What Should You Look for In A New Door?

What Should You Look for In A New Door?

The average lifespan of an entry door is 15-20 years, so chances are every home owner will need to go through the door replacement process at some point. A new entry door can improve your home’s aesthetic appeal, as well as your home’s energy efficiency and increase the noise reduction capabilities and security. However, with so many different form and function options available in new replacement doors, what should you be looking for?

To help you make the best choice for you and your home, we asked our door replacement expert to share their thoughts. The top tips have been shared below:

Door Material

Door materials range from wood, aluminum, steel, vinyl, and fiberglass. All of these materials are good options but have different strengths and weaknesses. It's important to choose the right material that fits your needs, can handle your usage patterns and can withstand your local weather conditions. Outlining the different materials is a task for a future blog, for now a quick Google search will provide you with more information on the different door material types.

Aesthetics

Your entry door influences your home’s curb appeal. When choosing a new front door, choosing one that represents your style will help incorporate your style into the home. There are no rules when it comes to home decor, but if you want your home to have a universal appeal, try and keep the doors aesthetic in line with your home’s architectural design.

Energy Efficiency

Increased energy efficiency is a major benefit of replacing your windows and doors. However, not all doors are made equally, and the efficiency rating will vary between one door to another. Any door you look to purchase should have an energy label affixed to it. This label indicates the level of energy efficiency of doors, the higher the efficiency rating the more the door will be able to reduce the amount you spend on your energy bills over time.

Locking Mechanism

A primary function of any external door is security. The door’s durability is important, but ultimately the locking mechanism is the most important security aspect. In most cases the locking mechanism and other hardware are sold separately from the door itself, so you have various options when choosing the right hardware to go with your new door. For extra security, you can opt to go with a multi-point locking system.

Installation

Installing a replacement door may be a good DIY project, but like any moving component in your home, the product is only as good as the installation. A professional windows and doors specialist will be able to install your new door properly, ensuring it is perfectly square and that proper screws are used, but they are also able to inspect the condition of the materials around the door and ensure that there is enough insulation around the frame to maintain higher efficiency levels.


What is the Difference between Double and Single Hung Windows?

What is the Difference between Double and Single Hung Windows?

Although single hung windows and double hung windows have some well-known similarities, and look very similar, they are not exactly identical as there are various factors that differentiate the two.

Both single hung and double hung window styles have two sashes. However, a single hung window’s top sash is fixed, meaning you cannot open and close it. The bottom sash is however operational, allowing for movement. On the other hand, double hung windows have two operational sashes, both top and bottom.

While this is the major difference between these two window styles, there are other differences that set them apart. We review these differences below:

Double hung windows are costlier

When it comes to the initial cost of installation, double hung windows are more expensive than the single hung alternatives. This is because of the more intricate manufacturing process and installation process. If you are on a tight budget for your window replacement, single hung windows will be the more economical option.

Single hung windows are more commonly used

Single hung windows have been around for several decades before the introductions of the double hung version. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that single hung windows are more common. You are very likely going to find single hung windows in many older homes, but many modern homes still incorporate this style.

Double hung windows are easier to clean and maintain

Since it is possible to open both sashes of a double hung window, you have a much easier time cleaning the entire window (inside and out) from inside your home. However, with single hung windows you do not have the same convenience. This is because you cannot open the top sash. So, you will need to clean it from the outside and will probably require the use of a ladder.

Single hung windows tend to be more energy efficient

The energy efficiency of windows can be quite tricky to determine, as there are many factors that can influence a windows efficiency. But in most cases, single hung windows are more energy-efficient than their double hung counterparts. This is because they have less moving parts, leaving less crevasse for air and heat to escape.

Double hung windows provide more of ventilation

Because you can open both sashes of a double hung window, it allows for more air to flow into your home than a single hung window. This particular factor can make a big difference in your comfort level as well as your heating and cooling costs.

Single hung windows may require fewer repairs

Since single hung windows do not have as many moving parts, they have less that can potentially go wrong.  However, if the damage is a broken window, double hung sashes are easier to repair or replace as they are not fixed into place.

