I just recently bought a house that's ten years old. I'm making a list of checkpoints for repairs and evaluations. My current focus is the windows. They're fairly standard, but some do show signs of wear and tear. What are the features I should look at to know if I should be replacing windows or not?
Paul C. ~ Newark, New Jersey
Evaluate air infiltration when considering whether or not a window should be replaced. Close and lock the window on a day with some wind, then see if you can feel any air coming in anywhere around the sashes. This is one of the first places a window can fail. Sometimes the window can be adjusted to correct this problem, but many times the window will end up having to be replaced.
The next thing to check is whether there is any sash warping, or rotting of the sashes or jambs. If the house is only 10 years old, there should not be any warping or rotting, but it is good to check anyway.
The third area to check is to see if the seals of the sashes have failed. If you are getting any condensation between the panes of glass, or you are getting ice or frost buildup on the interior of the window sash during cold weather, then the seals have probably failed and the window should be replaced.