When it comes to window repair and replacement decisions, there can be some edge cases where the choice isn't self-evident. If you're deciding between repairing and replacing a window, look at the following factors.
Window replacement makes more sense when you're dealing with an older window. Particularly if there's nothing special about the window, replacing it may be the best plan even if it has minimal damage or mechanical issues. Upgrading to a newer model is likely to improve the window's energy efficiency and UV resistance.
The only argument for repairing an older window is if it's aesthetically or historically appealing. You might like the way the window provides a good frame for the view, for example, but there isn't a modern equivalent available.
How you respond to this factor depends on where the condensation is. If there is condensation around the edges of the window panes, then the damage could be fairly limited. Window repair work is justifiable in that scenario. Conversely, condensation at the edges of the window's casing or molding is a sign there might be a deeper issue with its seal. You will likely want to replace it in that case.
The Severity of the Damage or Mechanical Malfunction
Window repair is often the more cost-effective solution when there's limited damage. Replacing some broken glass, for example, makes more sense than replacing the whole window. Conversely, damage to the surrounding structure of the window may not lend itself to repair work.
A similar standard applies to mechanical problems. Sometimes, a window is loose because the pulley system has failed. In other cases, a contractor may be able to replace the small springs on the sides that block the window from falling quickly. Similarly, a tight window could just need some lubricant. A contractor might have to shave a wooden window down a bit if the wood is swelling.
The location of air leaks often also tells you whether you ought to repair or replace a window. A leak near the edges of the panes is likely to be repairable. Conversely, leaks coming from underneath the molding could arise from bigger problems.
At a minimum, you should have a contractor open things up to see if there is structural damage around the window. In some instances, a window replacement may be necessary if the wood around the window has deteriorated or the case is failing. On the other hand, some gaps may have formed while the house settled, and a contractor can usually insulate these.
Contact a window repair service for more info.