When considering your different window replacement options, consider all of the features, conveniences, styles and costs before making your final decision. Riverbend Windows & Doors Inc is your local London, Ontario and surrounding area windows and doors specialist. Give us a call at (226) 688-8652 to discuss your replacement window options.


When Should You Replace Windows and Doors?

When Should You Replace Windows and Doors?

From increasing your home’s appeal to increase its energy-efficiency and providing security for your family, the importance of your windows and doors cannot be overemphasized. Most windows and doors are very durable and only require minimum maintenance allowing them to last for decades and decades. Their longevity is definitely a benefit, but it is also the reason that many homeowners do not pay the proper attention to their windows and doors.  Like most other parts of your home, your window and doors should be inspected and maintained at a minimum annually (if not twice a year). This inspection will give you a better understanding of the condition of your windows and doors and will hopefully allow you to notice any minor issues before the escalate to larger issues.  

Below we have outlined several key indicators to look out for when inspecting your windows and doors.

1. Age of Your Windows and Doors

It is important to know the number of years that your windows and doors have been in use for. Age alone is not an indicator of much, but most windows and doors have a lifespan of 20-25 years and if yours are getting close to this age, it is important to keep an eye out for potential signs of damage, wear, and even breakdowns. 

2. Appearance and Style

Sometimes an upgrade is simply needed for aesthetic purposes. When completing your annual inspection, take a walk back to the sidewalk or street and look at your home. Are your windows and doors adding to or taking away from your home’s curb appeal? If they are not adding to your home’s aesthetic, can they be fixed or updated, perhaps with some fresh paint? If the answer is ‘not really’ you know it will be time to start planning for an upgrade.

3. Cracked and Missing Caulking

The caulking that surrounds your window and door frames plays a very important role. Its job is to seal and close the small space between the window or door frame and your home. This ensures that water, bugs , and extreme temperatures are not able to penetrate into your home. However, over time this caulking begins to breakdown, shrink, and even deteriorate. Once this happens, gaps appear around your window and doors frames allowing for air, pests, and water to make their way in. All of these have the potential to cause damage to your home as well as the windows and doors themselves. If neglected, the damage caused by this type of exposure will lead to the need for replacement windows and or doors.

4. Damage

Damage to the glass or to the frames of your windows and doors may be difficult to notice at times. That is why completing a thorough inspection is important. Small cracks and bends will all affect the operation of your windows and doors making it difficult to operate or leaving them exposed to security breaches from potential intruders.

Completing an annual inspection of your windows and doors will reveal any potential issues that need your attention, it is also one of many ways to identify when to replace windows and doors as you can compare the year over year wear and tear that your windows and doors have faced.

 


How Do You Know When It’s Time to Replace Windows?

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Replace Windows?

As a homeowner, do you know the indicators for when you should look into replacing the windows and doors in your home? Considering that replacing your windows is one of those home improvement projects that most homeowners will only be involved in once or twice in their lifetime, chances are you probably don’t have a ton of experience with inspecting your windows to assess their condition.

To help out with this process, we asked a few of our technicians to share some tips that will help you answer the question; when should you replace windows in your home?

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Replace Windows?

Here is what they shared:

When your windows are broken or damaged

The consensus was that this is the most obvious sign that you need to replace a window. Trying to repair cracked, broken, damaged or warped windows hardly ever works. The damage not only leaves your home susceptible to intruders, it reduces your home’s energy efficiency and aesthetic appeal.

When your windows are simply ugly and outdated

In some situations, your windows may still function well, but they look dingy and worn out. These worn down windows won’t accentuate the beauty of your home, they will take away from it! Your home should exude pride of ownership, and at times upgrading your windows and doors is the best way to do this and increase your property’s curb appeal.

When your energy bills spike

When your windows and doors are functional, they should be able to prevent the outside weather conditions from disrupting the interior environment of your home. However, if your windows are not functioning optimally, you will begin to feel drafts inside your home. Resultantly, you will be forced to increase your heating and cooling system usage more than you ought to. This, in turn, will increase your energy bills. So, when you notice that your energy bills are higher than expected, your windows and doors may be to blame.

