You splurged for the energy-efficient, triple pane windows — and now one’s broken. Temperature fluctuations, natural disasters, human error…there are many reasons a window could break. When you’re staring at a broken window, you may wonder, can I just replace the glass in my window, or do I need to replace the whole window? Get our thoughts below.
Depending on the problem, you have several options for replacement window glass. If the pane of glass is cracked, a window company can remove the broken pane and replace it with an insulated glass unit or IGU. There are several options for replacement glass, but your window will perform best if you replace the broken pane with the same type of glass.
With IGU replacement, the broken pane will be removed, the frame cleaned up, the IGU popped in and then sealed in place. With caulking or weatherstripping to block drafts, your window will be as good as new at a fraction of the price of a replacement window.
You can remove and replace broken glass yourself if you are on a tight budget, however it is tricky. If you need special glass (such as glass with low-e coating), you’ll need to special-order it from a manufacturer.
If something goes wrong while your windows are under warranty, contact the manufacturer before you replace broken window glass. By replacing the glass in the window with an IGU, you could unintentionally void the warranty.
Sometimes, your best bet is to remove and replace the entire window. While this costs more, there are times when a window is not worth saving. See below for a few examples.
If the seal on your window has failed, you are best off replacing the window. Defogging services exist, but they are a quick fix for a problem that will recur until the windows are replaced. The telltale sign of a broken seal is condensation between the panes of glass, which makes the glass appear foggy.
If the muntins or munions, the dividers in a window, are also broken, you’re best off replacing the entire window and not just the glass.
With wood windows, replacement should happen if the wood frame begins to rot. While some rot can be remediated with a patch, severe rot compromises the integrity of the window. Window replacement companies can recommend wood windows that match a home’s historic character, which is your best bet to preserve the value of an older house.
If your existing windows are nearing the end of their lifespan – for instance, if they will need replacement in three to five years – replacing them when the glass breaks may save you money in the long run. The same goes for windows that don’t meet your needs. If you’ve got low-quality windows that don’t seem to do anything about those winter drafts, it might be better to not just replace the broken window glass but consider this your chance to replace the inefficient windows with something you like.
If you’re not sure whether you need replacement window glass or replacement windows, our experts here at Window Nation can help! We will steer you toward the right solution for your problem and may be able to arrange financing for replacement windows. Take a look at our wide array of replacement windows and glass options for windows. Contact us today to get started with finding the perfect solution for your home’s windows.