Common Home Window Threats And How You Can Address Them

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Your home windows are a key layer of protection for your family, but they are also easily compromised. Fortunately, by being aware of these risks, you can keep your windows strong and your family comfortable. Even the best windows are subject to the following threats, so be sure to inspect for them regularly.

  • Poor Installation: Sometimes window installers do a poor job. This isn’t your fault, but it can impact the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. The best way to pinpoint a faulty installation job is to contact a window professional for an inspection.
  • Severe Weather: Wind, snow, and ice can all damage your residential windows. While you can do little to prevent natural events, you can protect your home by installing strong windows and addressing any damage quickly.
  • Water Leaks: Water damage can cause a host of issues, including mold, mildew, and rot. If your windows are showing signs of sagging, rot, and general weakness, water could be to blame. Keep your gutters and roof in good condition to prevent this damage in general.
  • Structural Damage: Windows with structural damage can become drafty, hiking up energy bills by 10 to 25%. By installing strong glass and tightly sealed frames, even the fastest flying objects may not penetrate the glass. However, damage also occurs because of age, so order replacement windows when necessary.
  • Household Pests: Bugs and small animals can cause window damage as well. Keep an eye out for termite damage and address any bees nests as soon as possible. Keeping your windows clear of pests will prevent them from later sneaking into your home.

Remember: The best way to assess your home windows is to hire a professional. A window company employee can analyze your windows as well as the conditions around your house, making recommendations for the type of windows you should have installed. By taking the time to invest in your windows, you can keep your home sealed and your family comfortable for years to come.

Best Windows Inc. is Chicago’s expert source for window replacement. Contact us today to schedule your commercial or residential window installation.

5 Questions To Ask Before Commercial Window Replacement

commercial window replacementWhen scheduling commercial window replacement, the process may not be a simple as residential installation. This project not only impacts your building, but also your customers and business hours. With this in mind, it is important to have all the necessary information before the installation date arrives. Ask your window installation company these questions ahead of time to stay well prepared.

  1. What do I need to do to prep for installation? You might be required to clear the immediate interior completely of merchandise and other objects. If there are any shrubs or branches on the exterior, find out if you should have those removed as well. It is also important to know whether the company will be providing tarps or sheets to cover any nearby furniture.
  2. How long will the process take? Will it affect my customers? You should know whether you will need to close your business early or open late while window replacement is being completed. If the process is going to take multiple days, ask whether customers and clients can still be in the building or if you will need to close shop for a day or two.
  3. What should I do about my security system? Ask the window installers whether you will need to remove or deactivate your security system during installation and whether they will replace it once they are done. Be sure to ask this ahead of time, because you may need to contact the security company for assistance.
  4. What type of warranty does your company offer? Quality warranties are key in commercial spaces, since your windows need to hold up to the wear and tear of customer traffic. If the window company has a particularly short or non-existent warranty, it might be best to look elsewhere.
  5. How can I get in touch with you if I have a problem? Even the best windows have issues, so ask what their emergency repair protocol is. According to the Department of Energy, 45% of the average energy bill goes toward heating. If your window breaks, this percentage could skyrocket. By addressing problems quickly, you can keep your windows doing their job.

Your specific commercial window replacement needs may warrant different questions, so be sure to make a list ahead of time. Your attention to detail will keep the installation process as smooth and successful as possible.

4 Common Causes Of Window Damage

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High quality windows that are properly maintained can last for 20 years or more. While every homeowner wants to get the most out of their residential windows, there always comes a point when it is time to order replacements. As time goes on, you will likely see one or multiple of the following types of damage. If you happen to spot any of these, be sure to call window installers as soon as possible for replacement.

    1. Poor Installation: Sometimes windows were not installed properly to begin with, causing them to sit incorrectly. This structural issue causes leaks, stress, and cracks in the frame. The best windows will be secured and sealed tightly to ensure that they are doing their job.
    2. General Wear And Tear: Time is also a factor to consider. A window’s structure simply wears down over the years. If you notice that your windows just aren’t holding up to the elements anymore, it is time to order replacement windows.
    3. Weather: Especially if you live in an area that is prone to high winds or cold temperatures, your windows are more at risk for damage. High winds can cause debris and other objects to hit your windows repeatedly, potentially causing the glass and frame to break or crack. Cold temperatures may cause ice to form around your windows, causing the frame to expand. When the ice thaws, you may notice more cracks.
    4. Rotting: Wooden window frames are especially at risk for rotting due to water damage and termites. If this seems to be the problem, consider hiring a professional to inspect the rest of your home for similar damage. Vinyl replacement windows may be your best option if you are repeatedly battling rot.

