Date posted: 29th July 2022

Is it time to replace my uPVC windows?

The age of your existing windows can make a huge difference to many factors of your home, including its overall appearance, energy efficiency, air quality and how much external noise becomes a nuisance. So, it is important to identify the signs that your windows need replacing with some new ones that will both improve the look and the feel of your home and life.

Our 9 Warning Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Windows

  • Hinges are starting to fail – have excess play – window does not seal properly at hinge point, windows are generally hard to close
  • Windows are leaking sound or doing a poor job of keeping your house peaceful
  • Older locking mechanisms mean security is poor
  • Windows difficult to open and close
  • Windows draughty
  • Weak, wobbly handles  
  • Sealed units failing (fogged up and misting)
  • Your windows are single-glazed or older double-glazed units
  • Internal mastic – mouldy

To be totally honest, some of the above can easily be rectified without replacing the whole window. It is always worth bearing in mind, the more of the above problems you may have, then you may well reach a point of it being uneconomic to repair. We would always be happy to assess for you.

Your windows are single-glazed or older double-glazed units

Older energy inefficient windows will have a large negative impact on your home’s overall insulation and running costs. The higher energy bills, when we are currently having a cost of living crisis and fuel bills are literally going off the chart, means poorly insulated double glazing or windows certianly dont help with costs. Older windows beginning to fail may lead to gaps between the wall and the frame, deteriorating silicon often mouldy, and blown sealed units which will ultimately affect how energy efficient they are.

Windows are difficult to open and close

Sometimes it is as simple as lubricating (oiling) the hinges. This should be a matter of course for all your windows and doors. As hinges become older, they can have excessive play and begin to not operate properly and also seal well, sometimes new hinges are all you will need.

Windows are leaking sound or doing a poor job of keeping your house peaceful

More modern windows are designed to keep outdoor noise leaks to a minimum, through better seals, better glass options and more chambers within the profile.  If you are noticing a lot of external traffic and background noise even while the windows are shut, this is a sign that the windows may need replacing. There aren’t really any repairs that can help with this problem, so peace and quiet will likely require new windows entirely. Take a look at our various types of uPVC windows.

Windows draughty

There are a few ways the external weather can breach you older double glazing, these are mainly through poorly adjusted windows that don’t seal properly, poor or older and perished seals, and mastic joints that have shrunk.

Your windows are single-glazed or older double glazed units

Single glazed windows are a fairly self-explanatory issue. Single-glazing doesn’t insulate as well as double or triple-glazing, and this can create issues with cold in the winter or excess heat in the summer. Single glazed windows usually have a u-value of over 5, whereas good quality double glazing can be as low as 1, triple glazing 0.6. (Thermal transmittance, also known as U-value, is the rate of transfer of heat through a structure, divided by the difference in temperature across that structure. The units of measurement are W/m²K) Poor insulation can cause energy bills to soar when you are needing to heat your home in colder spells, as the heat is heading straight out of the window.

The security of your home is another potential issue with single-glazed windows, especially if they are quite old. New windows can be much more secure with multi-point locking systems, locking handles

Weak, wobbly handles

Its not uncommon for older handles to fail, but these can easily be replaced. Most newer windows systems since the 80’s have common drillings for the fitment of new handles, making it a simple DIY job in most cases. Some older handles had a poor push to lock system, that could mean the window was easily locked by mistake. A problem that’s fine as long as you have a spare key when its needed.

Sealed units failing (fogged up and misting)

Sealed units can last for 30 years plus, but then they can also fail in the first year as well, Most glass companies guarantee the seals on glass units for 10 years. After that time, they can mist up. Misting is caused by condensation from external air getting in between the two panes of glass. However, obviously this is not what was intended for the double or triple glazed unit, so what can cause it?

Sealed units can fail for a number of reasons. The most likely reasons for condensation to appear in between the window panes are:-

● Broken or faulty window-pane seals.  a failed seal can allow moisture to get through the unit and collect in the space in between the two panes of glass.

● Gradual wear and tear – after a long period of usage, the seal can break due to age, expansion and contraction.

● Issues with installation – if the installer did not correctly fit the window or apply the seal, then this can cause faults to quickly appear. In fact, if the installation was faulty, then signs of failing can appear in less than a year. Typical problems include the double glazed unit not being sat on bridge packers, so it can come into contact with the moisture within the window.

FAQs

Should I replace all windows at once?

The obvious answer is yes if all your windows are in poor condition. However, if the budget does not extend that far, then you will need to prioritise what is required and when. A room that you may sit in most of the day in the winter months would be the one to replace for better heat insulation. The bedroom window that leaks noise and heat would also be a priority.

How long do uPVC windows last?

uPVC windows typically have a lifespan of up to 30 years, but this depends on many factors including maintenance, exposure and climate. Over time new technology can improve both heat and sound insulation.

KJM Group supplies an extensive range of low maintenance and energy efficient windows and doors, throughout Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Dorset, and Wiltshire. This includes secondary glazing, casement, tilt and turn and vertical sliding windows and doors in PVC-U, timber and aluminium and energy saving triple-glazed windows with U-values as low as 0.66W/m²K.

For more information on our range of energy efficient windows and doors please don’t hesitate to call or email me or the sales team on 01264 359355 or sales@kjmgroup.co.uk.