Common Window Problems San Diego Homeowners Face

Common Window Problems San Diego Homeowners Face

September 26, 2022
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
checking common window problems

Windows give you natural light, open up rooms and let in fresh air to keep your home bright and airy. But there are some San Diego window problems that can impact their effectiveness or appearance. Home windows handle harsh conditions, which expose them to all kinds of damage. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t pay attention to their window panes until when they develop issues. Luckily, you can use some simple remedies to fix windows yourself. First, it’s important to understand the common window problems that you may face. Then you’ll want to hire a window company in San Diego to replace your windows. We’ll cover the common window problems and what to do about them. 

Drafty Windows Due to Various Damage

Have you ever sat next to your window and suddenly felt like you were outside? This is a sign that you have a drafty window. Drafts can happen from a number of things, from rotten window frames and sills to poor installation of the window. Sometimes a draft can be fixed by caulking the window; however, sometimes, it’s best to replace the window with a more energy-efficient window. A San Diego window replacement company like US Window & Door offers Milgard products, which are Energy Star certified to give you the highest energy efficiency. 

To prevent this from happening in your house, you should know the other causes of this window problem. Leaky windows can also be because of unsecured caulking, improper fascia boards, cheap glass seal, no paint seal, and lack of overhangs. 

In addition, you may consider installing windows with better weather resistance, such as windows with moisture-resistant features, solid multi-chamber subframe parts, and a fusion-welded subframe.

new window installation

But if you want to do some practical preventive measures to avoid having leaky windows, you can perform an inspection on the drainage on your sliding or hung windows to ensure they’re clean. Moreover, you should make sure the caulking on the exterior window has an unbroken seal and repair or replace it quickly if you see any damage.

If you’ve done all the preventive measures and you’re still experiencing window leaks, you may consider replacing the window along with its frame. Installing a full-frame window might be costly, but if your current window has damage to the extent that simple home repairs can’t fix it, it could save you a vast deal of money in the long term.

Bowing and Warping Due to Heat

If you have wood windows, you may start to notice warping. Moisture can get into the wood and cause it to expand and contract, leading to that bending and warping of your windows.

Wood rot is one of the common structural problems for most people living in places that experience frequent rain. It’s the disruption of the wood around your window when certain molds or parasites are present. If you want to check whether your windows have wood rot, you can check their openings as they are the primary places that wood rot hits. 

Similar to other window problems, window rot has several causes. Apart from fungi, the presence of rain or fog can also be the cause of wood rot. Plus, wood with unique moisture content has more chances of striking by carpenter ants and termites.’

If warping and rotting go untreated, you can face even more serious problems. When sitting water and moisture are involved, mold is sure to follow. Mold forms in areas with water leakage and high humidity. It’s made up of tiny spores which are dangerous to breathe in.

Moisture does more than create a mold (if that wasn’t bad enough). It also attracts gnats, flies, and termites. All of these bugs love damp, dark places to live – especially in wood. While gnats and flies are more pests, termites are very serious. They eat wood and will devour your window, so you have to act fast. They’re also very hard to exterminate.

old drafty wood window with a view

For that reason, it’s essential to regularly check for window rot to prevent it from getting worse. You should perform proactive measures to avoid it. Apart from making sure that your window is in good condition, you should also check your doors and other entrance of your home frequently, especially in those areas of your house where water can penetrate the wood.  

Lastly, you should repair any leaks at your home the moment you notice them. For example, if you get window leaks or there’s water gathering around your window, you should immediately repair the seals or caulks in that area.

When this happens, you’ll need to know how to fix warped windows. If the warping damage is minor, you can add some filler to cover cracks. To prevent warping, you should also add a new coat of paint or protective stain to your windows every few years. If the warping is severe and your window isn’t functional, look into getting a window replacement. 

Condensation and Fogging in Between Glass Panes

One of the biggest complaints about windows is that they tend to fog up or develop condensation between the panes of glass. Condensation happens when there is too much humidity in your home, and it can happen on any type of window regardless of its quality. To fix this problem, all you need to do is increase ventilation in your house so that the excess moisture has a place to go. You may want to buy a dehumidifier or check your insulation if you see condensation regularly.

An insulated window comes with two glass panes. Air (specifically krypton or argon) sits between these two panes. That makes your window more energy efficient. The seal on your windows wears down over time due to old age and excess heat. As a result, the moisture from the air leaving the glass panels can condense and cause fog.

You have three options to remedy a foggy window glass. The first is to use a defogging spray. You could get a defogging product or hire a professional to perform this procedure for you.

