Are you feeling the chill from your under-performing windows? It’s time for a winter window checkup to determine if your windows are fixable or if it’s time for replacement windows. The amount of maintenance needed for windows, depends greatly on the material of the frame. Fiberglass and vinyl are virtually maintenance-free. Wood windows tend to need more work.

Here are steps for a quick winter window checkup

Make sure all hardware is working correctly.

If your windows don’t close all the way or having other issues keeping them from locking, this is a concern. Not only is heat escaping, you are also leaving your home unprotected.

Check the weather-stripping.

There are two places you will want to check the weather-stripping. First, check along the sides of your window sash where the sash meets the window frame. Look to see if it is even. If so, then it’s attached properly.

Second, check the weather-stripping on the inside of your window sash. To do this you’ll need to tilt in the window sash. Follow the weather-stripping around the inside of the sash. Check to see if it’s there and intact. If not, it may need to be replaced.

Investigate the sealant.

On the exterior of the window, thoroughly investigate if the seal is unbroken and not compromised. If it is, then you’ll need to repair this.

Are your windows warped or peeling?

This is an indication that your windows are reacting to the elements outside and are not protected. This isn’t a problem with vinyl and fiberglass windows. It can be with wood windows, unless you opt for wood-clad windows, which feature a fiberglass cladding on the exterior.

Do you still feel extreme drafts?

If you’ve checked and added any sealant or weather-stripping, but your windows are still drafty, it’s a good time to look at replacement windows. If you’re dealing with old wood windows, there’s likely no all-encompassing approach to eliminating the drafts. Instead, upgrade to new windows.

Don’t let your windows impact the efficiency of your home. Follow the steps in this winter window checkup to decide if you a fix will do or if new windows are for you.

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