5 Ways To Winter-Proof Your Windows

In Ontario, our winter months can be quite challenging and uncomfortable. We know that as winter rolls in, so does the frigid air, extreme cold, snow and ice. We also know that winter means that our energy bills may experience a sharp increase, especially if your windows and doors are not winter-proofed.

You can avoid some of the problems associated with the harsh Ontario winters by winter-proofing your windows. If you are not sure where to begin winter-proofing your windows, we have highlighted 5 ways to do so below.

1. Use weather stripping

If your windows open and close, that means they have moveable parts, and ice and frigid air can make their way in through these moving parts. Fortunately, you can prevent these elements from entering your home by using weather stripping. Metal, vinyl, and magnetic strips are the most common materials used for weather-stripping. While each of these materials has its advantages and disadvantages, they are all effective for winter-proofing windows as they can prevent the draft from getting into your home.

2. Install window insulation film

Window insulation film is a common material used for reducing the effects of winter on windows. When installed appropriately, a window insulation film protects your home against the effects of rainwater, snow, and sleet during winter. Although it usually comes as one of the items in a window insulation kit, window insulation film can also be bought individually. This material is easy to install as it doesn’t require any special tools or skills.

3. Install insulated curtains

While most curtains can protect your home against a draft, icy winds, or frigid air, insulated curtains are the most effective. Since they contain pre-installed thermal backing, these curtains are capable of shielding the interior of your home against the effects of winter.

Apart from being effective, insulated curtains are aesthetically pleasing as well. So, not only will they shield your home from a draft, they will also accentuate the beauty of your home.

4. Use a draft snake

A draft snake is a type of winter window cover designed for preventing a draft from getting into a room. Otherwise called a draft stopper, a draft snake is fairly inexpensive and can even be made at home utilizing old clothing. Generally, you need to place your draft snakes around the edges of your windows to prevent a draft from coming into the property. Unfortunately, draft snakes are only effective for sealing the base of the windows. So, if you want to block other sides of the windows, you may have to consider another solution.

5. Refinish the seals

If the caulking on the outside of your windows is cracked or peeling, this can allow air to seep into your home and eventually lead to loss of energy efficiency. By replacing the seal around your windows with new caulking you can prevent any air or drafts from entering your home.

Although the tips above can help you to winter-proof your windows and doors, their effects may be minimal if your windows are damaged or worn. If your windows and doors are beginning to show signs of wear and tear, you may want to consider a windows and doors replacement.


5 Frequently Asked Questions About Windows And Doors Replacement

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Windows And Doors Replacement

Now, not all homeowners will need to replace their windows and doors. Some may not need to if the home they purchased has already installed new windows and doors that are durable and energy-efficient. For others, it is necessary to replace their doors and windows to keep heat in, keep cold out, and save money. Also, some may want to upgrade the look of their home with new windows and doors. Here are 5 frequently asked questions about windows and doors replacement:

1. How do I know my windows and doors need replacing?

This largely depends on the age of the windows and doors. You can replace them if they are 25 years old or more. This helps maximize the energy efficiency that comes with new windows and doors. You can also replace them if you notice drafts or condensation on the window panes and doors or if they become difficult to open.

2. Can new doors and windows lower my energy consumption?

When you upgrade with energy-saving doors and vinyl windows, you will see several benefits. You do not have to paint your windows because vinyl does not get discolored. Vinyl also doesn’t warp so the seal of the vinyl windows will always remain.

3. What types of windows and doors can I get?

Windows and doors differ in style, size, and color. For doors, there are wooden, fiberglass, and steel doors. For windows, you can browse through several options according to your taste.

4. What do I need to do?

When a rep has told you all about the replacement process, find out what they expect from you. Ask if you need to remove curtains and blinds or if you have to move furniture or protect your floors.

5. Many new windows contain argon gas, why is it used?

Argon gas is non-toxic and is used between panes to reduce heat transfer between the glass panes. Argon mitigates heat and cold by reducing air movement. It rewards users with a better-insulated window as it spreads cold and hot air throughout the entire windowpane, reducing the invasion of cold and heat leakage.


Vinyl Vs Aluminum Windows: Which Is The Better Choice?

Vinyl Vs Aluminum Windows: Which Is The Better Choice?

