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Window Pains - Part 2

Let's face it, sometimes windows can be a real pain! 

They can be drafty or leaky, they might not open when we want them to, and then close when we don't want them to! So that's why we have come up with this list of the Top 10 Window Pains And How To Fix Them:

Read Window Pains - Part 1 (Items 1-5)

Old window in need of repair6. They have water leaks and/or rot. Some wood window products without the benefit of cladding can become warped or sustain rot damage causing leaks at the sill. These leaks can cause damage to the interior of the dwelling as well as the possibility of mold forming inside. A qualified window contractor can repair or replace the needed parts to cure the situation. On many products the whole window may need to be replaced. This issue should be addressed right away.

7.They have broken muntins. Broken muntins, sometimes called grids, is a condition in many insulated glass panels. Internal muntins, those in between the glass insulated panels, can get displaced for various reasons. This is an aesthetic problem that will not cause a panel or structural failure of any kind. To repair, the complete insulated panel will need to be replaced by a qualified contractor.

8. They sweat, fog, or have condensation or moisture where they shouldn't. This is normally not a significant energy loss but is or will become an eyesore as time goes by. Windows are manufactured with the air evacuated from between the dual panes of glass which are then sealed. Overtime, the seals can fail, allowing air to get in between the panes. When the temperature differential from the outside to the inside is just right, the air moisture will condense inside the panes. When the moisture evaporates, it leaves behind the impurities (minerals / alkali that were in the water) creating an unsightly film. This can be caused by age of the panel, severe exposure to direct sunlight, or continual landscape sprinkler spraying of the panel. In a storm window application, this can be repaired by sealing the edge and frame where the storm window attaches to the main window. A sealed insulated panel will need to be replaced by a qualified contractor. Please note that new technology in sealants will make newer insulated panels last much longer than in the past.

Also sometimes, on cold winter mornings, there is a small amount of moisture on the bottom of the interior glass surfaces of windows. This is caused by excessive moisture inside the house condensing against the cold windows. Usually, the humidifier is turned up too high, or a bathroom exhaust fan is not properly removing the moisture created by the morning shower.

9. They have failed or missing sealant. Sealant (caulk) has a tendency to deteriorate over a period of time. It will shrink and cause gaps to let the outside elements enter the structure. This problem causes drafty windows and could cause a water intrusion hazard. Resealing is an easy affordable repair that can be done by most homeowners. It is a good idea to remove the old sealant with a razor knife. Then using a caulking gun and a quality sealant, run a bead to fill the void left by the removal of the old product. It really looks good when you wet your finger and run it over the bead to smooth the surface. If you do take on this project, please be aware of ladder safety and fall protection.

10. They're dirty! Windows should be cleaned at least a couple times a year, but it's probably the least popular of all home maintenance tasks (maybe tied with cleaning the gutters). But an article on This Old House.com claims to have the answer to our problems! The issue, TOH explains is that homeowners insist on cleaning windows with wadded-up paper towels, spray cleaner, and a ton of elbow grease. "All that rubbing isn't a good idea," says Brent Weingard, owner of Expert Window Cleaners in New York City. "You're just moving dirt around from one spot to another and putting a static charge on the glass, which attracts more dust and dirt. The article goes on to give us the secret to success with step by step instructions. Check out the full article here. But don't go overboard! Did you know that excessive cleaning may cause some glass coatings to wear off? Always follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions.