High-quality, modern windows enjoy a long lifespan that lasts decades. However, nothing lasts forever and older windows may not have the same build quality, stability or finish as newer models.
It is possible to repair wooden window frames and repaint or refinish wooden or aluminium frames, but sometimes it makes more sense to replace them. There are 8 telltale signs that will always reveal that your windows are beyond their best, and replacement windows are your only option.
They Stick When You Open Or Close Them
One sure-fire sign your windows are ready to be replaced is if they no longer open or close smoothly.
A couple of culprits could be behind this, the first is that the handle or opening mechanism beginning to fail. The second, with timber windows at least, is that the frames may have swollen in size.
If water gets into timber frames they will start to warp and expand. Regularly maintain your windows and this won’t be a problem, however, if you’ve inherited a frame that didn’t receive the care it deserved, it might be time to start again with a fresh window.
uPVC windows will also expand and contract in extreme temperatures. Over the years this can affect the size or shape of the frames, making them difficult to use. Aluminium windows, with robust frames, or well-maintained timber frames will last longer against the elements.
More Condensation Forms Between The Panes
Double-glazed windows are made of two thin layers of glass sandwiched together with gas between them. If moisture gets in between the panes, clouding or condensation can start to form.
It is normal to see a little bit of condensation on your windows, particularly in cold weather when the heating is on high. However, if you start to notice a lot of condensation, particularly between the panes rather than on them, then this might be a sign the seals on the windows are starting to fail. If this happens then replacing windows is the only answer.
You Notice More Cold Drafts
The older your windows get and the more they deteriorate, the more likely you are to notice cold drafts blowing through your home.
This could be because the frame itself is no longer whole, particularly with wooden windows, where a damaged frame might start to splinter away. It could also be a sign that the seals around the edge of your windows have failed, or that the fit is no longer square or secure.
A temporary patch-up job can be done with silicone sealant but it is fiddly, leaves an unattractive result and is unlikely to last very long. A new set of windows will be carefully fitted to make sure they are flush, with their own in-built seals holding the panes in the frames and the frames inside the opening. No air, warm or cold, will be getting through.
Another sign that your seals are no longer working is if you start to notice puddles or leaks on your window sill.
You Reach For The Thermostat More Often
Even if you don’t feel the icy breath of a draft passing by, if your windows need replacing, you may find yourself turning the heating high or even just switching it on more often.
Even if the seals are still keeping drafts at bay, when the insulating gas between the glass panes is compromised you may start to notice that your centrally heated air seems to be escaping, while the outside temperatures are creeping in.
The cost of energy bills are soaring enough already and having inefficient windows will only add to this problem. If you notice the temperature of your home dropping, even with the heating on, it could be a sign that you need new windows..
They’re No Longer Soundproof
One important function that your windows perform is soundproofing your home.
If your home starts ringing with the sound of every car horn, lorry or even loud conversation that passes by your house, chances are your windows are the problem.
As with temperature, this can be down to the insulating gas inside your double glazing. When that extra barrier is no longer there to stop sounds from entering your home, street noise will fill your home which can be incredibly irritating if you live in a busy area.
You Only Have Single Glazing
Modern technology has reduced the cost of double-glazing and even introduced triple-glazed windows, so there is now no reason to settle for single-glazed windows anymore.
Glass on its own is bad at stopping sound, so single-glazed windows will usually lead to a loud home, full of street noise.
It’s also a terrible insulator for heat. If the idea of wasting money on expensive central heating that will quickly escape your home isn’t enough to spur you to replace your windows, then do it for the planet. Unnecessary heating bills aren’t just bad for your budget after all.
Your Curtains Are Fading
The glass used in your windows is treated to minimise the number of UVA rays getting through it.
This protects everything inside your home from being bleached by the sun. From your curtains to your carpets, furniture, knick-knacks and art – over time the sun can suck the colour out of the contents of your home.
While it’s never advisable to store a lot of things in direct sunlight, your windows should offer enough protection that it isn’t a major problem. If you do start to notice your soft furnishings are rapidly losing their colour, then chances are your window pane isn’t keeping harmful rays out anymore.
Your Windows Are Looking More Shabby Than Chic
Your windows have many functional benefits but they are aesthetic items too. They make a major impact on the look of your home, particularly the curb appeal of the exterior.
Window wear and tear is a fact of life, and if all you’re noticing is flakey paint or faded colour then a new coat of paint, varnish or seal might be all you need.
However, if the frames themselves are damaged, dinted or soft then replacement windows are probably in order.
If your wooden window frames feel soft to the touch, this will mean water has been absorbed into the timber and it’s started to rot and no amount of paint touch-ups will fix that. If only a few splinters or a small soft patch appears you can use wood filler, but often it is a sign that your windows are nearing the end of their life.
When your uPVC windows are looking shabby, it’s easier to replace them outright than try to freshen their look. Replace them with a set of aluminium frame windows, and you’ll get a set of stylish, strong windows that will last upwards of 40 years.
If your windows are showing any of these signs, it’s time to consider a brand-new set. Whether that’s a super sleek set of modern aluminium windows or a classic set of timber frame windows, we have a wide range of replacement windows to choose from.
With affordable costs and easy installation, our high-quality windows will refresh the look of your home and won’t need replacing again for decades to come.