Windows are a perpetual headache for homeowners, often accounting for 25 to 30 percent of heating and cooling energy consumption. That’s usually a byproduct of older windows offering lower efficiency than modern options.
Beyond that, windows suffer from an unfortunate fragility. One carelessly tossed ball and a formerly functional window becomes a cracked or shattered drain on the wallet. You can always replace them, but that’s no joke, with an average cost of around $750 per window.
Then, there is the problem of blown windows. Not sure what a blown window is or how to deal with it? Keep reading to learn what you need to know.
What Is a Blown Window?
Have you ever visited someone’s home and noticed that one of the windows seems foggy while the rest of their windows remain clear? That foggy window is a blown window.
Most modern windows are double-glazed windows. That means that each window pane is actually two pieces of glass with a tiny separation between them.
The manufacturer puts an inert gas in the gap to improve the efficiency of the window. The gas reduced how much heat or cold the window can transfer into or out of the house.
Each window or each window pane has a seal that keeps moisture out of the space between double-glazed windows. If that seal breaks, moisture can seep into that gap. Once the moisture gets in there, it’s almost impossible to get the moisture back out.
Even worse, that moisture interferes with the heat regulation that double-glazed windows should offer.
What Causes a Blown Window?
There are several potential causes for a blown window. One of the most common causes is simple age.
Your average window has a life expectancy of about a decade. Once you get beyond that 10-year mark, there is a good chance that the seal will fail on its own.
Damage is another common cause. High winds can stress your windows. This adds to the overall wear and tear on the window itself, as well as the seal that keeps moisture out. While the occasional storm won’t do it, homeowners in areas prone to high winds should keep a close eye on their windows.
Believe it or not, you can actually damage the seal yourself. Chemical cleaners, particularly harsh ones, can damage the window and the seal. All that most windows need is a gentle combination of water, soap, and some white vinegar.
Poor installation can leave you with blown windows in no time at all. Bad installations mean that the glass and frames don’t align well. Again, this stresses the seal and can leave you with a blown window seal.
Avoiding Blown Windows
Preventing a blown window is tricky, but it’s not impossible. When you first get your windows installed, make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company.
Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners on your windows. The water, soap, and vinegar solution should do the trick.
Use storm shutters or storm windows when you know severe weather is about to blow through. This is especially important if the weather calls for high winds.
Make sure the caulk that seals the glass and frames doesn’t deteriorate too much.
Even if you take all of these steps, though, nothing can prevent your windows from aging beyond their working life. Once that happens, you are down to either window replacement or window repair.
Repairing a Window
As noted above, replacing a window is an expensive proposition. Beyond that, it’s a very disruptive process. The company must remove the window and the frame.
More importantly, window replacement isn’t usually necessary for a blown window. Rather than replace the window, you can find a company that offers glass replacement services.
The company will come to your home and remove the old, foggy glass. They’ll install new double-glazed or even triple-glazed glass in the same frame.
Not every window frame can hold a triple-glazed glass. You must consult with the company about the glass options that will fit your old frame.
This kind of window repair is typically cheaper and less time-intensive than a complete window replacement. That saves you some money and reduces the disruption to your life while the repairs happen.
Window Repair Costs
Home repair costs can vary wildly depending on where you live. As a general rule, you should expect higher — sometimes much higher — costs in major urban centers. The operating costs in a city like Miami are much higher than the costs in a place like Grand Rapids, Michigan.
You will need an estimate from a local window repair service to get a clear picture of what costs you can expect in your area. With those caveats out of the way, the national average cost for window repair hovers around $300 per window.
Picking Someone for Repairing a Window
You should approach picking a business for your glass replacement needs with some care. While window repair can feel urgent, you don’t want an installation you’ll need repairs on in a year or two.
Get recommendations. Few homeowners escape without the occasional window repair. Ask around and see who your friends or family used and if they’d use them again.
Do your research on the local companies in your area. How long have they been in business? Do they have a rating with the Better Business Bureau?
See if the businesses have reviews on popular review sites. Don’t give too much weight to one bad review. Instead, look at their overall review profile.
Blown Windows and You
Most homeowners with double-glazed windows will face the problem of blown windows at some point. Even with careful maintenance, the glass itself will eventually reach the end of its working life.
The good news is that you don’t need a full-blown window replacement with blown windows. You can get the glass replaced instead. This saves on money, time, and aggravation.
Michigan Screen & Window Repair offers glass replacement services in the lower Michigan area. For questions, more information, or a quote, contact Michigan Screen & Window Repair today.