The windows in your home are essential for many reasons as they serve as both functional and aesthetic fixtures. When it comes time to consider taking on a window replacement project for part of or your entire home, one of the more important factors that needs to be considered is what frame material will your new windows be constructed of.  While it’s important to work around your budget, you also want to ensure you are getting top quality materials and construction. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses between your different options can help you make the right decision for your home well before your window replacement sales representative comes to give you a quote.

Below we compare vinyl and aluminum windows to help you along with your decision making.

Maintenance 

Aluminum windows are that challenging to maintain, but do require more attention than the virtually maintenance free vinyl windows. Aluminum windows will require some upkeep to keep them in excellent condition. Since there can be condensation build up, there is a chance for  mold growth and rust. There are specialised cleaners to help prevent these issues. Lubricating moving parts will help keep them from suffering from excessive wear.

Energy-Efficiency

Both vinyl and aluminum windows offer some level of energy efficiency. However, vinyl windows are more energy efficient because they are designed to reduce heat transfer and limits light from coming in from outside. This ultimately helps maintain the internal temperature of your home and reduce the need to rely on your HVAC system keep your home comfortable. Aluminum is a natural conductor of heat, this means more heat can penetrate through in the summer and more heat can escape in the winter which will lead to an increase reliance on your heating and cooling systems to regulate the temperature.

Appearance 

Many homeowners find the thinner frames of aluminum windows to be more attractive and more modern than the thicker vinyl frames. Aluminum windows are available in a variety of colours and shades and can also be painted down the road if you are wishing to update the look, Vinyl windows are also available in a variety of colours, although less than aluminum.

Durability and Lifespan

One of the factors to consider when looking into a windows replacement is your local weather conditions. Here in Ontario we do face some extreme conditions, but the temperatures tend to change gradually and we do not have very many extreme temperature shifts. In a place with these extreme temperature changes, aluminum windows may be the better option because of their ability to withstand extreme climates. Vinyl windows are not as durable as aluminum windows in the climates, but they do fare well in a place with moderate weather condition changes, as well with vinyl windows you do not need to worry about corrosion.

Ease of Installation

When installing either a vinyl or aluminum window, it is best to always hire a professional to get the job done. It is usually easier to install vinyl windows because of the flexibility of the material. Since aluminum is not a flexible material, installation can be more challenging and may require more effort.

Affordability

It is essential to have your budget in mind with any home improvement project and a window replacement is no different. Generally, vinyl windows are less costly to both purchase and have installed than aluminum windows. The cost associated with your replacement may also vary depending on the manufacturer, size, colour options, and location of installation.

Both Vinyl and Aluminum windows are great options for window replacement, with each having its strengths and weaknesses. If you still need clarification on which option is best for you, you can contact a window replacement expert within your area to further discuss your options.


What are the Main Types of Windows?

What are the Main Types of Windows?

When it comes time for a window replacement, you have the option of several window styles that offer differing features and designs. Some window styles are more popular than other due to their ease of use or versatility when it comes to fitting in certain opening sizes. Here we will cover the most common window styles and provide a brief description for each.

It should be noted that this list is in no particular order.

1. Double Hung Windows

Double hung windows are arguably one of the most common window styles used for residential homes today. Double hung windows evolved from the once extremely popular sing hung window, and even though both window styles look alike, their operations are quite different. Both the upper and lower sashes of double-hung windows are operational allowing for the opening to be higher or lower. In single hung windows, only the lower sash is operable.

Double hung windows offer more ventilation than their predecessor and are also more convenient to clean, as it can be completed from the inside of your home.

2. Casement Windows

If there was a window style that would challenge the double hung window for the most popular, it would be casement windows. They come with side hinges that allow them to open outward with the use of a crank. Most of them feature large glass panes that ensure that they can offer lots of natural light to enter a room. Casement windows are a great option for rooms that need ample ventilation as their sash can open a full 90 degrees. Not only do they allow for plenty of light and ventilation, casement windows have excellent energy performance and are very secure due to their tight seal when the locking mechanism is engaged.

