When To Replace Windows And Doors

Maybe you’ve started to notice a breeze coming from your windows—when they’re not open. Or the neighbor kids’ baseball game yesterday ended with a ball denting your garage door. How do you know when these and other common issues with your home’s doors and windows mean it’s time for a replacement, and when simple repairs will suffice? Let’s find out.

 When to Replace Your Windows

Door Installation

When you inspect your windows’ glass, do you notice any cracks or holes? Not only will these negatively impact your home’s energy efficiency, but they can be dangerous, and the window panes will have to be replaced. Also look for signs of deterioration in the rubber seal that holds the pane in the window frame; you will often see cracks in the seal itself or condensation or mold between the panes. For either of these problems, it is best to hire a professional to replace the glass and/or seals.

If you can feel air moving around the windows, the fix might be simple. If the caulk around the window frame has developed gaps, you can replace it yourself. And if worn weather stripping is the problem, that’s also easy to replace. But if the draft is significant, or if these repairs don’t make a difference, you should consider replacing the windows with newer, energy-efficient ones.

If your windows have become difficult to open or lock—whether they don’t glide easily in their tracks or the hardware is hard to move—start by lubricating these parts. If that doesn’t fix the problem, it’s probably time for new windows. It is essential to have properly operating windows in case of emergency. And another important safety note: if your windows were installed before 1978, they may contain lead paint and should be replaced by a professional.

What are other signs that it’s time to replace your windows? If you hear a lot of outside noise, new windows might offer better sound protection. And modern windows can keep out the ultraviolet rays that might be fading your upholstery. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your current windows, new windows can upgrade the look of your house. In the case of rotting woodwork, a professional might be able to perform repairs, but it is often safer to replace the windows. And finally, if your window cleaning and maintenance routine has become too taxing, a new style may save you time.

When to Replace Your Doors

A common issue with entry and interior doors is that gaps develop over time between the door and frame. With entry doors, the issue is often as simple as replacing the weather stripping. And sometimes the gaps disappear in both interior and exterior doors when they are rehung; a door installation professional can do this if necessary. This can also help doors to open and close more easily.

If your entry door is warped or damaged, it’s time for a new one. If you are unhappy with the way the door looks or time has taken its toll on its finish, you might like the appearance of a replacement. And if regular maintenance doesn’t fix issues with the door’s operation, you will certainly need to replace it. You might consider new interior doors to upgrade the look of your home and to ensure all doors match. You should think about replacing your doors if they have been damaged, especially in the case of hollow core doors.

To check your sliding patio doors and other doors with glass panels for damage and wear and tear, follow the same steps you took when you inspected your windows. If you see cracked glass or signs of a leak in the seal, hire a professional to replace them. A drafty door might benefit from new weather stripping, but it could be time for a replacement. And if any of the moving parts have stopped operating smoothly, try lubrication first.

Garage doors often develop cosmetic issues like rust, cracks, and dents. If the damage is significant, it’s time for a new one. The same goes for significant structural damage, which can be dangerous. A new garage door can also offer better energy efficiency and safer storage. Other garage door issues can be repaired. Individual panels can be replaced if damage is localized. And a professional can adjust the spring tension, motor and other parts so the door moves more smoothly.

So now you have a better idea of what to do if you notice signs of wear and tear on your windows and doors as you perform your regular cleaning and maintenance. Sometimes these problems are easily repaired, but other times, it’s best to call in the professionals for a replacement. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to hire a home repair professional or window and door installer to give an expert opinion.