Remember: It is always best to hire professional window installers to perform your new installation. Trying to do the project yourself may result in improper installation, causing the above issues to repeat themselves more quickly. It is also important to ask the window professional about proper maintenance. With the right attention and care, you can keep your windows serving you for as long as time will allow.

Replace Your Windows With Energy Efficient Windows

window companyYou can’t avoid it any longer…. It is time to replace your old home windows. This is a process dreaded by many homeowners because of the mess and cost that is involved. You may want to consider energy efficient replacement windows that will ultimately save you money, are better for the environment, better for insulation, and require reduced maintenance. Choosing high quality, energy efficient windows can result in substantial benefits in the long run and are well worth it. The energy.gov website even promotes energy efficient window replacements stating that, “when properly selected and installed, energy-efficient windows can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs.” Find a window company that can install these windows properly and you will eliminate the worry of needing to replace your windows again any time soon.

Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows

  1. Saving Money on Energy Bills
    Energy efficient windows provide excellent insulation for the home, and save on energy by using a special E-coating on the glass. For example, if older double pain windows in a twenty six hundred foot house are replaced with energy efficient windows with low E-coatings the homeowner can save up to 15% on their energy bill according to the Efficient Windows Collaborative, a coalition of government agencies, research organizations, and manufacturers that promote efficient window technology. Low E-coatings are an effective way to keep heat inside your home in the winter or to keep it out of your home in the summer. These are the best windows to minimize the need of A.C. or heat! This makes your home that much more eco-friendly because your home requires less power that is generated by fossil-fuel sources like coal or natural gas-fired power plants.
  2. Protection for Items Inside the Home
    Over time the sun’s UV rays can damage furniture, paintings, fabric, carpet, and wood. The special coating on energy efficient windows blocks the UV rays and protects your personal possessions. Most people want sunlight in their homes, and don’t want to be forced to draw the curtains to protect against UV rays. Now you don’t have to! This is also a money saver because none of those items will need to be replaced due to sun damage.
  3. Increased Comfort For You And Your Family
    Another huge plus of energy efficient replacement windows is that they assist in sound-proofing the home. Sirens, loud neighbors, or the hustle and bustle of cars will no longer be an issue. Not only that, they will also keep your home at a comfortable temperature in the winter and summer, provide lots of beautiful light, highly reduce outside noises, and eliminate pesky drafts. As for aesthetics, having your home look as good as it feels, the window company you work with will show you the different window frame options and glass options. Energy efficient window installation will provide the ultimate comfort for you and your loved ones in a variety of ways.

Energy efficient windows are the best choice when it’s time to replace old windows in your home. Look for a reputable window company that have a long list of positive reviews and extensive experience in energy efficient window installation. A properly installed window will reduce the costs of your home in more ways than one and will lead to reduced maintenance in the future. No one likes to go through the hassle of window replacements but energy efficient windows will make it well worth it while you are enjoying the sunshine, the savings, and the comfort they provide.

Replacing Your Windows? 4 Ways You Will Save Money

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While replacing your residential windows requires an initial investment, this project will likely pay off down the line. Not only will your home look better, but you will see major savings due to multiple factors. If you are on the fence about replacing your windows, consider these proven benefits.

  1. Improved Resale Value: Should you decide to sell your home in the near future, potential buyers will be thrilled that you recently replaced your windows, as it is one less project they will have to take on themselves. High quality vinyl replacement windows will also improve aesthetic, structural integrity, and energy efficiency. With features like these, buyers will surely be willing to pay more for the home.
  2. Energy Savings: Drafty windows can increase energy bills by 10 to 25%. By investing in the best windows for energy efficiency, you can seal in air and watch energy costs plummet. Be sure to ask your window installation professional how you can better maintain your windows and optimize efficiency going forward.
  3. Fewer Maintenance Costs: If you have been pouring time and money into repairing, cleaning, and maintaining your windows, newer models will eliminate these costs. While this cost assessment is a delicate balance, it’s important to know when repair costs are no longer worth it. Once you install your new windows, you will be able to sit back and enjoy them without having to constantly address recurring issues.
  4. Tax Credits: You may be able to write off some types of windows on your taxes through programs such as Energy Star. Ask your window replacement and tax specialists if you might qualify for these write-offs.

