Wet Weather and Your WindowsWhen our family has leftovers after a meal, we cover them with plastic wrap before we put them in the fridge—I can often tell who’s tucked into them by how tightly they’ve resealed. Sometimes I find the plastic wrap just sitting on top of the food, the ends open, liquid dripping into the refrigerator. Your windows actually have a lot in common with plastic wrap. A properly installed window with adequate insulation will keep the air inside your home from leaking out and keep the elements from getting in. They really serve several functions in your home, like:
- Keeping warm air in: Older windows were designed with the idea of letting natural light into the home and having views of the outdoors. But modern designs take into account that windows are responsible for a lot of the heat gain and loss in your home. That’s why they’re now designed with materials that keep the warm air in your home from leaking out through the glass during the winter.
- Keeping moisture out: Windows play a big role in maintaining the humidity level in your home. Humidity not only affects your comfort level, it can contribute to mold growth and potentially lead to poor air quality as mold and mildew travel through the air. For Loomis, that humidity comes during our rainy season and can really be a problem if our windows aren’t sealed well.
Signs It’s Time to Replace Your WindowsRain may be normal for winters in Loomis, but if your windows are letting water in, it might be time to look at getting new ones. The air always carries moisture, but when it’s saturated like in a rainstorm, it can really penetrate an old or leaky window. If you’re concerned yours might need replacing, here are the things to look out for:
- Condensation between the window panes: When those raindrops are pattering across your window pane, it’s important to remember that they have to go somewhere from there, and most of the time that’s to the bottom of the window seal. If you begin to see droplets of water between the window panes, this is because moisture has found its way in around the seals due to deterioration or improper installation.
- Windows are hard to open: If you have trouble opening your windows, this could be due to swelling. Window frames, especially wooden ones, tend to swell when it rains because the wood expands as it collects moisture. If the frame can absorb moisture, that means it can leak into your home, if it hasn’t already. Typically, wood and vinyl windows have mechanisms in them such as springs to prevent windows from getting stuck, so if that’s happening these mechanisms have failed and it may be time for new windows.
It’s Time to Call the ProfessionalsSome home repair decisions are a lot like deciding whether or not to go to the doctor when you’re sick. Window problems can be tricky—sometimes a leaky one can be fixed with just a little carefully placed caulking, i.e the chicken soup for a damaged window. But if you’re experiencing numerous leaks, it might be time to see about having your windows replaced. Call a professional if:
- Frames are swollen and cracked: If the frames around your windows are swollen and damaged from absorbing moisture, there’s likely a problem with the whole window installation. Caulking around it might resolve the problem temporarily but, eventually, the frame will rot away. Call a Loomis-based window professional who knows about our local climate to get an estimate for installing a new frame and window with weatherproofing.
- Severe leaks: If you’ve caulked and caulked and your window is still springing leaks, it’s time to call an expert. An improperly sealed window will eventually fail, which will allow air to leak out and moisture from rain, snow, and even air vapor to come in. With the weather we’re having in Loomis, it’s safe to say that leaks like this should be pretty evident, which is why it’s a great time to have them repaired or even replaced.
- Constant fogging: You’ll likely need to have a window replaced if you can no longer see out of them due to the buildup of condensate. If moisture is inside your window, it can get into your house—and this is a real problem. Moisture in your home not only creates mold and mildew that can make you and your family sick, but it can also cause wood to rot and metal to corrode, which affects your whole house—and can even break your electronic devices. Consult an expert and see about trading in your old windows for double insulated ones.