When your windows lack the latest energy saving features

Advancements in technology, have led to significantly more efficient windows. These windows will not only help you save money on your energy consumption, they will help you be more comfortable in your home, as you shouldn’t have any hot or cold spots in your home. Some of these features include Low-E glass and argon gas filled.

When you struggle to close or open your windows

Closing or opening your windows should be done effortlessly. If you have to struggle with your windows when operating them, there is an issue already. Over time, these stubborn windows will become increasingly difficult to operate, leaving them relatively useless.

When you can clearly hear outside noise

Your windows and doors should block most of the outside from entering your home, except when they are open of course. If your windows are closed and you can still hear everything going on outside of your home or business fairly clearly, you know your windows are no longer able to complete their task as expected.

There are many reasons for why you should be replacing your windows and our technicians have seen them all. From windows that are being held together by duct tape to ones that have warped so badly, that you could stick a pen through the gap between the frame and the wall. But, you don’t need to wait for your windows to get to this condition before you call in a professional. Follow the tips shared above when inspecting your windows, and you will be able to diagnose if your windows are ready to be replaced or if they still have some life left in them.


Vinyl Fact + Fiction

Vinyl Fact + Fiction

The Facts About Today’s Vinyl

Vinyl is composed of ingredients from nature: chlorine (based on common salt) and ethylene (from natural gas). By employing further chemistry, vinyl can be made clear or colourful, thick or thin, flexible, rigid, or semi-rigid. Part of the beauty of affordable, energy-efficient and versatile vinyl is that it can last a lifetime. With long life cycles and natural fire resistance, vinyl is highly sustainable. No wonder vinyl is a major component in residential and commercial construction, wires and cables, consumer items and healthcare products.

Cutting Condensation

Another key benefit of vinyl windows is their ability to resist condensation (minimizing the presence of mold and mildew). Condensation appears when airborne moisture settles on cold surfaces (like glass). Since vinyl has low conductivity, the interior surface of vinyl windows remains relatively close to room temperature and, therefore, less susceptible to condensation. In extreme cases, condensation from non-vinyl window materials can produce frost or ice build-up on the interior of a window.
Myths and Truths About Vinyl

Myths and Truths About Vinyl

1. Vinyl cannot be recycled – FALSE!

Because vinyl is thermoplastic, vinyl products can be repeatedly melted and remoulded. Vinyl waste, trim and off-spec material (recycled from the vinyl production process) can add up to more than 1 billion pounds per year. This means that 99% of all manufactured vinyl is fabricated into finished products and avoiding landfills (according to the 1999 Principia Partners study, Post-Industrial and Post-Consumer Vinyl Reclaim) . In fact, post-industrial vinyl recycling has proven so viable that its price is indexed in leading plastic industry publications.

2. Vinyl is a major source of dioxin – FALSE!

Dioxin is an unwanted by-product of incineration, uncontrolled burning and certain industrial processes. Through regulation and voluntary efforts, releases of dioxin into the environment have been dramatically reduced.

Vinyl is an extremely small source of dioxin. So small, in fact, that levels in the environment would be essentially unchanged even if vinyl were not being manufactured and used in important everyday products. The vinyl industry has studied and worked diligently to reduce its contribution to dioxin.

In fact, according to the latest data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), vinyl manufacturing creates only grams of dioxin per year (which equates to less than one-half of one percent of all dioxins generated annually)!

3. Vinyl contributes to the danger of building fires – FALSE!

Fire science shows that the greatest hazards in a building fire are heat and carbon monoxide (CO) – a lethal, odorless gas produced in abundance by virtually all burning materials. If any hydrogen chloride (HCL) – an irritant gas with a pungent odour – is released, it can serve as a fire warning.

Because the vinyl polymer is made from 57% common salt (a plentiful natural resource which, by its nature, resists combustion), it can help slow down fires and save lives! Vinyl is one of the few materials meeting the stringent National Electrical Code of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for insulating electrical and data transmission cables and airplane interiors.

Vinyl: Sustaining Life…for Generations

Versatile, energy-efficient vinyl provides a vital role in sustaining the environment. Products made from vinyl can (and will) last for generations and contribute to sustainable green building standards. As technology advances, vinyl will continue to evolve as a part of life.


