Antique or historic windows need a lot of care. If you’re not caring for your home’s antique windows, they could become leaky, drafty and even rotten, leading to damage to the structure of your home, which can be a health and safety hazard to you and your family. Knowing how to care for your historic windows can help ensure that they will last for years to come, and continue to be an asset for your home.
#1. Replace Broken Window Glazing
Broken glazing makes your antique windows unsightly, inefficient and a safety hazard to your family. Broken glass in your windows can be a danger to you and others, as sharp glass can cause cuts and injuries. Replacing broken glazing is not terribly complicated on some antique wooden windows — all you need to do is find a glass panel of the right size, some window putty and glazing points. You can find a tutorial to replace your glazing online, or hire a handyman to do the work for you.
#2. Inspect for Rot, Peeling Paint on Window Frames
Most older windows are made of wood, which means they’re vulnerable to rot and damage from moisture and wood-eating pests. You should inspect your old windows on a regular basis for the following:
- Peeling paint
- Damaged finish
- Soft spots
- Stains on the wood
If your windows are displaying signs of damage, have them inspected by a contractor for potential repairs. It may be that you can stop any rot or damage by carefully scraping, sanding and replacing any damaged wood in your windows, but this should most likely be performed by a qualified contractor.
#3. Repaint or Reseal Your Windows When Needed
Wooden windows need to be repainted or resealed on a regular basis in order to be protected from moisture inside and outside your house. If you noticed peeling paint on your windows during your inspection of the windows, then it’s time to repaint them. You can do this yourself or hire a contractor. Just keep in mind that it’s important to ensure that you clean off any pealing paint and remove any rot before re-painting. Painting over decaying or damaged wood may hide the damage, but it will likely continue under the paint and cause more damage sight unseen.
#4. Repair Broken Window Parts
Today’s double hung and single hung windows rely on springs or spiral balances to stay open on their own. Older windows relied on a system of weights and pulleys riding in pockets on the sides of the windows to counterbalance them. They types of windows are susceptible to the cords holding the weights to break, creating windows that are difficult to open and, if you can get them open, don’t stay open. These can be repaired, but you’ll need someone who specializes in window repair to help with this, as this requires specialized knowledge of old windows and a precise hand to not further damage the window. For best results, talk to a window specialist in your area to find the right person for you.
#5. Know When to Replace Your Windows
Antique windows need regular repairs and maintenance in order to maintain their functionality and structural integrity. If your windows have some deferred maintenance, then it may be that they’re better off being replaced than repaired.
Knowing when to replace your windows can be tough! Talk to a window specialist in your area who can assess the condition of your windows and make recommendations for replacement, if replacement is necessary.
Need to Replace Your Antique Windows? Contact Renewal by Andersen of Long Island
If you’re ready to replace your historic home’s windows, it’s important to install windows that uphold the character of your home to maintain its aesthetics and value. To get started, contact Renewal by Andersen of Long Island, using the toll-free number 1-877-313-9052 or fill out the short form on this page.
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