If you are having any doubts about how this investment will benefit your financial situation, be sure to talk to a window professional. They will advise you about the best type of window for your home, budget, and projected savings. Also be sure to ask about how to maintain your vinyl replacement windows, as you don’t want to continue losing money on air leaks and maintenance costs. By considering all of these factors, you will reap the benefits of quality windows for years to come.

A Few Things to Consider When Choosing New Home Windows

home windowsReplacing your home windows might not be the first item on your home renovation list, but it could be extremely beneficial to your home. Simply switching to dual-paned windows could make your home twice as effective at retaining heating and air conditioning.

That being said, it’s important to take your time when making this decision. Here are a few things to take into consideration when you’re choosing new residential windows.

New or Replacement?
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they may not always mean the same thing. Here’s what new and replacement actually mean when referring to home windows:

  • New Windows
    New windows are typically installed when a homeowner wants to change the size, shape, or structure of the current window opening. In this case, additional carpentry is usually needed before window installation.
  • Replacement Windows
    Replacement window installation only involves replacing old windows. Unlike putting new windows in, there is no work done to the surrounding structure or trim.

If you’re happy with the appearance of your current windows and want to promote a more energy-efficient home, replacement windows are probably going to be a better option for you. And while new windows generally don’t cost any more, it’s important to take the additional work cost into account.

Window Glass
Once you’ve decided whether you’re in the market for new or replacement windows, it’s important to consider the type of glass that will go into the frames. Aside from being able to choose from double-, triple-, or even quadruple-pane glass, you can select the type of glass used. Here are two of the most popular options:

  • Low-Emissivity Glass
    Low-emissivity (Low-E) glass is designed to reduce the amount of heat that flows through it. It’s created using a microscopically-thin layer of material applied directly to bare glass.
  • Impact Resistant Glass
    This is an especially helpful feature if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids who play baseball. And impact resistant glass not only holds up against baseballs, it’s excellent in extreme weather conditions.

No matter which glass you choose, make sure you’re taking your interests for your home into account.

Windows are an important part of your home, and they should make you feel good about it. So next time you need new home windows, don’t forget to take these things into consideration.

Do I Need To Replace My Windows?

replacement windowsYour windows are a central part of your home’s overall energy efficiency. This is why it is important to know when they need replacing. Buying replacement windows is a $300 to $700 investment on average, creating additional payoff in other areas. If you notice any of the following signs, it might be time to give your local window company a call.

  1. Your energy bills are increasing
    If you notice a sudden spike in your utility bills, your windows could be to blame. This could be a sign of air leaks, faulty glass seals, or dislodged frames. By locating and replacing the problematic windows, you will better insulate your entire home.
  2. You notice significant damage
    If parts of your window are broken or displaced past the point of repair, replacement is likely in order. It is important to address these problems quickly, as they can spread into more serious damage.
  3. The windows don’t fit your home decor
    When renovating a room or your entire home, you might notice that your windows look out of place. In this case, consider upgrading your windows along with other aspects of your house.
  4. Your rooms are feeling drafty
    If you suddenly find yourself shivering while sitting in your favorite chair by the window, it’s time to check for drafts. Do this by moving your hand or a lit match in front of the window frame.
  5. Your home experiences severe weather
    Living in a hurricane or tornado prone area puts your home’s exterior at high risk for damage. If your house weathers these types of storms regularly, it will likely require more frequent residential window replacement.

Be sure to call a residential window installation company and order your replacement windows soon after you notice these symptoms. By acting quickly, you are preventing any further damage or increased energy costs in the near future. The window professionals will also be able to inspect your windows to pinpoint the problem and recommend the best type of window for your home’s needs.

Best Windows Inc. offers high quality commercial and residential window installation in the Chicago area. Call us today to schedule your window replacement.

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Residential Windows

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You hired the perfect local window company and your beautiful new windows are installed in your home. While you are now able to enjoy improved energy efficiency and a better overall aesthetic, don’t get to comfy. To keep your home windows looking and working as good as they are right now, be sure to practice frequent maintenance. By following these simple window maintenance tips, you can help your windows last for years to come.

