How To Tell If You Need New Windows?

How To Tell If You Need New Windows?

Windows don’t last forever. In fact, most of them barely get to reach 20 years. This isn’t because the material is of poor quality (even though sometimes this is the case), but because we don’t put in enough maintenance and the weather is extremely unpredictable.
Suspecting that you need window replacement isn’t enough, you still need to gather some substantial evidence. To help you out, here is where you should put your attention if you want to prove that your windows are failing at their job:

How To Tell If You Need New Windows?Drafitness

Nobody likes those cold breezes that come through our windows in winter. However, they happen frequently, especially in older homes. One of a window’s roles is to retain heat on the inside. That means that it stops interior air to go on the outside and exterior to come in. The reasons behind drafty windows are many, here are some of them:

  • Old windows, passed their maximum age
  • Poor installation or insulation
  • Cracks in the sash or frame
  • Poor manufacturing

Difficulties Operating

Another tattletale of a squeaking sound while operating. If you have difficulties closing or opening your windows, they probably need to be replaced. This includes weird sounds, the need to use more strength and a loose handle. As draftiness, difficulties while operating can happen for a number of reasons.
Old age is definitely a cause, but there are also other reasons such as a bad repainting job or improper installation. Try to oil up the locking system. If this doesn’t work, try new windows instead.

Bad Soundproofing

Besides protecting us from heat and cold from the outside, windows should also protect us from unwanted noise. Energy efficient, high-quality windows keep our homes care-free by preventing any kind of noise from reaching our ears.
Efficient windows also protect our privacies by keeping the noise we make strictly in the inside. What happens in our homes stays in our homes, right? If you notice that your neighbors are becoming too loud or they are giving you judgmental looks lately, consider replacement windows.

Cracks, Leaks and Rot

This sign is fairly obvious. If there are small pools beneath your windows when it rains, it’s time for replacement. Another sign is cracks on the frame or sash. These can happen because of termites, storms and old age. Sometimes the leaks and cracks can be fixed with partial replacement. This is why you should always consult with experts before you decide on a big renovation project.
If you have cracks and leaks, you might be experiencing soft or rotten frames. Rot is pretty common for wooden windows, as well as softness. They signify that there is some kind of water problem around your window. It may even be a wall crack or clogged gutters dripping directly in your opening.

Condensation

There are 2 types of condensation: exterior and interior. The former is good, the latter isn’t. Exterior condensation means that your windows are working perfectly fine. In fact, it a sign for proper window function.
Condensation occurs when humid air touches a colder surface. So when the sun rises the air outside gets warmer. This warmer air touches a glass surface (takes a longer time heating up) and exterior condensation occurs.
But unlike the exterior, interior condensation is a sign that your windows aren’t working right. Sometimes it occurs because the windows are new and they don’t let anything pass through. But mostly it happens due to some malfunction. If you frequently have interior condensation, schedule a free consultation.

Faded Furniture

So windows should protect us from noise and outside weather, but what about the light? Yes, good windows prevent harmful UV rays from entering our homes. Despite being harmful for our skin, UV can damage certain materials as well. These include artwork, furniture, carpets and other textiles.
If the area around your windows is slowly fading away, you aren’t well protected from UV. In some situations, you’ll need to replace the glass only, in others the whole window. The framing material also has an impact on UV protection.

Riverbend Windows & Doors

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


How To Choose Curtains And Drapes?

How To Choose Curtains And Drapes?

There are tons of variations on drapery, considering style, fabric, colors and size. Additionally, one should ask themselves if they want to combine the curtains with linen or another window treatment like shades and blinds. So choosing curtains isn’t that easy as it sounds. To help you out, here are some tips on picking the right ones:

How To Choose Curtains And Drapes?The Ideal Room

To choose the right drapery, you should look deep into yourself. The choice you will make should depend on your personal preferences. But besides following your preferences on comfort, practicality and price, you should also consider the room which you are decorating.
For instance, some rooms require heavy and bold drapery, some light and colorful and others do not need drapery at all. So each room should have its own authentic curtains. This means that the ones in the living room shouldn’t be the same with those in the bathroom. Make the curtains a representation of a room, but also mind comfort.
You can add light weight drapery in the kitchen with unique colorful patterns. This will allow more natural light to enter and the preparing meals which become much more pleasant. For keeping privacy, add heavyweight drapery in bedrooms, but choose ones with an edgy and classy style. And in living rooms, install curtains which symbolize community and offer a welcoming and warm touch to the interior.

