Window repairs

How to identify and repair common window problems

Windows provide natural light, insulation and ventilation to your home. As windows age, however, they become less efficient and can have a detrimental effect on your home. Here are five common problems that occur with old windows and how you can fix them.

1. Leaks

Water leaks can be caused by a worn-out weatherstrip or a gap in the window’s seal. This moisture puts the frame and surrounding wall at risk of damage ranging from peeled paint to rot and mould.

Minor window leaks can be repaired by caulking the cracks or replacing the weatherstrip. If there’s visible water damage or warping, you’ll need to replace the window.

2. Drafts
Just like water leaks, drafts are caused by a weakened or broken window seal. Higher heating bills are a telltale sign of drafty windows.

Additional caulking or a new weatherstrip should eliminate the draft. However, if the problem is caused by a warped frame, this will only be a temporary fix. Replace damaged windows to ensure the cold air stays outside.

3. Hard to open
A buildup of grime along the tracks can cause a window to stick and require extensive force to open and close. This issue may reduce the energy efficiency of your home if the window doesn’t close properly. It also poses a safety hazard if you need to exit through the window in an emergency.

Window tracks can be cleaned with a toothbrush and a mixture of baking soda, white vinegar and water. If cleaning doesn’t resolve the issue, a warped frame is likely the cause and the window should be replaced.

4. Warped frame
It’s common for old wooden window frames to shrink and expand after years of exposure to fluctuating temperatures and humidity. A warped frame can make it harder to open and close the window, reduce energy efficiency and create gaps in the seal that lead to leaks and water damage.

It’s possible to address these issues by readjusting the window’s hinges and adding a weatherstrip or caulking, but these are just temporary fixes. The best long-term solution is to install vinyl window frames which aren’t susceptible to the elements that can deteriorate wooden window frames.

5. Condensation between the panes
Windowpanes are sealed together with a layer of gas between them to provide insulation. Condensation or fogging between the windowpanes can occur when this seal weakens or breaks.

It’s possible to resolve this issue by only replacing the window sash. However, if there’s water damage, wood rot or mould, the window frame needs to be replaced as well.

Window replacement in the Ottawa region
At Canadian Comfort Windows & Doors, we offer a transferable lifetime warranty on our window installation services in Kanata and throughout the Ottawa region. To request a free window replacement estimate, contact us today.