Window Repair vs. Replacement: What Should You Consider Doing with Your Building’s Windows?

When something goes wrong with a window, it’s tempting to leap to conclusions and arrange for an entire replacement, particularly if you’re persuaded by claims that modern windows offer superior insulation or aesthetic qualities.

As a property manager it can be difficult to judge whether window repairs are a better option than a full window replacement. Investing in an entire new window may be unnecessary if a problem with the existing window is minor. However, neither do you wish to pay for repairs if the window has seen better days and will need replacing in the short-term.

If you’re weighing up window repair and replacement, how can you decide which option to choose?

When To Repair a Broken Window

A window repair can often be carried out when a minor problem has occurred but the majority of the unit is intact and in good condition.

Repairs are a suitable option in these situations:

  • The glass has cracked or is broken, making the window unsafe.
  • Window sashes are sluggish to move or stick. Sash windows are commonplace in older properties which may be governed by additional regulations, so a replacement could be more expensive than with a modern window design.
  • Exterior drip caps – the shield above the window – are missing. Fortunately, these are cheap and easy to replace.
  • The locks don’t work, making the window insecure or unsafe.
  • Minor water leaks have occurred, indicating the seal may have degraded.
  • The windows are foggy, indicating the double-glazed glass unit has failed completely or that it doesn’t provide an effective barrier against warm air inside the building.
  • Windows not opening and closing may be frustrating and may cause uncomfortable draughts, but this can often be easily repaired.

Carrying out repairs is generally cheaper than replacing an entire window: for example, if the frame is in good condition, simply replacing the glass is almost always more cost-effective than installing a new window.

When To Replace a Window

Sometimes, however, a complete window replacement is a better option, particularly if a repair would be impractical or expensive, or if the condition of the window is poor overall.

Seek a replacement window in any of these situations:

  • There are clear structural problems with the window, which indicates that the entire unit needs to be replaced.
  • There are cracks in the uPVC frame or sash.
  • uPVC windows may discolour over time and as they expand in heat they can become warped. Wooden windows crack and you may see visible rot.
  • If you have single pane or older windows, it’s likely that they could be causing damage to carpets, furniture, artwork and other surfaces by exposing your home to ultraviolet rays.
  • If the window hasn’t been installed properly in the first place. The worst-case scenario is when the window begins to leak, leaving you with a puddle of water inside.

Mila Maintenance: ISO 9001 Approved Window Maintenance Specialists

At Mila Maintenance, we’ve supported property managers and housing association landlords for over 30 years by providing cost-effective and high-quality window and door maintenance and installation.

We work in a range of sectors, including social housing, student accommodation, care homes, and large-scale private rentals, and can advise when a window repair is a better option than a replacement to ensure you benefit from long-term cost-effective solutions.

To arrange a site visit with one of our trained engineers to carry out a full condition survey, please call us today.

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