The second option is to replace your window’s insulated glass unit (IGU). That is usually more affordable than replacing the entire window company. However, the drawback is finding a company that offers this service. The final option is to sign up for total window replacement. If this is required, determine if the warranty on your windows covers seal failure.

Trouble Opening Windows 

Another problem some homeowners run into is difficulty opening their windows. Some people have found that their windows won’t open or close smoothly. Windows that are difficult to open may seem like a problem opposite to that of loose windows, though some of the same issues that cause loose windows can cause this problem as well. In particular, damage or warping to the sash can impede the window frame’s sliding motion in the jamb. Likewise, damage to the jamb can impede window sash movement. If these issues cannot be professionally fixed, then window replacement may be your only option. 

Fortunately, rather than damage, dirt and grime build-up are often the cause of stubborn window opening with single-hung, double-hung, and sliding windows. Thorough cleaning and silicone lubricant spray will often correct the problem. 

replacing broken window

With casement window sticking, loose or missing hardware may be the cause. You should be able to remove the sash and check whether any springs, screws, or bolts are missing or loose. Once tightened and/or replaced, it may open and close with ease. Absent this; the problem may be with the hand crank, which may need replacing.   

If you come across this problem, it’s best to contact a window repair company for help troubleshooting and fixing the issue so it doesn’t turn into a bigger problem down the road.

Rattling Windows 

Rattling windows are another common problem that most people find frustrating. It occurs when there’s a thundering sound from a truck speeding past your home or there’s a strong wind.

But apart from annoying, it’s a sign that there’s a problem with your windows, and you must fix it right away to prevent further damage. 

Most commonly found in older homes, loose windows can be caused by many different issues but is usually a result of long-term, weather-related expansion, and contraction of the wood. The problem can also arise from rotting wood, frame or sash breakage, warping, or improper installation. Loose windows inevitably lead to more problems as any gaps allow water intrusion, which will ultimately cause window frame rot, and perhaps seep into walls where it can cause additional damage and mold build-up. 

The good news is that there are numerous steps you can take to stop your rattling windows. First, a loose windowpane may probably be the reason why windows are rattling. If this is your case, you’ll have to place caulk upon the damaged glass. Applying caulk into the cracks between the frame and the window keeps the glass steady, sealing any gaps present.

sealing window and applying caulk

After sealing them, you should rub out the extra caulk from your windows and frames using a towel soaked in vinegar. 

Moreover, a loose sash is the other common cause of rattling windows. As the windows are open to elements outside, they grow weaker over time and become damaged. The window may no longer suit its track. For that reason, doing some window maintenance should be one of your ultimate priorities to reduce any risk at your home.

Although it’s possible to perform DIY home repairs and improvements, especially if you’ve already done it before, it’s still best to seek professional advice if you want to ensure the efficacy of your methods. 

Windows That Don’t Stay Open 

If your single-hung or double-hung window will not stay open and need support from a piece of wood, book, or other objects to keep it open, the window cord or cord mechanism is probably broken. This issue is common in many homes with older windows and could lead to the window slamming down unexpectedly if opened by anyone not aware of the problem. Not only can this cause damage to the window frame or break glass, but it could cause injury to the unsuspecting window opener. Fixing this problem will need the expertise of a skilled carpenter or window technician, who will need to get behind the casing to fix the pulley system.  

Broken Locks and Latches 

As your windows get older, you might try locking your window one day and notice a piece has come apart in your hand. This is usually a relatively minor problem you can take care of easily. In many cases, you’ll be able to find a replacement part for your window. You can then use a screwdriver to remove the broken lock or latch and replace it with the new one. 

Choose US Window & Door for Window Replacement 

No matter the window type you have, it’s crucial to learn more about protecting and maintaining their durability to improve the comfort and beauty of your home. With regular and practical maintenance, you’ll avoid facing severe issues. Additionally, you may consider contacting a professional to inspect any potential structural problems in your house and fix them. Repairing any potential damage right away will avoid further destruction in other parts of your home. 

new windows in a cozy-living-room-in-apartment

Don’t let these window problems affect the quality of your home. If they go untreated, your windows will look bad, be unsafe, and not energy efficient. But all of these awful problems can easily be avoided.

Replacement vinyl windows are the way to go. Since they don’t warp, rot, and are resistant to bug infestations, there isn’t much you have to worry about. With a simple cleaning every so often, your windows will withstand the test of time.

US Window & Door is here for you when you’re in need of replacement windows. Schedule a free in-home estimate to learn more about the various styles, designs, and materials of windows that will best suit your needs.