When most people think of window repair, they picture a big mess of smashed glass with a baseball sitting in the midst of it and a gaping hole where the pane of glass used to be. While that's a classic scenario to be sure, there are a lot of more subtle symptoms that indicate your windows are in need of repair or replacement.
If you've noticed any of the following five signs in your home, they are red flags—clear warnings to get reliable and cost-effective window repair from the experts at My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Saline, and Chelsea before the damage gets worse and spirals into even more serious problems.
1. Increased Energy Bill
Do you notice cool drafts coming from closed windows, or find that your heating and cooling bill has increased even though your usage hasn't? Air infiltration can cost you big time by forcing your HVAC system to compensate for reduced energy efficiency by working overtime.
Depending on what is causing the energy loss, repairs could be as simple as applying insulated foam or caulking inside the window frame. However, if the issue is occurring because you have old, single pane windows, they need to be replaced with dual pane glass—and you might not be too excited about having to deal with the upfront cost.
The upside is that replacing your current panes with modern, energy-efficient windows that have insulated glass will result in greatly reduced heat loss that nets you huge savings in the long run.
2. Rotting Wood Frames
Most frames are made from wood, and that wood is often exposed to moisture from condensation on the glass or degraded seals that are letting in rainwater. This makes the timber around glass particularly susceptible to wood rot, a form of decay caused by wood-eating fungi that requires timber to have a moisture content of 20% or higher for growth. Learning about wood rot repairs is important for every homeowner.
Not sure if your frames are suffering from wood rot? Take a good look at them up close, checking for these signs:
Discolored patches where wood looks lighter or darker than surrounding material, or has a white, yellow, or purplish hue
Texture changes that cause wood to appear spongy, stringy, or webbed with cracks
Wood breaking off in cube-shaped chunks (this is called cubical fracture) or crumbling into "sawdust"
If you see any of these symptoms, grab a screwdriver and press it against the suspicious patch. If it sinks right in with little or no resistance, you've got wood rot. Frame repair for wood rot usually involves removing and replacing the affected timber, though in cases where the damage is minor, your handyman may be able to scrape out the rotted parts and fill them in with epoxy.
3. Excessive Noise from Outside
Do you find you're often interrupted or disturbed by noise from outside, even when your windows are closed? Properly installed and sealed panes won't cut out 100% of all outside noise, but it should be muffled enough that it doesn't bother you when you're indoors.
The most common cause is gaps in the frame, and the repair can be as simple as applying acoustic caulk around the interior of the frame. If you live in an unusually loud, high-traffic area, sound-cancelling curtains can also be surprisingly helpful to keep the noise outside where it belongs.
4. Insect Intrusion
Once one insect finds its way into your home, you can be sure that dozens of their nasty little friends will soon follow. You don't want any type of unwelcome "guests" using your window as a superhighway, but some are decidedly worse than others—if termites, carpenter ants, and other destructive insects settle in, they can cause severe damage to the structural stability of the house.
The problem might be a torn window screen that's letting them inside, but if you notice they're getting in even though windows are closed, it could be an issue with a rotten or improperly installed frame. Either way, if it's not repaired and closed off, they'll just keep coming.
5. Difficult to Open and Close
If you have to struggle and heave to get your windows open and closed, you might get frustrated and not even bother—but then you're missing out on the key benefit of fresh breezes in your home. Fortunately, this is usually a quick fix for your handyman.
Common causes of a sticky window are:
Over the years, layers of paint have built up and are preventing movement
Your sash is broken or has come off its runners
Hinges or latches are broken and rusty
Signs You Need Window Replacement
We've talked about red flags signalling the need for repair, but there are some situations where repair isn't going to cut it. Here are some scenarios in which you will likely need to look at your options for replacement:
Foggy windows caused by condensation trapped between panes
Structural issues such as the house settling over time and warping frames
Severe storm damage that has caused major water leaks
Damage so extensive that repairs would be more costly than replacement
You want to boost curb appeal by changing the style
You're selling your home in the near future and want to get a good return on investment by increasing property value.
We're Your Professional Window Repairmen in Ann Arbor!
The team of window experts at My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Saline, and Chelsea has decades of experience in the repair trades. As your one-stop shop for quality handyman services, we're confident we can solve any window issue you throw at us. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority on every job.
Give us a call today at 734-666-3021 or request service online to chat with our friendly staff about what we can do to enhance your home and make your life easier!