Buying new windows is always better than repairing old ones. However, this is not always an option. New windows are expensive. Even though they’re usually worth it, they require a significant one-time investment many people can’t afford.
Moreover, you must start planning for this project in time to replace your windows. Replacing windows mid-winter is never a good idea. Then, there’s the issue of compromised safety. While replacing all your windows can be done in a day, sometimes the project is so ambitious that people choose to leave the site overnight.
On the other hand, you would be surprised at how much you can do to repair old windows or at least add to their insulation. Overall, it’s an immediate and cost-effective solution to your problem. Here are a few things you can try.
Inspect windows for damage
If you have wooden windows, you might want to look for rot and termite damage signs. The thing is that this might not be noticeable before you remove the window sash. If there is any damage of this type, all you can do is try to repair damaged parts. Remember, this is a complex task that might require a professional approach. At the very least, you must meticulously follow a guide and use adequate tools.
One more thing you need to inspect is the glazing putty around the panes. Sometimes, all you have to do is replace it to bring your windows back up to speed. This is also simple to notice because it will either be loose or cracked. Removing and replacing it is easy, provided you have the appropriate materials.
This will also help you figure out whether a repair is even possible. Some windows are damaged beyond repair and, if that’s the case, it’s better that you know as soon as possible.
Paint and apply a coat of primer
Contrary to popular belief, paint requires far more attention than it gets. First, it can cover more serious damage, and the only way to properly inspect your windows is to scrape the paint, check the windows and then reapply it.
Now, if the paint is damaged, this is an even greater indicator that immediate intervention is necessary. You also need to find the best possible paint for the frame. Other than just fixating on color, play a bit of a detective and try to figure out why the paint is damaged in the first place. Then, choose a paint resistant to this factor.
When you’re done, apply a coat of primer to the window frame and sash. This should provide extra protection you didn’t even know you needed.
Upgrading your old windows
Fixing is reserved for things that are broken or in a suboptimal state. However, you have another option to consider, as well. Why not improve your windows? How? Well, there are many things you can do. For instance, you could buy window inserts for old windows, thus drastically improving their energy efficiency.
Aside from this, you could also weatherstrip your windows to ensure that there are no gaps or cracks anywhere around.
One more thing to remember is the importance of blinders and curtains for the energy efficiency of your windows. Quality heavy curtains and great blinders are not cheap, but they’re far more frugal than buying new windows.
Consider installing storm windows
One more thing to consider is the installation of storm windows. Now, there are a few reasons why this is so big. First, storm windows are not difficult to install since they’re usually not designed to be opened. Second, they don’t require the extraction of the original window. This means you can install them on your own without much trouble. Considering how this method was supposed to give you optimal cost-efficiency, avoiding the installation fee is a huge issue.
Sanding and refinishing
Remember that rot doesn’t have to ruin the window in its entirety. Instead, you can sand and refinish the frame to get it back on track. Remember that this does more than just protect your frame from decay; it may also make the window more resistant to weather elements and provide superior insulation. Just make sure that you’re as meticulous as possible. You need to do the job right, so if you don’t have the time to spend hours sanding and carefully refinishing, it might be better to postpone the project.
Talk to a professional
No matter how hard you try, there’s a ceiling to how much you can do about these windows. So, even if you want to repair them, you may want to go to a professional. A professional can visit and inspect your windows. Even if they just quote you, they’ll set you on the right path. Tell them your budget and explain why you choose to repair instead of replace. They may have the right suggestion on how to repair your old windows that hasn’t even crossed your mind.
How to Repair Your Old Windows: Everything matters
Windows are a major source of heat loss, but they’re not a standalone feature. Sometimes, unless there’s a draft, it’s hard to say the cause of your disproportionate heat loss. As we’ve mentioned, the draft may be spotted, but how can you tell if you’re losing the most heat via windows and not your walls or attic? Sure, as more and more homes turn smart, the diagnostic will become more accurate, and we might be able to answer this question definitively.
Improving windows will make a massive difference, but it won’t disappear all your heat-retention problems. Instead, take a more holistic approach to the matter.
You can fix your windows indefinitely, but the cost efficiency will be lost somewhere down the line. After a few repairs, you’ll figure out that it was more expensive than if you were just to replace them. In other words, this is a great temporary solution for those who want to save some money on heating and want immediate results, even though they can’t afford to install new windows. Still, installing new windows should always be your long-term goal.