Maintenance

When choosing drapery, one should also mind small practicalities. Maybe in the beginning, maintenance won’t seem that difficult, but as time passes, you will surely start to get annoyed by curtains which are difficult to clean.
That’s why when deciding what kind of curtains to purchase, always mind the cleaning instructions. Some can be cleaned in a washing machine, some by hand and other will be in need of a professional cleaning service. So consult with your partner which method you prefer and choose the curtains accordingly. What bothers you more? Taking the curtains every month for dry cleaning or scrubbing them by hand?

The Ideal Size

Sometimes, however, we must choose “only dry-clean” curtains. This is because those that can be washed at home usually aren’t of higher quality. A good thing to know is that after every wash, low-quality curtains get smaller. To protect your room from this problem, always choose curtains which are a little bit larger (a couple of inches) than necessary. Only do this if you are planning to purchase cheaper curtains.
When it comes to proper measurements and window – curtain ratios, there are a some general rules designers use. The main rule is to place the panel 6 inches above the window frame and to add 4-8 inches more on each side (left & right). This way you will have “a breathing area” when the curtains are opened and blocked view when they are closed. The choice of the curtain height is up to you. Whether it will fall to the ground or just beneath the window is a matter of style and preferences.

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Riverbend Windows & Doors

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


Which Blinds are best for privacy?

Which Blinds are Best for Privacy?

Besides adding aesthetic value, window treatment also protects us from the eyes of strangers. But when choosing the best blinds, one should also mind the amount of natural light. There have been tons of cases where homeowners picked a hard window treatment and all they got was minimum light and high electrical bills.
Even though blinds are a specific window treatment (with rotating slats), as a word “blinds” is used for every treatment out there, including shades and shutters. So here are the best blinds for keeping privacy and comfort at the same time:

Which Blinds are best for privacy?Hardwood Blinds

The classic option for window treatment is hardwood blinds. The color and weight of hardwood barely let any light pass through, but the one they do looks amazing due to color and light reflections. These blinds are ideal for keeping a traditional yet welcoming and warm look. Additionally, you will get much better protection with hardwood blinds than with aluminum or PVC.
Roller Shades
Opened from bottom to top and fully covered in fabric, roller shades are commonly chosen for maintaining privacy. There are special versions, called blackout roller shades that have high UV resistance and privacy protection. They are usually placed in bedrooms or study rooms. There are tons of other roller shades out there, some with unique and fun patterns, looking like an artwork when closed.

Cellular Shades

The most popular choice for modern homes, cellular, also known as honeycomb, offer maximum practicality. Regular shades are opened only from bottom to top, whereas cellular can be opened from both sides. With this mechanism, you can only keep the bottom window part covered thus maintaining privacy and the top part opened, thus allowing natural light to enter. Besides practicality, cellular shades are amazing insulators and add a unique look to a room.

Shutters

This window treatment is almost always combined with another one such as drapes, blinds or shades. Shutters are usually made from thick wood and block every view from the outside. They are found in traditional homes and are a key factor for maintaining that kind of aesthetic. Modern shutters tilt, allowing privacy protection and natural light at the same time.

Vertical Blinds

There are two main types of blinds: Venetian and vertical. Both give amazing protection, but the latter is a very common choice. So to spice things up in your home, while also staying protected choose vertical blinds. Their slats are usually larger and they block almost every part of your view. Modern vertical blinds are automatically operated with buttons and they can slide through the window.

Riverbend Windows & Doors

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


What are the Key Features of an Energy Efficient House?

What are the Key Features of an Energy Efficient House?

