Windows are fragile things, and a shattered pane is an excellent indication that you need to get a repairman out ASAP for a replacement. However, the pane of glass isn't the only part of the window, and shattering isn't the only type of damage your window may incur. Here are three other indications that repair or replacement is needed.
1. Damaged wood
Unlike glass, wood frames are susceptible to moisture damage such as rotting. It's more likely if you have an old home, but anytime you find rot in your wood window frame, chances are you're going to need some replacement work right away. Other ways your frame could be damaged are by fire or from an incursion of insects such as termites or carpenter ants. Fortunately, if your windowpanes are intact, you may be able to have a custom frame made for them that doesn't involve buying new glass; however, this may or may not be cost effective, so discuss this with your contractor before you make up your mind.
2. Warping and swelling
Even if your wood hasn't been visibly rotted by wood, humidity may cause the window frame to warp a bit and prevent the window from sliding open and closed smoothly. In addition, the settling that a house does over time as its foundation gradually settles into the ground can cause window frames to distort slightly. This can be hastened and exaggerated by earthquakes (which, of course, can also shatter windows quite easily). If your windows become inoperable from these types of damage, a replacement may be in order.
Not all glass damage requires pane replacement; if your glass has been etched by vandals, it may be repairable. Repairs for etched windows involve carefully grinding off a super-thin layer of glass in the damaged area with special equipment until the damage is no longer visible. Whether or not this type of repair is available for your window depends on things like how thick the glass is and how deep the etching goes. You may want to apply anti-graffiti films to all your windows as a preventive measure if your neighborhood has seen a lot of this type of graffiti lately. These films help protect the glass, reducing the amount of glass that will have to be ground away to effect a repair in the event of a graffiti incident.
With these types of damage, your windows may still seem intact, but may be inoperable, leaving you open to danger from fires that you may not be able to escape. Inoperable windows can also be quite a nuisance and can actually allow air to get inside around the window frame if the frame has pulled away from the rest of the wall quickly enough. Be sure to contact a glass repair company if you discover any of these signs of needed window or frame repair.Share