Just as hot weather can adversely affect your house, cold weather can also have an impact. Winter weather takes a toll on your home's exterior—particularly your windows. It may happen over time, but it eventually happens—particularly if you have wood window frames.
The good news is that if you understand what chilly temperatures can do to your windows, you can take steps to help lengthen their lifespan, or replace them and avoid winter woes in the future. Read on to discover 8 ways winter weather impacts your windows and what to do about it.
The Results of Cold Weather on Your Windows
1. Air Leaks
Small gaps and cracks can form in aging windows, in or around their frames. Air leaks may be little, but they allow chilly winter air to seep into your house. They can cause uncomfortable drafts each winter, making your home's comfort level less than ideal. And they will cost you in greater energy usage each summer and winter as your air conditioning and heating goes "right out the window."
The remedy: When your windows get so old that they are leaking, it's time for replacements. You'll love the comfort they offer you indoors, and your energy bill will thank you.
2. Heat Loss
One of the primary jobs of your windows is to keep outdoor temperatures outside where they belong. If your windows are old and don't have the right glazing (coating), you'll lose quite a bit of heat through them.
The remedy: Today's windows offer Low-E coating and insulating gas between double-pane and triple-pane glass to keep your home's interior nice and toasty. And it will lower your heating bill throughout the winter.
3. Stress Cracks
When winter temperatures drop far enough, stress cracks may form in window panes. These begin small, but expand and worsen over time. These are prevalent primarily in older windows that were not installed correctly, have experienced a lot of expansion and contraction, or have settling issues.
The remedy: If you have stress cracks in your windows, it's smart to replace them as soon as possible. When you choose double-pane or triple-pane fiberglass replacement windows, they are much less likely to develop stress cracks. They will shield your home from chilly weather in the future.
4. Water Penetration
When chilly weather hits Georgia, water from rain (and sometimes snow and ice) can seep into your window frames or window sills. Wood is the most vulnerable material because it absorbs moisture when it isn't sealed well (and often!). Water penetration left unaddressed leads to unsightly stains and discoloration, rot, mold, and additional costly damage. The sooner you address the situation, the better.
The remedy: Upgrading your home with new rot-proof windows will not only transform its looks, but it will safeguard your most significant investment from water damage. Don't settle for the costly damage water can cause your home. Bolster its protective layer with new windows that shield your house from damaging water. Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows are made from Ultrex fiberglass, which gives you the look of a wood window without the worry of water penetration and rot.
5. Shrinking and Warping
Wood and vinyl composite window frames can shrink in extremely cold weather (and warp in high humidity!). Where this becomes a problem is both in the warping of the window frame, as well as compromising the seal, leading to fogginess between the panes of glass.
The remedy: Ultrex fiberglass is 8x stronger than vinyl and 3x stronger than Fibrex®. Likewise, Ultrex fiberglass window frames and glass are made from the same basic material - silica sand. This means they expand and contract at nearly the same rate, eliminating the worry of seal failure or foggy glass. At North Georgia Replacement Windows, we offer durable fiberglass frames (think hard hats and canoes) that won't warp, crack, or shrink when cold weather (or high humidity!) hits Georgia.
6. Ice Buildup
While winter weather varies across the state of Georgia, many areas will face some type of severe winter weather at some point each year. That could mean snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as strong winds or even ice or heavy rainstorms. In older windows, ice can build up when warm air escapes through small openings (between the open spaces) and meets the cold air outdoors. This allows ice to start building up in those spaces, making it hard to open your windows. The ice formation in these small gaps can cause window seals to break.
The remedy: Ventilate high moisture areas of your home such as your bathrooms and kitchen.
7. Cracked Window Glass
Winter storms can bring some unexpected situations to your home's exterior. The weight of snow can cause branches to snap and get flung into your windows, causing the glass to crack and your home's protective layer to be compromised (putting your safety at risk and opening your home to chilly outdoor temperatures). If a snowball fight breaks out near your house, a stray snowball may end up accidentally hitting your window glass, causing it to break.
The remedy: Keep your trees pruned away from your exterior, clear away dead branches, and remove brittle, dead trees in order to safeguard your house from unwanted window cracks.
8. Window Hardware Damage
Window hardware needs to work properly for your home to be safe and secure. Handles, hinges, and window latches are vulnerable to damage during extremely cold winter weather. They may become jammed due to ice and low temperatures.
The remedy: Ensure window hardware is functioning properly, routinely operating and cleaning.
Time to Replace Old, Drafty Windows This Winter
This winter may prove it's time to upgrade your windows altogether. The good news is that at North Georgia Replacement Windows, we can replace your windows year-round. With our Price Lock Guarantee, you can get started with the worst windows first and lock yourself into those product costs for 3 years! In the past we installed several different brands of windows, but once we experienced the superiority of Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows, they became the only window we offer—and homeowners love them!