Have you looked at your electrical bills recently? Are they higher than you expected? Fear not since there is a simple way of reducing them – with energy efficient upgrades. For instance, did you know that high quality, Energy Star windows can cut your monthly spending for 15%? An interesting fact, right? Check out our list below to see other types of efficient upgrades and the wonderful things they can do for the environment and for our wallets:

What are the Key Features of an Energy Efficient House?Windows & Doors

You have the constant need to turn on the heater, even though it’s warm outside? The main factor that determines efficiency is the quality of windows and doors. Their role is to connect the interior with exterior spaces while also protecting the home from heat/cool loss. And if these appliances are old, rotten, poorly insulated or damaged in any way, they won’t transfer heat properly and will make the bill go higher. To avoid this from happening, check the signs for damage or simply schedule a free consultation to learn more quickly whether your home needs door and window replacement.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats can save up to 18% of electrical bills. And this isn’t the only reason why homeowners are dazzled by them. This product has the highest ratings when it comes to heating and cooling systems. With tracking your daily routines, this thermostat will program itself and start to efficiently control temperature while also satisfying your comfort needs. It also remembers and keeps track of every activity, so you can check the overall electrical usage at any time. The ideal way to increase awareness, efficiency, and comfort at the same time.

Efficient Roofs

Neither upgrade will matter if your roof is leaky and old. Most heating and cooling losses happen through the roof. When it comes to choosing the right one, lots of factors are involved such as durability, lifespan, maintenance, and price. However, you should also look out for energy efficiency ratings since if of higher quality, the roof can save up to 20% of your bills. Some strong materials like tile and metal can push efficiency boundaries even more and increase that percentage to 40.

Eco Appliances

Energy efficient or eco appliances use minimum energy to do their jobs. Yes, an efficient kettle will reduce the bills, but try to think bigger and upgrade your water heater, refrigerator, drier, dehumidifier or dishwasher. Eco-appliances have Energy Stars which is the most valued energy efficiency certificate for products. If affordable, upgrade every electrical appliance you have since when combined together, one can only imagine the percentage of energy reduction.

Energy Stars

For a product to get an Energy Star it must pass certain tests with a high energy rating. Almost every product out there has a more efficient version. There are even decorative Christmas lights and ceiling fans with Energy Stars. To find the most suitable ones for your home, consult with experts. However, they will most likely recommend certified roofs, doors and windows since they have the biggest influence on efficiency.

Riverbend Windows & Doors

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


Why Are My Windows Leaking?

Why Are My Windows Leaking?

Before moving into a new house, no homeowner had in mind collecting excess rainwater with a bucket or an old towel. However, water leaks happen despite our ideas and desires. Preventing unwanted water to enter your home through a window leak is fairly easy, but finding the cause and permanent solution requires a hand of an expert – a contractor.

Why Are My Windows Leaking?Here are some of the common reasons for why windows leak:

Flawed Windows

Some window leaks are caused by the windows themselves and others are caused by outside forces. This category of flawed windows is meant for all who purchased poorly designed window parts and for those who poorly designed them:

Glass sealant – If your window leaks are coming from between the glass panes, you are facing damaged glass sealant. Glass replacement is necessary in this situation as without insulating gas your window loses almost all function.
Low quality product – It isn’t so often, but window leaks can also be caused by low quality materials. They can also be physically damaged while being distributed and installed.
Paint seal – the average homeowners may not know this, but contractors use paint as a seal between the frame and glass. If paint doesn’t overlap the glass, it may cause window leaks. A good tip for your next repainting project, n’est pas?
Broken caulk – Sometimes pieces of window caulk brake. Caulk is just another way of sealing the windows, so logically broken caulk will make way for tons of window leaks.

Flawed Installation

Most window leaks happen because of flawed installation. This is why when you go to window forums or websites, the most common advice given is to observe and ask questions about the installation process. Things that can occur during a flawed installation are:

Improper leveling – The terms plumb, level and square are commonly used in the “window” world. If the installed window doesn’t meet its leveling requirements then it will start becoming loose therefore less energy efficient and filled with water leaks.
Improper sealing – these days sealing is usually done with an expanding foam. If less foam is used than the needed amount, air and eventually water will get through the holes between the window and the wall.