  1. Keep It Clean: Periodically wipe down the window frame with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. Use glass cleaner to keep the window panes shiny. Be diligent in your cleaning to prevent dirt and mold from building up.
  2. Seal Off Gaps: This is especially important if you live in a cold climate or if you run an air conditioner in the summer. When air sneaks through the small spaces between your window and frame, you could see a spike in energy bills. The best residential windows prevent energy loss, but keep an eye out for cracks.
  3. Mind The Exterior: While it is certainly more convenient to pay attention to the inside of your windows, don’t forget to check the outside, too. Your exterior windows are subject to harsher conditions, so they will likely need more cleaning and repair.
  4. Hire A Professional: Some jobs are too big for you to handle on your own. If you spot any major damage such as cracks in the frame, call a window company. They will be able to do a thorough inspection and determine exactly what your replacement plan should be. You don’t want to cause further damage by trying to fix this damage on your own. Likewise, you don’t want to damage yourself in a misguided DIY attempt to fix your second-story windows.
  5. Know When To Replace: With proper maintenance, high quality residential windows can last up to 20 years. With this said, not all windows are the same. Depending on the material and environmental conditions, your windows could need replacing sooner. A professional will be able to tell whether you need to schedule residential window replacement.

By keeping up with these maintenance practices, you can assure the longest life possible for your windows. Just remember that there is no perfect formula for keeping your windows in prime condition. When in doubt, call your local window professionals sooner rather than later to schedule an inspection. They will inform you on the precise condition of your windows and can recommend a new window installation plan if necessary.

Are My Windows Efficient? A Homeowner’s Checklist

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If you are looking to cut back on energy costs, your windows are a good place to start. Old or damaged residential windows are highly inefficient, causing air to pass through with ease. This is especially problematic when running your HVAC systems, as you want the cooled or heated air to stay inside. Ask yourself the following questions to assess whether you need to schedule new window installation.

    • List Item: Description
    • Have my energy bills increased?: If your bill payments have been increasing over time, your windows could be to blame. Drafty windows can cause a 10 to 25% spike in energy costs. Flip through your payment history and take note of any upward trends.
    • Are there air leaks?: Move your hand around the edge of the window frame. Do you feel any air? Test this further by lighting a match and holding it up to the same spot. If you notice the flame bend or blow out, your window is leaking. Use these methods to test all of the windows in your home. The best windows should be sealed tight.
    • Is there mold?: Moisture accumulation often causes mold growth, which can be harmful to your family’s health. Mold can be difficult to control and clean, so if you see mold growing on your windows, it might be time for a replacement.
    • How are the frames and caulk?: Inspect the window frames for any damage and the caulk for any cracks. Any faults could be detrimental to the efficiency of your windows overall. If the damage is significant, it is time for new windows.
  • How old are your windows?: If your windows are more than 20 years old, it is probably time for replacement. Residential window installation, especially in the 1980s, was not as efficient as it is now.

If you are having any doubts about whether window replacement is the right move, call a professional to schedule an inspection. They will run a thorough test of your windows and the overall efficiency of your home. When your home windows are properly installed a sealed, your family will experience a more comfortable home environment.

3 Remodeling Projects to Add Value to a Home

Investing in a few key home improvement projects can help update the efficiency of a home and add resale value when the time comes to sell. Three projects, in particular, are sure to increase the property value.

Spruce Up the Windows

New windows can drastically improve the appearance and value of a house. A property owner can consider a dramatic transformation by investing in a bay or bow window, which can change the exterior and interior of the home, while also providing a desirable window seat. Additionally, investing in energy-efficient windows will help potential homebuyers save on energy bills.

Add a Deck or Sunroom

A sure way to add more value to a home is by adding more living space. Homeowners can convert their back porch into a deck or a sunroom. The new addition can add some impressive square footage to the livable space.

Lighten Up the Bathroom

Remodeling an outdated bathroom in the master suite can be a major selling point for buyers. Installing new windows over the tub will add natural light and make the space feel more like a relaxing spa. When combined with new fixtures or tile and a soothing paint color, the master bath can feel like an oasis when homeowners sell.

These remodeling projects make the home more functional, efficient, and relaxing. Plus, a homebuyer will continue to see the benefits of these investments when the house goes on the market.