When to Replace Windows

There is no hard and fast rule dictating when windows need to be replaced. Similarly, there’s no standard “shelf-life” for windows. That said, there are some warning signs that your windows might need to be replaced. It’s important to regularly inspect your windows, just as you would inspect any other part of your home. Here are some telltale signs that it might be time to replace your windows.

Window Rot

If you’ve ever taken a walk in the forest, you probably know what rotted wood looks and feels like. The wood around your window (trim, sill, frame, and sash) should feel dry and strong to the touch. Rotted wood feels soft and spongy, and usually looks discolored. You may also see mold or flaking paint. Touching the wood is important, because paint, especially dark paint, can very effectively hide the discoloration that rot causes.

Dark paint can hide wood rot, so it’s important to feel the window for soft, rotting patches.

As you can see, further inspection of the same window shows just how deeply the wood rot has permeated the window sash. 

Check regularly for rot: it’s possible to repair small patches, but large swathes of rot suggest that it’s time to replace your window. Read more about Window Rot on our blog by clicking here.

Seal Failure

Today’s energy-efficient windows are made with double or triple-paned glass, also known as insulated glass. The multiple panes of glass are connected and surrounded by sealant, creating the insulating quality.

When an insulated window’s seal fails, your window may look foggy or dirty. Often customers tell us that can’t get their windows clean. This is condensation that has accumulated and dried between the glass panes. You may also see water droplets between the panes.

Seal failure on this vinyl window means the window pane always appears foggy. 

Finding condensation in-between your windowpanes indicates a faulty seal. Once the seal is broken, the double-paned glass loses its insulating quality. If you find signs of seal failure in your home, it’s time to contact a professional, as your window will likely need a major repair or replacement.


Drafts are a clear indication that windows are not working as they should. When a high-quality window properly fills the space it occupies, it won’t allow air to infiltrate your home unless the window is opened.

Single pane windows are some of the draftiest windows we see. To compensate for the drafts, homeowners apply exterior storm windows, which can help buffer outside air. Unfortunately, storm windows are notoriously dirty, hard to clean and add another layer of obstruction to a clear view to the outside. Storm windows are often a “band-aid” solution, that can end up causing its own set of problems.

Replacing single hung windows with double-paned, low-e glass will drastically change your home through greater energy efficiency and eye-popping visual clarity that brings the outside in like never before.

Bring the outside IN with breathtaking visual clarity.

When it comes to when to replace windows and doors, the answer is: simply replace as needed. More importantly, replace with a quality product, one that comes with a good warranty, from an established manufacturer that you can count on. Of course, a window is only as good as its installer, so make sure that your new windows are installed by a professional!

To get started on your window project today, contact our showroom at
502-822-5424 to speak to one of our design consultants.