Repairing Windows At Your Home

Windows have to be able to keep all of nature’s elements outside when you don’t want them in and at the same time, give you the ability to welcome them inside when you do. That is a lot to ask from any structural element. And yet windows are a defining feature of any home’s appeal.
How well your windows perform this function is somewhat dependent on how old they are. Window technology has come a long way since the 1950’s. Given that, there is a limit to how much improvement you can get from your windows through maintenance. When I was in college in Boston, I rented this great old apartment. Gumwood floors, old radiators and double hung windows with a rope mechanism to raise and lower them. You know what Boston’s climate is like. How many of those windows do you think were working? Let me tell you – not many. If your windows are older than dirt, I seriously recommend that you consider replacing them.
But meanwhile, what should you look for during your home maintenance check-up?
What to Look For
1. Check for window integrity. You want to see if there are any obvious cracks or broken glass; be sure to look for loose putty while you are at it. Also check the weather stripping if you have it to make sure it has not been damaged or come loose.
2. Trim. Make sure the trim fits tightly and is not working loose on your windows. Pay special attention to boundaries, anywhere that the structural elements change. For example, where the trim meets the siding, your foundation or a corner.
3. Screens, locks and hardware. Make sure all of these are in good repair and that they are in working order. This is a good time to lubricate any moving parts.
4. Proper closure. A window can’t perform its function if it doesn’t open and close properly. Best to find this out while the sun is shining than in the middle of the first downpour. Remember that all those little leaky spots add up. Fix them!

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