If you are facing an issue of this parameter, a window replacement is a must. Consult with contractors and experts to truly pinpoint the cause and find the ideal solution.

It Isn’t The Window At All!!!

While many causes for water leaks are linked with the windows, some may be the fault of other home parts. Here is how one functionality issue can lead to another and result in confusion or lots of repair money for homeowners and contractors:

Overhangs – If the number of overhangs isn’t enough to keep your home dry, the result is window leaks. Overhangs dry up water on the actual roof and prevent it from coming down your windows. Sometimes, homes aren’t that well planned and your water leaks may be a result of poor architecture.
Fascia Boards– they should be placed so that water is directed away from the unit. If the angle of the fascia isn’t aligned with the window position, rain may fall directly into your living room.
Wall leaks – If your window leak is placed at the top of the window or it’s frame, you aren’t facing a window leak at all. Wall leaks can act mischievous and disguise themselves as window leaks. Check for mold or wall cracks in the surrounding area and prepare, you might even be facing a roof leak.

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.


When Should You Replace Windows?

When Should You Replace Windows?

If left unrepaired, malfunctioning windows can lead to severe damage in homes. Mold growth, pest infestations, high energy bills, decreased safety and faded furniture are just the beginning. In some cases where homeowners decided to ignore the fact that their windows needed replacement or they didn’t know how to recognize the signs, severe floods and floor cracks started to occur.

When Should You Replace Windows?To help you out with protecting your home from window damage we made a list of some helpful information:

The Signs

Unfortunately, windows do not have the ability to talk. To overcome this obstacle, you should carefully inspect their surrounding areas for warning signs of malfunction. For making the signs easier to recognize we separated them into two categories: physical and factual. The physical signs are almost always near or on the actual windows. The most common ones are rotten or damaged frames, scratched glass, cracked walls, leaky windows, bad soundproofing, unbalanced room temperature and mold growth. Each of them are linked to your window’s age and quality of insulation.

There are three most important factual signs: old windows, high electricity bills and difficulties with operating. Each type of window has its own life span. Windows with wooden frames last to 15 years while vinyl windows last to 40. Depending on the material and year model, a window replacement is necessary if your windows are older than 30. This is also due to advancements in technology as every day new windows with higher efficiency ratings are flooding the market. Your electrical bills are high because your home requires more energy to stay heated/cooled. With tightly sealed and multiple glass pane windows, your home is always going to have the ideal temperature.

The Benefits

Multiple signs for window replacements can start working together on ensuring that your life gets more difficult. For instance, the temperature in your room can become improperly conducted because of scratches within your glass panes and the increased heating energy and higher bills are surely to appear right afterwards. This sort of hassle can be easily avoided with a simple window replacement.

All of the main benefits you’ll get with window replacement are correlated with comfort and by it we mean: security, proper soundproofing, UV protection, ideal insulation, mold prevention and healthy access to natural light. The positive impacts that window replacement has for a home makes it one of the biggest investment returns and home value increases. When searching for ways to add curb appeal or increase the house’s value on the market, be sure that you’ll find window replacement as one of the suggested topics on the list. This sums up the benefits of window replacement, showing that window replacement is beneficial to one’s comfort and budget.

Tips on Replacing

Okay, so you decided to replace your windows. Now, be wary because you don’t want to be making the same mistake as your previous window buyers did. You might never have needed this replacement had the previous windows been chosen more wisely. The things you should take in mind while choosing new windows are Energy Star ratings, room size, weather conditions, aesthetics, practicality and budget. If your budget is tight, you can go with partial replacements of the glass or the frame. Some window issues don’t require replacement of the whole windows, only the malfunctioning parts. The second thing you should mind are practicality and room size. Each type of window is suitable for different living environments. For instance, awning windows work best for bathrooms and slidings are recommended for small living spaces. The weather conditions of the area you live in should also have a large role in your decision as some window materials have poorer functionality in wet and moist areas. Consult with the experts to determine the best type of window for your home. The Energy Star rating can surely help you with this issue as it shows the overall energy efficiency rating of a window.

Once you have all of the necessary information you need to replace your windows, it is time to find a good window installer.

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.