Are Window Replacements a Good Investment?

Are Window Replacements a Good Investment?

With all the talk about window replacement, one cannot but start to wonder if new windows are needed for their home as well. There have been several concluded benefits that homeowners can get from window replacement such as higher energy efficiency, the best technological advancements, increased security, improved quality of insulation, protection from UV damage and protection from difficult weather conditions. Besides helping to maintain a healthy and energy efficient household, new window also prove to be a large investment return as they partake in increasing home value.

Are Window Replacements a Good Investment?The Numbers

Depending on the material and work involved, a window replacement can cost from $200 to $1200. The factors which influence pricing are the type of window, the amount of manual work, energy efficiency, window size and window material. This would have posed an issue for many homeowners if energy efficient windows didn’t cut up 15% of energy bills while also adding a large chunk of dollars to a home’s value. With thorough research and price comparison, you can get around the pricing and find the ideal window solution at the same time. For instance, vinyl is one of the least expensive window materials ($100-$900) and the most energy efficient one. The bigger the amount you spend on energy efficient windows in your home, the bigger will be the value on the cheque when you decide to sell. That is why investing in vinyl windows has an investment return of 89%. If wisely done, investing in a $9000 vinyl upgrade can add to $8000 on a home’s value.

Functionality

Some things are overlooked when you move into a new home. With time, those things start to become visible and annoying like for instance bumping your head from the outside window. The way the space of your home is organized has a large role in practicality. That is why room size and function should always influence the type of windows chosen for them. For instance, sliding windows are recommended for smaller rooms because of minimum space blockage. Furthermore, picture windows are installed in areas which have less access to natural light and awning windows are usually found in bathrooms because of the 45 angled openings which provide the best possible air breeze. Windows should also be installed according to the best possible route of exit. This means that when replacing your windows, you should take into consideration your emergency exit plan. With proper and detailed planning, new windows can improve the functionality in your home.

Comfort Satisfaction

Another thing that can happen with the passage of time is loss of functionality and therefore comfort. Each type of window has a unique life span. Sometimes it is 40 years and sometimes 15. Add bad weather into the mix and those numbers can cut in half. To increase the comfort in your home you can always go with window replacement. A big part of comfort is room temperature. Poorly functioning windows will interfere with the temperature you have set for the room. They won’t absorb hot air in the summer and cool air in the winter. In fact, they will let it all in right in front of your nose. This is one of the main reasons why window replacement has a significant impact on energy efficiency. Another threat for comfort is poor soundproofing. As thermostatic energy, noise should also be absorbed by windows. If you are constantly bothered by your neighbors’ rattle, a simple investment in glass upgrade will definitely tighten the seals and ensure you an unwanted-noise free home environment.

Riverbend Windows & Doors

We have the best quality windows and doors at Riverbend, Inc. Browse through our inventory for stylish, durable and eco-freindly windows in London.


5 Signs You Need To Replace Your Windows

5 Signs You Need To Replace Your Windows

How do you know when it’s time to replace your windows? At times it can be tough to gauge when it is time to replace your windows. There are more reasons than just visible damage and deterioration to consider replacing your windows such efficiency, operation, and aesthetics.

5 Signs You Need To Replace Your Windows

Below we have highlighted 5 signs that it may be time to replace your windows. On a side note these also apply to doors.

1. Excessive Noise

Your windows and doors are great at allowing natural light and fresh air into your home, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of increased street noise. Your windows and doors are built and installed in a way to help block most of the external noise, ensuring you can enjoy your family time or even alone time uninterrupted. However, if you begin to notice that there is more noise that penetrates into your home than it did before, this could be a sign that your window may be damaged or the seals have given way. This additional street noise can be extremely frustrating, especially if you work from home or have young children that are constantly being woken from their naps. Replacement windows and doors will have the ability to once again block this noise, and ensure you are able to enjoy the time in your house without interruption from people and vehicles passing by.

2. Difficulty to Operate

As windows age, they may bend out of shape or become unaligned. This causes kinks in the operation of the window as the sash may rub against the frame, or hinges and cranks may become seized. In some cases, all that is needed is some lubricant. But, in most cases when it is tough to open or close a window, you decide to live with it or you look for replacement options.

