New windows come with great benefits—among them improved aesthetics, better functionality, and increased energy efficiency. But all the benefits of new windows can be completely negated if the window isn’t installed properly—turning an investment in your home into a waste of money. Worse still, poorly installed windows can actually end up damaging your home by leaking water into your walls or compromising the structural integrity of the walls!
The following are five signs of a bad window installation.
# 1 Substandard appearance
Your new windows should look beautiful. The windows should look perfectly level, with no gaps anywhere, and the glass should be clean. If, upon looking at them closely, you see problems in their appearance, bring up your concerns with the installer right away.
# 2 Troublesome operation
New windows should operate with no problems. Following the installation, test the window. Note whether it’s difficult to open, close, or lock. Left unaddressed, these problems can only get worse—and you might someday be left with a completely inoperable window.
# 3 Drafts or noise
One of the biggest benefits of new windows (particularly double- or triple-pane windows) is the improvement in insulation. Better insulation means better energy efficiency and a reduction in outside noise. However, if you notice a draft, or if you can hear outside sounds equally well with the window open or closed, the window is not insulated properly. This problem will cause an increase in energy bills, so don’t overlook it.
# 4 Fog between the window panes
New double-pane windows are filled with gas in between the panes to insulate the window. However, when the seal around the panes is broken, moist air is allowed to enter. This causes the window to fog up, worsening over time. If you wake up one morning soon after your window installation to find that cleaning both the inside and outside does nothing to clear the “cloudiness” of the window, this is a sign of an improper installation. While your window can become less efficient over the course of years, it should never fail so soon after installation.
# 5 Unfinished or sloppy caulking
The caulk surrounding your window unit is the unit’s first line of defense against the elements. If it fails, water will be able to enter your walls through the cracks. When you inspect your new windows, you should see that the line of caulk is smooth and even, with no holes or gaps. If you notice that the caulking job was done poorly, it’s possible that the installer took shortcuts in other areas of the installation as well.
Proper installation is a critical part of window replacement, which is why you should look closely at the window company you hire. Make sure that the company has a good reputation and employs professional, experienced installers. These installers should have lots of experience in replacement windows, because replacing existing windows is a different process than new construction. Look for a company that warranties their products and conducts a thorough inspection of all work completed. You should also find out what services are offered post-installation as you don’t want to be left out in the cold if you find a problem later on!
If you have questions about the installation process, the experts at Jack’s Glass would be happy to answer them. We’ve been in business for more than 70 years, with countless satisfied customers. You can rest easy knowing we’ll do the job right. Contact us today to talk about your home improvement project!