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How long should my new, replacement windows last in my damp Seattle home?

How long should my new, replacement windows last in my damp Seattle home?
How long should my new, replacement windows last in my damp Seattle home?
By BettyLoucal Mar 15, 2017


The short answer is: probably longer than you will. Modern windows are nothing like those created decades ago, especially of the wooden variety. Today’s windows server many more functions than their counterparts of even one generation ago. Manufacturing techniques, new alloys and polymers, better precision, and many more competitive entrants into the space has allowed home and business owners to choose from a wider variety than ever before. At the same time, with choice comes complexity, and the myriad functions of the modern window means you will benefit greatly from working with your favorite windows and doors installation professional. If you’re going from wood frame to vinyl, for example, there are considerations and features you should be aware of. There’s even a type of hybrid available now: outside it appears to be a wood frame installation, but on the inside, it’s vinyl. That way, you can retain the old world charm of your wood window framed home, but get a slicker, more effective seal and insulation from the outside world.

When vinyl frames first emerged, they only then got the opportunity to be tested in the real world. It wasn’t until a decade had passed that the manufacturers were forced to go back to the drawing board. They increased their specifications, based on the new real world experience of their products in the wild, and the result was a window that was superior to any wood frame window in performance, longevity and usability. Have you notice that some modern windows move very smoothly and easily, compared to what you might have grown up with? Well, most of that is because of manufacturing techniques. Precision engineering has made it possible to make very finely fitted sliding windows. Not only do they open and close more smoothly, they fit far better. It’s rare that a gap would gradually appear between the moving parts of a modern window. It’s easy to understand how wood window frames might not last as long as their synthetic counterparts. The number of allows and synthetic plastics of one type or another is staggering, and new ones are being brought onto the market, it seems, every year. It’s hard to keep up.

Selecting a reputable window manufacturers

I won’t show any favoritism here of one manufacturer over another, other than to say, different manufacturers are better than others for different purposes. Some deliver more decorative solutions, while others are specialized in windows that are resistant to deeply cold and inclement weather. If the back side of your house is continually in the shade, and often subjected to moisture, selecting a manufacturer with Pacific Northwest experience is probably a good idea.

Working directly with a windows and doors installation specialist is a very good idea. Even if you could go out and hire individuals to do the entire project for you, having an experienced windows and doors company take responsibility for the project is wise for a number of reasons:

  1. They have the necessary experience to do the job correctly first time round, and promptly.

  2. They are licensed and insured, which means if there is an accident, you’re covered.

  3. You can ask them for a warranty. If there is a problem with the product, you can call them and get their help. Because they are ultimately responsible for future repair work, they are more likely to recommend long-lasting products.

  4. It’s probably cheaper, in real terms, to get a professional to do the work.

With the right product, and if it is installed correctly, the windows should last more than your lifetime.

New features of a modern window

Going back only a hundred years, the ‘common man’ either got windows or he didn’t. There wasn’t the huge number of features built in to a window like there are now. Here are some of the available features to consider. And because the windows are likely to last forever, virtually, it’s worth doing them right now, instead of scraping off a few dollars for a minor saving.

Ultraviolet light, we know now, is not just handy for helping your body produce vitamin D, but in greater quantities, may contribution to the production of cancer cells. For that reason, windows now can have significant protection against ultraviolet light. That protection also helps the life of your carpets, curtains and furniture.

Double and triple glazing is, when installed correctly, has been proven to reduce utility bills. Triple glazed windows, especially, can make a huge different, provided the rest of the house is not undoing the work of your windows by letting the heat out elsewhere. All it takes is a badly insulated attic or a few drafty doors to negate the great work of well insulated windows.

Good windows can significantly reduce the amount of street (or other) noise getting into your home. For people who work the night shift and need to sleep during the day, triple glazing can be a huge help, if only in the room you expect to sleep in.

Tinted glass can add to your privacy. There really is no such thing as perfectly clear glass. Even the clearest, most expensive glass will have some natural tint in it. Green seems to be the most common natural tint on most glass I’ve seen, but there are options for using a different shade. In any case, with a little green tint, and with triple glazed glass, the inside of your home will be all but invisible during the day, when it’s brighter outside than it is inside. To people outside, your windows might even look like mirrors. But the reverse is true when the sun goes down. If you have a light in house at night and the curtains open, your windows might look like mirrors from the inside, and you might forget that you’re living in a kind of ‘zoo’ in that situation.

How the windows fit snugly and completely is my most important characteristic. A great way to test whether a window is airtight is to close all the windows of a room, then close the room’s door firmly. Do you notice a distinct change in air pressure? It’s a bit of an unscientific test, but if the windows are full of air leaks, you’re notice very little air pressure change.

Be sure to stop by next week!

Note: The content within blog postings on this website are for casual and informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and factual correctness of each statement within these blogs, the content is not necessarily sourced by Everlast Window and Door's resident window and door replacement specialists. If you have any question, therefore, of a technical, cost or installation nature, please reach out to your preferred windows and doors replacement expert. Please note that the content of these blog postings, therefore, should not be considered a promise or warranty of any kind. Please reach out to us at Everlast Window and Door for specific information relating to your individual window and/or door replacement needs. Thank you!
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