3. Uneven Temperatures

When the seals on your windows are no longer working at an optimal level, drafts can pass through. As well if your windows have shifted from the frames or the caulking has peeled back drafts can enter from around the frames. If you notice cool or warm spots in your home, especially by windows and doors it is more than likely caused by a draft. Not only will these drafts reduce your comfort level in your home, your HVAC system will need to work harder to maintain the desired temperature in your home, causing your energy bills to go up.

4. Pest infestation

If your windows and doors are not sealing properly or have rotten sections, this can lead to a pest infestation in your home. Sometimes you may see a spider or other bugs in your home and think nothing of it. But, if you frequently come across these types of insects, you need to think that they are getting in somehow. Wooden windows are susceptible to rotting which may create an opening for bugs and even mice to get into your home. A pest infestation could lead to property damage and can even negatively impact the health of everyone in your home.

5. Damage

No matter the extent of the damage, you need to consider replacing any damaged windows and doors right away. You may think that you can live with a small crack in the glass or the frame for now, but this damage will more than likely spread as the temperatures change with the seasons. Damaged windows pose a large safety risk, if someone accidentally bumps into the window the damage can spread leading to broken glass potentially flying about. It also poses a security risk, as would be intruders and burglars see damaged windows and doors as easy access points to a home.


5 Warning Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Windows And Doors

5 Warning Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Windows And Doors

Windows and doors are essential components to any home. They contribute to the aesthetics of your home, can affect the comfort of the home’s interior, and they dictate how secure your home is. However, you don’t always notice the signs that it is time to replace your windows and doors, as they deteriorate gradually. There are telltale warning signs that will be a good indicator that you need replacement windows and doors.

5 Warning Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Windows And DoorsWe have prepared a guide explaining five of these warning signs, to help you identify when you may need to look into replacement options.

1. Faulty Operation

If you are finding it increasingly more difficult to open or close your windows or doors, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to replace them, but you definitely need to give them some attention. Over time your windows and doors can develop balance issues, which cause them to stick and jam. In some cases, all you will need is some minor maintenance, perhaps a bit of lubrication, or a tightening of a few screws. However, if these issues are a result of wear and tear, and the window or door itself has begun to deteriorate, you will need to look into replacement options. If ignored the issue will worsen, and the door or window may become seized.

2. Condensation Buildup

Not all condensation is necessarily a sign of an issue. Condensation on the inside or outside of your windows or doors can be expected from time to time. However, any condensation between your window panes is a sign of an issue. For condensation to build up in between your window panes, it means that the seal has been damaged and is no longer air tight. This drastically reduces the efficiency of this window. The only solution for condensation between your window panes, is replacement. If ignored, it could lead to drafts entering your home and increased energy costs as your HVAC system will need to work a bit harder to compensate for the faulty window.

3. Cold Drafts

If you feel a draft when you close your windows and doors, it means that the seals are wearing or already worn off. Your door’s weather-stripping helps ensure a tight seal with the frame, if this has worn out, it could lead to cold air to enter your home and for warm air to escape. A draft around where a window or door seals against the frame may need just a weather stripping replacement, however it could also be an indication that the frame has warped and a replacement is the only solution. Have an expert look at the affected area if the draft persists.

4. Increased Noise Level

If you begin to notice that the outdoor noise is being heard more inside your home than before, this can indicate that your windows and doors have lost their soundproofing qualities. Increased traffic noises, dogs barking or just from people walking outside your home are all an indication that there is an issue.

5. Physical Damage

Visible damage to your windows and doors caused by curved, warped, cracked, and rotted frames are a serious issue that you should address right away. Not only is this damage causing potential energy bill increases and is probably an eye soar. Visible damage to your windows and doors should be considered as a serious safety risk, as potential intruders may view this damage as an easy entry point to your home. Don’t delay to have broken or damaged windows and doors replaced as soon as possible.


How to Maintain your Exterior Doors?

How to Maintain your Exterior Doors?

Your home’s exterior doors require some attention every now and then to ensure they look great, function properly, lasts a long time. Many homeowners however unintentionally neglect their exterior doors, forgoing any maintenance. 

