and basements, open chimneys, and older appliances can cause a huge drain on your energy resources.  If other areas are addressed, the relatively improved energy efficiency of repaired windows may do more than enough to keep your bills down. However, in areas with harder winters, you may still experience cold spots within your home from the transferred heat.

If you are not sure whether you need to repair or replace your windows, contact a reputable remodeling or window installation company. Professional window installers will be able to detail what repairs would need to be made and how much future maintenance would be required. For more information about repairing and replacing windows around Pittsburgh, contact Legacy Remodeling.