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Understanding your old windows better
Windows bear the dual responsibility of letting natural light into your home, and protecting its interior from the elements. As such, they are susceptible to wear and tear. In draughty and rainy conditions such as the kind we experience in Montreal, windows need to be functioning at their optimal capacities. Window repair in Montreal or Laval is thus a regular component of home maintenance. Here are a few basics of window repair that you should know before deciding on the fate of your old windows.
Windows have a shelf life
Years of wind, rain, snow and sun exposure will take a toll on any window. As a thumb rule, most windows will start showing telltale signs of damage in about 20 years. In cold and windy locations such as Quebec, the first signs of a window functioning below capacity include condensation, frost or ice formation on the panes, and rooms that remain draughty even with its windows shut. The good news is that professional home maintenance is a well-established industry today, and finding a local contractor for window repair in Montreal is a fairly simple process.
A stitch in time…
Professional window repair services are your best bet for major tasks such as hardware and glass replacement. But in the meantime, you can keep your windows in good shape by practising some basic DIY maintenance. Clean your windows twice a year to spot preliminary signs of deterioration like discoloured frames or loose sashes. Run a finger all along the seams of a window pane, preferably on a cold day, to spot any leaks or gaps. Basic sealing processes such as caulking can be done at home, but get professional help when you’re unsure of the extent of the problem.
Window repair vs. replacement
Windows nearing the end of their useful lives display some obvious characteristic symptoms like rapid fading of fabrics and furnishings. A new window will significantly cut energy costs, and guarantee several years of flawless functioning.
A cracked pane, a malfunctioning hinge, excessive condensation, rapid glass temperature variation, increased noise levels or even a slightly damaged frame isn’t reason enough to replace an old window. This is especially true for wooden windows, where age actually indicates good quality. The hardwood used in your old wooden windows will be difficult – and expensive – to source today. Besides, surface damage to a wooden window doesn’t necessarily indicate failure. It can easily be restored via special compounds and additives.
Window repair in Laval, Montreal and other humid, draughty regions revolves around better weatherproofing. Common tasks include restoring the frame, replacing any cracked glass or damaged hardware, and caulking or weather-stripping to insulate the window’s joints against heat losses and moisture.
Don’t throw out those old windows!
Old windows, especially wooden ones, can be repurposed in countless interesting ways. From bookshelves to picture frames to coffee tables, there are many alternative uses of old wooden windows. Similarly, old steel or aluminum windows can reappear in your kitchen, as hanging shelves for your pots and pans.
Don’t replace windows before their time, but don’t neglect those that are beyond repair. Window repair can be tricky business, but basic understanding, coupled with the professional services available today, should do the job.