The windows in your home are utilized every single day, even the days you don’t go near them or even when you are not home. Yes, most of your windows can open up to allow for fresh air to circulate through your home, but your windows also provide natural light to fill your home, they allow for the sun’s warmth to enter, they give you glimpse of nature and the outside world, and they add an aesthetic touch to your home. Considering how important windows are to your day to day function, it is surprising the most home owners don’t complete any form of annual maintenance on their windows, in fact many homeowners pay no attention to their windows until there is a need do to damage or wear. 

If you are not completing an annual inspection and maintenance, how do you know if your windows need replacing?

Well, here are five signs that tell you it is time to replace your windows.

1. Wear and tear

Changes in the seasons and weather conditions, usage and other factors can affect the amount of wear and tear on your windows. When your windows begin to deteriorate, you will notice a decline in the quality, the look of the materials, and the overall efficiency of your windows. The early signs are always visible and can be as simple as a shift in the room temperature as your windows do not insulate as well any more. If you notice any signs of wear and tear, you should get a window replacement as soon as possible. 

2. Thinning sealant and caulk

When windows are installed, the small gap between the window frame and the house is filled and closed off using sealants and caulking. Both of which can thin out after several years. When the caulking and or the sealant wears down and is no longer closing the gap between the window and your home, air, water and bugs will be able to find their way through. All of which can lead to additional damage to your windows or your home in the future. If the old caulking is not removed and replaced with new caulking that completely covers any gaps in a timely fashion, you may be looking to replace your windows versus repairing them.

3. Loose screws and hinges

Your windows are constantly being opened and closed, and over the years this can add up to significant wear on all the moving part. This can also cause screws and hinges to loosen and lead to less than perfect operation of your windows. Tightening up and loose screws and hinges is fairly easy but, when to fixed right away, it can lead to additional damage to the window frames, sashes and even the glass itself. This type of damage, unfortunately is not easily repaired and again can lead to your windows needing replacement.

4. Years of use

On average, windows have a life expectancy for 15-25 years depending on the quality of the materials used and the care during manufacturing and installation. Most window manufacturers stamp the year the windows were manufactured in between the panes of glass on the window itself. If you are not sure how long your windows have been in your home for, you can easily look at the manufacture date on the inside frame. If your windows are nearing that 20-year mark, it is probably time to start thinking about your windows replacement. 

5. Condensation

Condensation on the inside or outside of your windows is nothing to be alarmed about as this occurs when moisture rich warm air comes in contact with a colder surface and is no longer able to hold the moisture, this excess moisture is released on the cold surface (think cold glass on a hot summer’s day). However, if you notice condensation building up between your glass panes, there is definitely an issue. The area between your panes is sealed air tight, for moisture to get in and settle on the glass, it means the space is no longer air tight. This indicates that your windows have lost their efficiency, and they will not be able to insulate as well anymore.