How To Decide Whether To Replace Windows

  August 2, 2012

Today's tip is considerations to keep in mind when you're trying to decide if it might be time to replace your facilities' windows. Window replacement projects can be expensive and time-consuming, so facility managers will want to consider these five questions to help guide their decision:

1. Is the existing window system structurally adequate and does it accommodate building movements and structural loadings? If not, it's probably time for a replacement. This is critical from a safety as well as a performance standpoint.
2. Is the system effective at controlling water leakage, moisture migration, or unwanted air infiltration?
3. What is the condition of the system components? Check the frame, sash, glazing, hardware, weather stripping, sealants, and exterior paint or other surface coatings.
4. Is it possible that the adjacent wall system is contributing to the problems experienced? If that’s the case, it may be time to do some wall renovation instead of replacing the windows.
5. Is the building historically significant? If so, there may be a few more hoops to jump through in selecting particular window products.

In general, if the following conditions exist, replacement is probably preferable to repair. One: Is there excessive deterioration of the window system? Two: Is the effectiveness of the repairs questionable? Three: Would the cost of repairs approach the cost of replacement, or does the life-cycle cost of replacement prove cost-effective based on lower energy and maintenance costs. Four: Is it impossible to do ongoing maintenance practically after repairs are made?

Deciding to replace windows isn’t any easy decision, but making the right decision based on careful assessment of existing conditions can help save money in the long run.


Read next on FacilitiesNet