3. Awning Windows

Awning windows are similar to casement windows as they also open outward utilizing a crank system. The main difference is that their hinges are located at the top of the frame, meaning they open upwards instead of to the left or right. They can play a key role in bringing lots of ventilation into a room. As a result of this, awning windows are often combined with large picture windows that will allow for plenty of light to enter a room. Additionally, they can be installed above a door offering additional ventilation and natural light.

Notably, you should not install awning windows around a walkway, pathway, or other areas with traffic. This is because they are capable of obstructing the path.

4. Picture Windows

These window styles are perfect for anyone looking to have an unobstructed view of the exterior of their home. Picture windows do not open, meaning that they are made of full glass, no screens or center frames to impede your view. They are great for rooms where you are comfortable sacrificing air flow for that perfect view. Picture windows do compensate for the lack of ventilation with ample natural sunlight.

It should be noted that picture windows can be combined with other window types such as awning windows if you want the view and the air flow.

5. Slider windows

As the name indicates, slider windows are windows that slide side to side to open. These awesome windows provide lots of ventilation and views of the outside. However, they may be difficult to seal when closing. Hence, you tend to gain and lose heat easily.

Apart from their locks, sliding windows don’t have any mechanical parts. Consequently, they are easy to clean and maintain.

6. Bay Windows

If you want to create beautiful views and angles in your home, bay windows are a great option to consider. They enable light to come into a room from various angles and are good for family rooms, studies and kitchens. To ensure you get the look and the ventilation, you can combine bay windows with casement or double hung windows to help increase the airflow.

These are just a few of the main window replacement styles available, to fully grasp the options for your window replacement project, speak with your window contractor regarding your options.


What are the Benefits of Vinyl Windows?

What are the Benefits of Vinyl Windows?

Are you looking for a window replacement for your home? If so, vinyl windows are an amazing option! This is because of the numerous benefits that vinyl windows are capable of offering to your property.

Here are some of the benefits of vinyl windows.

1. They are durable

Vinyl windows are known to be good at withstanding various weather conditions. Therefore, regardless of where you live, you can be certain that your vinyl windows will last for several years. Typically, vinyl windows can last for about twenty years or even longer with proper maintenance.

2. They are affordable

If you have a small budget and need quality windows, vinyl windows are the best option for you. These windows are made with materials that are easy to create and manufacture. As a result, they often come at relatively affordable prices. However, when it comes to window replacement, the style, size, and additional features of the vinyl windows can affect their prices. Make sure to factor in labour costs and installation fees when purchasing vinyl windows.

3. They are easy to maintain

Vinyl windows don’t require any special products to clean them. All you need is water and mild detergent. The windows hardly fade, chip, or scratch. In addition, there is no need to repaint or sand the windows. Therefore, maintaining your vinyl windows is quite easy and simple.

4. They are faster to install

Since vinyl is versatile and lightweight, the window can be installed easily and quickly. A window installation company can install the windows within a few hours. Since installation of vinyl windows is less labour intensive, it helps make them more affordable.

5. They are available in different color options

Vinyl windows have one of the widest ranges of color choices. Vinyl windows can be anything from neutral colours like white, black or beige to bold colours such as royal blue.

6. They are soundproof

Due to the insulating ability of vinyl windows, they are also good at blocking outside noise. These windows reduce the noise coming into your home, making your house more peaceful and relaxing.

7. They can increase your home value

Having windows in good condition significantly increases the value of your home.

If your windows are not in good condition, you should consider window replacement now. Due to the numerous benefits mentioned above, most homebuyers prefer homes with vinyl windows. Therefore, using vinyl windows for your home can boost its value.

Takeaway

If you are considering a window replacement, choose vinyl windows for your home! As mentioned above, they come with many added benefits from being affordable to looking aesthetic. Contact a window replacement specialist today to find out more about vinyl windows!


5 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Windows and Doors

5 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Windows and Doors

Replacing your windows and doors can be a big and very expensive project. However, there are some cases where biting the bullet on replacement costs is a must! Find out below when it's time to contact an expert to replace your windows and doors in London.

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What Should I Look for in Replacement Windows?

What Should I Look for in Replacement Windows?

Windows play a crucial role in any home, they keep us safe, offer ventilation, improve your home’s aesthetic appeal and provide us with an unobstructed view of your home’s external environment. When planning your home’s window replacement, it can be somewhat challenging to select from the different types and style available. The last thing any homeowner wants is to invest their money in windows that don't suit their needs.