Did you know that most contractors recommend you inspect and maintain your entry doors frequently? This will help you identify and potentially prevent potential problems and safety issues. 

Below we will cover what our specialists recommend about maintaining your exterior doors.

How to Maintain your Exterior Doors?1. Clear Dirt & Debris 

Cleaning your doors on a regular basis is the first step in a regular maintenance program. This will help prevent the build-up of dirt and dust leaving your doors looking beautiful, and functioning properly.

2. Oil Hinges Often

Squeaking doors are not only annoying, but they can be difficult to open and close. Cleaning and oiling hinges at the same time as cleaning any dirt is a good practice. Once you have applied oil to your hinges, rub it around with a cotton swab and wipe away excess oil with a dry cloth.

3. Inspect Weather Stripping

Inspect and wipe down the weather stripping around the door and the frame. If needed, replacing it as soon as you see the damage. This will help you deal with vulnerable areas of your door and will prevent air from flowing in and out of your home. If your weather stripping has a build-up of grime and dirt, you can clean it with ordinary dish soap and warm water.

4. Consider applying a fresh finish or layer of paint

This is an excellent tip, especially if you have a wooden entry door. You can add an extra layer of protection to your door with a coat of paint, finish, or stain. It is your ally in preventing wear and tear and can prolong your door’s lifespan while showcasing a fresh new look.

5. Replace Damaged Doors 

Your exterior doors are an integral part of your home, your doors provide both security and comfort. If you notice damage on your exterior doors, this can affect your home's comfort and the security provided by the door. Consider replacing damaged doors or doors that are hard to close or open sooner than later, as studies have shown that home intruders tend to take advantage of a home’s vulnerability such as a damaged door to access a home. 

Like most moving parts of your home, your entry doors need regular attention, but the attention doesn’t need to be extensive. Minor maintenance that includes wiping down the door, clearing debris, oiling hinges, and inspecting weather stripping is really all that is needed to ensure your doors stand the test of time.


5 Window and Door Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

5 Window and Door Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

Apart from keeping your air conditioners in top condition, there are helpful window and door tips that can help you beat the summer heat without causing a spike in your energy bills. Consider the tips below to take care of the sweltering summer heat.

5 Window and Door Tips to Beat the Summer HeatWindows and doors provide access to the outdoors, and they can also let heat into your home during the summer months. If your windows and doors are in bad shape, look to hire a professional and experienced window replacement and door replacement contractor to ensure your home is ready to hold off the summer heat.

Full replacement aside, there are other ways to help keep your home cool during the hot summer months.

1. Seal Cracks and Holes in Your Caulking

Check your windows and doors frames for cracks or holes in the caulking that can cause air leaks. Seal all crevices, cracks, and holes with new caulking. For smaller areas, you can go over the existing caulking, but for areas with major damage, it is best to remove the old caulking and replace it with new caulking. This will help prevent warm air from entering your home and cool air from escaping.

2. Inspect Watherstripping on Windows and Doors

Check your windows and doors for possible wear and tear of all weatherstripping materials. Replacing any damaged weatherstripping on your windows and doors to prevent cool air loss in your home. The fractional space between the window and door frames is enough for cool air to escape and warm air to enter your home. Properly weatherstripped windows and doors help guarantee a complete closure, without the possibility of air leaks.

3. Use Thick Curtains

Installing thick curtains will help to block out the sun’s heat from coming into your home. You can also use light-colored blinds to reflect the incoming heat. These blinds and curtains can also help improve the aesthetics of your home while adding to the look and feel. Closing your curtains and blinds when you are away, effectively prevents heat from entering your home, ensuring you come back to a nice cool living environment.

4. Close Windows and Doors

This may seem like a basic tip, but ensure you shut your windows and doors tightly to retain cool air in your home and hot air out all day. Leaving your windows and doors open, even slightly during the day will cause the temperature in your home to increase significantly.

5. Open Windows and Doors

Keeping your windows and doors closed all day will help prevent hot air from entering your home, but opening your windows and doors during cooler nights will help by allowing cooler fresh air to circulate around your home, and letting stale air to escape.