How do I choose the right product and installer?

If your windows cannot be repaired, or the cost of repairs doesn’t make sense, then replacement should be considered. Several factors should be looked at when evaluating an investment into window replacement, and here are a few tips:

  1.  How long will you be in your home – If you are moving next week, a replacement probably won’t be worth the investment. If you are staying a few years, you’ll want to make sure there’s still value in your windows when you move (if your windows and doors are 10 years old and in need of replacement, and you plan on staying another 10 years, you probably shouldn’t spend money putting the the same quality of window back in)
  2. Do not rely on a salesman’s promises – If you have already begun the shopping process, you won’t be surprised to learn that every salesman will tell
    you that they work for the best company ever, and they have the single greatest window that ever existed in the history of mankind! Always ask who manufacturers it, and what product line you’re being offered. Would you buy a car from a dealer who wouldn’t tell you the make and model? This will allow you to do your own research into the brand and product line.
  3. Determine the correct product for your needs – Just like buying a new vehicle, you should determine a shortlist of what you’re interested in before comparing cost. With almost 2,000 window manufacturers in the United States, and each of them offering multiple product lines, this can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
  4. Reputation matters – A quick internet search will help you find a few brands, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) can be a decent starting point to look into them. See how long the company has been in business, check their score, and how many complaints they tend to receive. The BBB will show you how many complaints a manufacturer accumulated in the past 3 years, and the past 12 months. National manufacturers may tend to have higher complaints than regional manufacturers, but it’s still a great reference.
  5. Longevity matters – If a manufacturer has only been in business for 5 years, they can’t really tell you how their window will hold up in 10 years, can they? Also, check how long they’ve been making windows! I have seen vinyl window manufacturers brag about being around since 1930… but, seeing that vinyl windows didn’t hit the market until 1964, this doesn’t exactly tell you anything about their reputation with windows! (And, honestly, a misleading claim like that is almost a sign that you need to be careful with them).

OK! So, how do you pick the right window? If you are NOT looking for vinyl, the answer can be pretty simple: compare options from Andersen and Marvin. They have been the industry leaders for more than 100 years, and both brands have multiple high-quality, non-vinyl options to fit almost any budget.

If you are looking for a vinyl product, the search becomes FAR more confusing. So, let’s keep it simple!

Glass: The modern glass pack consists of 2 or 3 pieces of glass, a single or multiple spacers, and some type of insulating gas trapped inside. There are two reasons to focus on the quality of the glass pack: 1) it accounts for about 90% of what you’re buying, and 2) cheap glass packs are an easy to identify sign that you’re being offered a cheap window. Here are some ways to identify cheap glass packs:

  • Multiple spacers, with visible seams in the corners. If you can see where the spacers come together, at a right angle, with a visible seam, then you’re looking at cheap glass! A quality spacer will be a single loop, with curved corners, and no seams in the corners.
  • “Organic ” Super Spacers. These tend to be made from rubber, or rubber-like compounds, and do not hold up in extreme heat. On a 95-degree day in August, I have personally seen glass exceed 150 degrees. Rubber will do a lot of expanding and contracting between 150 degrees and 15 degrees on a February night. Some manufacturers lean into this and brag about the spacer’s ability to expand and contract with the weather. If the thing that’s supposed to hold in the insulating gas in your window is moving back and forth against the glass, how well do you think it can keep that seal?
  • Low E films on the glass. These can be harder to spot, but your Low E coating should be part of the glass when it’s made, not a cheap “car tint” applied to clear glass. Your representative should be able to tell you the specifics on the glass (not just some fancy marketing name like “ULTRA MAXIMUS SUN DEFENDER GLASS”. Glass manufacturers like Cardinal will have boring names like Low E 270, or Low E 272, or Low E 366 that will help you identify the actual quality of the glass.

Quality Vinyl: Not all vinyl is the same. Some vinyl uses recycled materials, and just will not age as well as virgin vinyl.

  • Step one is to identify the manufacturer and confirm that the manufacturer uses virgin vinyl. Ask for the manufacturer’s information and website to confirm this (NOT the window company’s website, the actual manufacturer).
  • Manufacturer’s branding and serial number. A manufacturer is required to have their information and serial number for the product available on the product, but if it’s on a sticker, chances are all that information will (intentionally) fade before you get a chance to look for it. If a manufacturer sets out with the intent of making a quality product, they will proudly put their name or logo on it, and if it’s meant to last the serial number will be etched into the glass, or spacer, where it will be easily accessed if needed.
  • Construction and thickness of the vinyl in the frame. Chambered vinyl actually acts as a great insulator, and the multi-chamber design simply reinforces the strength in all directions. A high-quality vinyl window frame will hold up based on this design. (Chances are, if the salesman you met with is bragging about reinforcement and foam fill in the frame, then the quality of the vinyl is low. Almost all manufacturers can offer foam fills and reinforcements, and typically at a very low additional cost, but showing it in a sample is typically just a sales tactic… admittedly, it does look cool in there…, and it’s also something you have no way of proving that you received… unless you want to cut your new windows apart. Feel free to do an internet search on “window wizards lawsuit”, and you’ll be sure to have some reading material.)

Choosing the right installer or company: This can be pretty simple as well.

