There are plenty of reasons why a co-op or condo association board may want to replace some or all of the windows in their community. Noise reduction, saving on energy costs, aesthetics and safety are usually chief among them. Even with the significant expense a window repair or replacement project entails, it's not so important that a board know everything about windows, but rather that they express their needs and expectations to a window company they can trust.
When to Replace
Window specialists say that regular inspections and maintenance can help preserve the life of windows, and minimize the expense of repairs when they're necessary. In general, experts say an inspection should be done every 18 months, making sure that operating hardware is properly lubricated and hasn't been damaged or painted over, and that the weather stripping is in good condition.
According to Rick Christenson, a vice president with Frost Christenson & Associates, an engineering consulting firm in Bound Brook, sometimes it's easy to tell if a window needs repairs or replacing: If you feel cold air coming in or excessive noise is keeping you up all night, it's time to think about replacing, or improving your windows.
"If the seal in the glass has failed, you'll notice condensation," adds David Skudin of CitiQuiet Windows in New York City. "So one typical repair in windows is glass replacement, or what's called re-glazing. Another major issue is if a window is no longer operating safely. If it's a double-hung window that movies up and down, a lot of times the windows don't stay up when you lift them. They need to repair the balance."
Neglect of windows can be a problem, especially in older buildings. In some buildings, windows are painted shut, hardware is broken or rusty, and drafts abound. Some associations don't repaint the outsides of window frames for years on end, which inevitably leads to deterioration of the frame and sashes, say the professionals.