We polled our team of window consultants and asked them to share what clients should look for in replacement windows, below is what they shared;

Energy Efficient

Some of the top questions clients have about their replacement windows revolve around energy efficiency. After all, the more efficient their new windows are, the more money they will save on their energy bills. Questions include what is the difference between triple pane and double pane windows? What is a Low-E coating? And What benefit does Argon gas offer?

Style

Replacement windows are available in a wide range of styles, and each one comes with its own advantages and potential downsides. So, you will want to choose replacement windows that are style-appropriate. Some of the more popular options include side-hung, double-hung, sliders, bay, bow, casement, and awning windows. It’s best to choose a style that complements your home’s architectural style.
You can opt to have your replacement windows custom-made to combine various styles to suit your unique needs.

Cost

The cost of replacement windows is a major consideration for most homeowners, as they are looking to stay within budget and still be able to find the best replacement windows for their home. Some of the factors that may affect the cost of your replacement windows include brand, energy efficiency options, material, size and any customizations such as colour.

Framing Material

When choosing replacement windows for your home, it's advisable to determine the frame material that would best suit your needs. The common framing materials to choose from include wood, fiberglass, vinyl, and aluminum. Each of these various framing materials for replacement windows differ in durability, appearance, insulation qualities, and other aspects.

Wood frames are known for their natural beauty, but do require some effort to maintain. Fiberglass frames are extremely durable and weather resistant but come at a slightly hire cost. Vinyl frames offer excellent insulation and are fairly maintenance free.

Keeping the above considerations in mind when choosing windows for your next replacement project will help you make an informed decision.

If you are in need of high-quality window replacement services in London or the surrounding areas, contact Riverbend Windows & Doors at 226-688-8652.


Should I Replace All Windows At Once?

Should I Replace All Windows At Once?

Your home windows are your gateway to the outside. They provide you with a view, allow you to keep watch of the kids playing in the yard and provide warm, natural light to penetrate your home. However, there is a lot to consider when your windows begin to breakdown and are coming close to the end of their lifespan. Do I replace only the windows that are showing signs of failure or replace them all? What styles and functions should I consider? And who can we trust to properly install our windows? Are just a few of the questions you will need to resolve before replacing any of your windows.

We asked our design experts the first of these questions “Should a home owner replace all of their windows at once?”, here is what they had to share on the topic.

Home Aesthetics

One of the aspects to think about when choosing a window replacement is aesthetics. Replacing every window in your home can significantly increase your home’s aesthetic appeal. It will also keep your home looking uniform as there will be no mismatching windows. If you are not able to replace all of your windows at the same time, consider replacing them based on areas of your home. For example, if you need to replace a few windows in the front of your home, try to replace all of the windows on that side at the same time. This allows for a uniform exterior for the front of your home.

Functionality

Once your windows reach a certain age, they may not function as well as they once did. Hinges give out, cranks break, frames warp and the overall functionality significantly decreases. When looking to replace your windows, put a priority on the ones that are giving you the most issues to operate. Just keep in mind, if all of your windows are the same age and several have already begun to not function optimally anymore, the others will be following suit soon.

Interior Design

Aesthetics apply to the interior of your home, too. Many rooms have only one or two windows, so replacing those can help boost the appearance of the room. However, if you have several windows in the same room and one is damaged, you might want to replace them all as replacing a single window in a room with multiple windows may seem a bit awkward.

Budget

Replacing all of the windows in your home at once, comes with significant expense. You can decide whether this option is best for you after receiving several quotes. Replacing your windows all at the same time have many benefits, but if it is not in the budget to do so, focus on those windows that are causing the most issues or look into financing options.

Energy Efficiency

If you’re unsure whether you should replace all your windows, you should consider the energy efficiency benefits. New energy efficient windows will reduce the amount of heat loss and gain during the winter and summer months, reducing your reliance on your HVAC system and reducing your energy bills.

Ultimately, making the decision whether you should replace all of your windows at once needs to be done based on your current situation. Yes, there are many benefits of doing so, but it is not necessary to replace all of your windows at the same time.


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.