  • Make sure they use a product that meets your standards.
  • Make sure they are certified to install that product.
  • Check out their Better Business Bureau score, and their overall online reputation.
  • Choose someone who gives you whatever information and whatever time that you need to feel comfortable. NEVER trust a “same day” sales tactic. You should meet with someone who knows more about windows and doors than they know about sales strategies, and there should be no need (other than the natural inflation of product costs) to push you to make a decision.
2023-03-14T10:46:13-04:00Categories: Maintenance|

Is it possible to repair a window with fogged glass?

Well, can it? It’s a question that many people will have to ask themselves eventually. The simple answer yes but most companies won’t tell you that you can.

Let’s start with how double pane glass is made and what will cause it to fail in the first place.Double pane windows are made with two panes of glass placed over a spacer. The sealant is then applied, creating a space between the panes that is filled with air, or in many cases, a gas, such as argon or krypton. The air or gas provides an additional layer of protection against the outside elements, making your rooms far more comfortable and energy efficient than old single pane glass.

So, to get back on track, we now know we have two panes of glass that are “sealed” to a spacer of some kind. So why would they fail? There are many reasons why the seal would fail causing moisture to form between the panes of glass.

  • The most common is simply age. Depending on the quality of the window, the seal will last anywhere from five to around twenty years in perfect conditions. Now if You’re like Me, perfect conditions don’t happen very often so here are a couple more common reasons for seal failure.
  • Water. Excessive water builds up around the window can cause the seal to fail.
  • Another very common cause is excessive exposure to direct sunlight. The heat will cause expansion and contraction over time, causing the seal to fail.

The first thing that will let you know that the seal has failed. You will notice that moisture will begin to form between the panes of glass, usually when the weather is wet or humid.

Over time, the moisture between the glass will dry, leaving behind calcium deposits that will cause the glass to become cloudy or foggy.

So now we know why it happens but what do you do once it does? Well, if You are like most people, the first thing you will do is contact a window company figuring that they will give you options on how to solve the problem. Unfortunately, the only option they will have is for you to replace your windows, which as many of you know, can be an extremely expensive proposition.

Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You DO NOT have to replace your windows when a seal has failed. For the most part, when a window is manufactured, it is made so that the insulated glass unit can be removed and a new one put in. The way this is done is by removing a strip of wood or vinyl that is holding the glass in place. Once removed, a new insulated glass unit can be installed at a significantly reduced cost than replacing the whole window.

However, if choosing this option, be sure to have the whole unit replaced and not just one pane of glass. There are companies out there that will offer to remove a pane of glass, clean it, and put it back. Another service would be to drill a small hole in the glass to allow the moisture to escape. The problem with these methods is that once an insulated glass unit fails, it fails. You can’t go back and un-fail it.

So now you know what seal failure is and what you can do about it.

The next step is to schedule an appointment with Ardmor Inc. Windows and Doors and get your glass replaced so you can once again enjoy looking out of your windows without the cloudy mess.

2019-01-31T12:07:16-05:00Categories: Glass Replacement, Maintenance|

It’s almost Spring- Time to check your Windows and Doors for Repair

As we bid goodbye to the cold wintery winds and embrace the fresh spring breeze, it’s time to check the safety features of your house for possible windows repair. Your home needs periodical inspections for eradicating the maintenance issues and spring is the ideal time to do so. It is of extreme importance that you perform a thorough check to ensure that your windows and doors are in working order after the possible impairments caused by the winter season.

Your doors and windows can act as possible entry points for undesirable moisture and air leaks. Moreover, windows and doors can serve as an emergency exit point in case of fire. In order to rapidly escape the harmful circumstances, or prevent small children from falling through open windows, proper maintenance is important. Here are few ways you can properly check the windows and doors:

Inspect Closely

It is important to properly inspect the exteriors and interior areas around your doors and windows. If there are signs of peeling or flaking of paints, it’s time you must get it repainted or refurnished. You must look closely at signs of the discoloration, deterioration, or cracking of the woods that can be due to moisture leaks.

Check Everything

You must check the tracks for possible collection of debris and dirt. Sometimes leaves, insects and pine needles can hamper the air tight seals of your windows and doors. It is important that you slide the windows to feel an uneven sliding or crackling. In case the movement isn’t smooth, try applying a lubricant to the tracks.

Give Special Consideration to Locks

Special consideration must be given to the door locks to check if they have a problem. Locks form the most important part of the household safety. If they are wobbly or too tight, you should consider changing them.

Check for Air Leakages

Feel for the possible air leak signs around the doors and windows. Air leakages can allow moisture to sneak into your walls. While this can be particularly troubling during the winter seasons, it is good to check it during spring season too.

Ensure Safety Issues

If you have small children in the house, it is important that you check for all window safety measures. The window opening control devices should be placed where there is a risk of children peeking through the windows of high-rise buildings.  If you already have these devices installed, make sure they are functioning properly.

Insect screens

Even the tiniest of creatures celebrate the joy of spring. If you want to prevent them from partying in your house, it is important to check your insect screens. Look out for any holes or scratches that can allow insects to buzz in your home.  If required, replace the screens and get a new one. Insect screens are not supposed to prevent falls so do not rely on them to protect your little ones. They are not designed to support weight and can easily lead to fall accidents.

2018-08-01T19:22:55-04:00Categories: Maintenance|Tags: , |