Here is information that will help you recognize the cases when it is necessary to replace or repair your windows.
Several reasons may justify the replacement of its doors and windows, in particular the questions of comfort and aesthetics. However, be aware that the savings made by replacing a window or a door almost never justify the investment. The complete replacement of the windows is rarely recommended, except in the cases of windows strongly affected by water or UV radiation. In old houses, when the window frame is damaged, we often encounter the following problems :
If you need to replace your windows, consult our Doors and Windows technical sheet instead: let in the light, keep the heat.
Also, if you choose to replace your windows, make sure you buy the best windows that your budget can afford. Ecohabitation strongly recommends triple glazing.
Repair is recommended in the majority of cases. It is possible to repair the window to make it more airtight and it is even possible to add a low-e film to it, to achieve performances that are very close to those of new doors and windows!
Ecohabitation does not recommend calling on companies that promise to remove the fogging between the glazing. The holes drilled at the bottom of the glazing create a convection loop that transforms your double glazing into single. It is better to change the thermoses, a simple and effective job that allows you to keep the entire window.
Thermos double glazing has a maximum service life of about 20 years; it is normal to have to replace them. Without having to change the entire window, it is possible to remove the moldings on the inner side of the window (whether fixed or opening), then only change the thermos glazing. This is simpler than we think, much less expensive and more environmentally friendly than the complete replacement of windows. It is necessary to call on glaziers to obtain new thermos glazing. Opt for the same glazing thickness as the original thermos, and find out about low-emissivity films and insulating interlayers.
Wooden frame: if the wood is still structurally intact and it is not in a state of decomposition, consider repairing and adding interior or exterior windowsills. More details in the next pages!
Aluminum frame: Aluminum is still very durable and water resistant. It is therefore often a question of increasing the tightness of the window with weather stripping and sealants.
PVC Frame: These frames are usually well insulated, but can turn yellow and lose their shape. It is possible to apply PVC paint to increase their aesthetics on the exterior or interior side. For PVC windows with cracked single sliding glass, think instead of replacement.
In addition to the repairs suggested above, several improvements can be made to the windows. When the cost or condition of the window or door does not justify its replacement, various elements will be added that will increase its efficiency and improve comfort. For example, the addition of a counter-window improves the insulating value by about 60%.
In any case, the solutions always depend on the initial state of the doors and windows or the problem encountered: tightness, insulation level, presence of the low-emissivity film, etc. The most cost-effective option is the one that will cost little compared to efficiency gains.
the most common exterior doors are built from two steel walls covering a foam core usually made of urethane. Some fiberglass doors are equipped with a fiberglass frame filled with urethane foam, which further reduces heat loss.
In the case of glazed doors or equipped with glazed side panels, insist on installing insulating glass panels having the same characteristics as high-efficiency windows, that is to say equipped with a low-emissivity coating, with insulating interlayers and an air gap filled with argon. Some manufacturers now offer doors with triple insulating glass.
The interlayers: Robust, resistant, recyclable and requiring little maintenance, aluminum frames are however expensive and heat conductors. Make sure of the installation of a “thermal break” that will prevent conduction.
The exterior doors and their wooden frames, although less well insulated than those filled with foam, are often chosen for aesthetic reasons. Even wooden doors can be equipped with high-efficiency weatherstripping to reduce air leaks. In most Canadian climates, wooden doors must be well protected from the elements (to reduce maintenance and increase their lifespan). It would therefore be useful to provide a roof above the entrance.
A tip: replace the old wooden exterior doors with insulated metal doors, in case the building does not have heritage value. They are more durable, easier to seal and they require very little care to maintain their appearance. Maintain in good condition all the weatherstripping of existing doors and counter-doors. If the main entrance door faces the prevailing winds during the winter and is poorly protected, the addition of a vestibule or an airlock could improve the comfort of the occupants.
Let’s preserve our architectural heritage! For heritage wooden doors, it is possible to add weatherstripping, to replace the old single glazing in a high-performance thermos glazing including a low-emissivity film, for example.