At some point during a home’s lifespan, the windows must be replaced. A home can last hundreds of years, while the longest-lasting windows typically have a lifespan of just 50 years. When it comes time to replace your existing windows, new advancements in technology and materials can make the process confusing. At Keyprime Roofing, we’re here to help ensure you make the best decision for your home and wallet. Today, we’re here to discuss a few tips on how to begin the window selection process, and what you should consider when making your decision.
How Long Do Windows Last?
The lifespan of your windows depends heavily on the materials they’re composed of.
Average lifespans are as follows, though keep in mind these numbers will vary according to your geographic location:
● Vinyl: 20-35 years
● Wood: 15-25 years
● Aluminum: 15-20 years
● Fiberglass: 50+ years
Other factors that can influence the life of your windows include sun exposure, precipitation level, relative humidity, outdoor temperature, and installation technique. If your windows are nearing the end of their lifespan, it’s time to start considering replacements. Without new windows, you leave your home susceptible to reduced energy efficiency, water damage, rot, and mold.
When Should You Replace Your Windows?
If your windows aren’t nearing the end of their lifespan, are you in the clear? Not always. In our harsh climate, weather plays a leading role in window deterioration, so it’s a good idea to inspect your windows annually for safety issues and deterioration. Here’s what to look for:
● Safety issues. If some of your windows won’t open or shut completely, you’ve got a safety hazard on your hands. Your windows must open and close fully to provide adequate protection for your home and to provide an escape route in the event of a fire. If you plan to sell your home, replacement windows will be necessary if you hope to pass inspection.
● Deterioration. If your windows feel loose, wiggly, or weak, this is a sign of improper installation technique, which can allow moisture to accumulate around the window. As moisture builds, it can cause mold, mildew, and rot, which can destroy the frame and cause extensive damage to your home. Pest infestations are also common in homes with damaged windows. If any part of a window or window frame is cracked, rotted, or in general disrepair, it’s time for a replacement.
● No thermal protection. If your windows are providing adequate insulation, your energy costs will be significantly higher than necessary. Single-pane glass or cheaply made windows should be replaced for added home value and improved energy efficiency.
Select a Window Style
When selecting a window style, it’s important to keep both your home’s exterior and interior design in mind. You should also take ease of operation, cleaning, and maintenance into consideration. Popular window styles include:
● Double-Hung Windows. Both the upper sash and lower sash of this window open fully. They’re suitable for any room in the home, aesthetic, highly functional, and are typically the most popular option among today’s homeowners.
● Casement Windows. A hinge and crank operate this type of window, which swings either inward or outward to open.
● Awning Windows. A hinge pivots this type of window upward upon opening. Since awning windows tend to be quite small, they’re typically a great fit for tight spaces and are a popular addition above doorways.
● Bay & Bow Windows. Typically, this style of window features three to five distinct panes that allow a near-panoramic view of the outside. This style is highly attractive, creating an aesthetic focal point in any room.
Select a Window Frame Material
The frame material you select will largely determine the durability and longevity of your windows. At Keyprime Roofing, we offer the following frame materials:
● Wood Frame. Wood has long been a popular choice, primarily for its aesthetic appeal. While it isn’t the most insulating of frame options, it does provide moderate thermal protection. However, of all frame materials, wood requires the most maintenance as it is most susceptible to water damage and rot.
● Vinyl Clad Frame. Vinyl-clad wood is our most popular frame material at Keyprime Roofing. Vinyl provides energy-efficiency while requiring very little maintenance.
● Aluminum Clad. This is the most durable and resilient clad window we offer. Aluminum is scratch- and dent-resistant, budget-friendly, and energy-efficient.
● Fiberglass Clad. Fiberglass has a tremendously long average lifespan, which makes it an attractive choice. While fiberglass is a newcomer to the market, it’s growing quickly in popularity.
● Vinyl Frame. Vinyl is generally the lowest-cost option on the market because it’s very easy to manufacture. It offers high energy efficiency and generally requires little maintenance. However, you may sacrifice in the aesthetics department when you select vinyl window frames. They’re not typically easy to paint, so you must choose your color carefully.
Select the Type of Glass
Once you’ve chosen your style and frame materials, it’s time for the final step before installation: selecting the glass. For the modern homeowner, single-pane glass simply doesn’t make sense. It’s not energy-efficient, so over time, your energy costs will reflect the thermal loss that single-pane glass facilitates. Today’s modern homeowner has several high-quality, highly energy-efficient options which include:
● Double-Pane Glass. Double-pane glass has become almost standard in new home construction. It features two separate sheets of glass with airspace in between.
● Triple-Pane Glass. Highly energy-efficient, triple-pane glass features three sheets of glass, each separated by airspace. It also provides superior sound-blocking.
● Added Krypton Gas. Krypton gas is injected between each sheet of glass in multi-pane windows. It is 12 times denser than air, which creates an exceptionally energy-efficient window.
● Added Argon Gas. Much like Krypton, Argon is injected between glass panes for additional energy-efficiency. At six times denser than air, it’s not as dense as Krypton, but it’s more readily available, which makes it a popular choice among homeowners.
Keyprime Roofing: Your Residential Window Specialists
At Keyprime Roofing, our mission is simple: provide meaningful, cost-effective, and lasting renovations for homeowners throughout the Minneapolis area. We know what a difference high-quality windows can make for both the appearance and energy-efficiency of your home, and we’re here to help! From product selection to installation, we’ll walk you through every step of our process. To learn more about our exterior home services or to schedule your project, contact our team, or give us a call at 952-426-0132. You can also fill out this form to get started on your free quote!