Telltale Signs Of Poorly Installed Windows For Homeowners [Inc. Tips To Repair]!

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There is no denying that windows are one of the most important parts of a house. Whether you are moving into a new home or having yours renovated, you need to know the telltale signs of poorly installed windows. For this post, we have done the research for you and put together a list!

You can usually tell if your windows have been installed well, but sometimes poor window installation is not that obvious. Here are some telltale signs of poorly installed windows:

  • Gaps around the frame
  • Sticky hinges that don't work properly
  • Windows are not level
  • Water damage
  • Fog and moisture between panes
  • Bad caulking and messy work

If your windows happen to fit one or more of the descriptions on this list, then you will want to repair them. Don't worry, because we will give you some tips on how to repair poorly installed windows! Keep on reading to learn more.

Worker inserts glass into the window frame, Telltale Signs Of Poorly Installed Windows For Homeowners [Inc. Tips To Repair]!

Signs That Windows Have Been Poorly Installed

Poorly installed windows will compromise your safety. They can affect the structural integrity of your house since they are not secure. Your home can be prone to break-ins, and the windows will not be strong enough to protect you from the elements.

Window installation process made by two construction workers

Aside from these, poorly installed windows can also look unsightly. Thus, you will need to repair your windows. Here is an in-depth look at the signs you should be aware of when inspecting your windows.

Gaps Around The Frame

Gaps around the window frame and window sill are a sign of poor measuring and fitting. Your windows need to blend seamlessly into the frame, sill, and walls of your house. If there are any gaps, insects, some rodents, and other outside elements will be able to enter your house.

Window frames are meant to be sealed. If there are gaps around windows, whoever installed them has either not made the right measurements or did not use anything to seal the gaps. Gaps should be less than an inch in size. Even then, window gaps require sealants.

There may not have been any gaps around your windows when they were first installed. If this is the case and you see gaps now, then you may be dealing with a foundational weakness with your house.

Over time, the foundation of your house settles, and this can cause issues like gaps around your window frames. Well-installed windows should stay intact for some time when a house settles. If gaps appear in your window frames within a few days, then the windows were poorly installed.

Sticky Hinges Or Windows That Do Not Work Properly

Your window should open and close easily, needing only a little force. Your window may be poorly installed if you find yourself struggling to open it, or if the hinges get stuck part way.

The same sign goes for sliding windows. Sticky mechanisms can make it hard for you to slide the windows open. In this case, it is not correctly installed. This is especially true if your windows do not loosen up after a while.

A window's movement mechanism must be firmly installed, but not too tightly. Conversely, you may even find that a poorly installed window could have the opposite problem.

Hinges that are too loose mean your windows are not secure enough. They swing open way too easily, even without anyone opening them.

While tight hinges get sticky, loose hinges wobble when you try to move them. This means they were not installed correctly, and they could risk dropping the window should they completely break apart.

Sliding windows will be too easy to move when the sliding mechanism is too loose. For sliding windows that move vertically, the window could slam down and breaking. This could also lead to an injury.

Windows Are Not Level

You can tell if your windows are level, especially when you view them from a distance. Windows are meant to be parallel to the ground and are typically do not slant at odd angles. Even windows on inclined surfaces should be properly leveled

Windows that are level can lead to other issues such as gaps, or making the windows hard to open and close. Like with gaps around the window frames, poorly leveled windows may also be a sign of your whole house moving with the foundation.

Water Damage

Poor-quality installation of plastic windows

As with any part of your house, a window that shows water damage is a sign that it was not installed well. Water coming through and into your windows whenever it rains, for example, is a big red flag.

Remember, windows are supposed to keep the elements out. This includes water. Another way to tell if your window has water damage is if there is warping and staining around it.

Water-damaged windows can develop a foul odor or start growing mold. This will lead to faster deterioration that can creep into other elements of your house.

Fog And Moisture Between Window Panes

Similar to the above section, fog and moisture between window panes can also indicate water damage. This happens with multi-pane windows when the protective seal is compromised. 

This happens due to changing temperatures throughout the day. Over time, it can make your window panes weaker. Plus, it does not look very nice. You don't want your clear, transparent windows to end up looking frosted. 

Bad Caulking And Messy Work

Faulty caulking

Not all windows need caulk, but some do. Messy, haphazard caulking will lead to damage to your windows in the future. You also need to remove and replace caulk, or else it will crack as it ages.

You can tell that your window has bad caulking when it simply looks bad. Poor application shows once the material dries on the windows. You might think that caulk will be unnoticeable, but it is the little details that can make or break how well a window looks in the end.

How To Repair A Poorly Installed Window

Now that you know what signs to look out for, here are some tips on what to do to fix poorly installed windows!

What To Look For In A Contractor

You should get the contractor who did your windows to repair them for you. Contact the firm to resolve your concerns. If they are not able to do it, whether by refusal or through incompetent work, you can at least try to get your money back.

If the original contractor cannot or will not repair your windows, then you will have to hire a new one. Make sure to hire a reputable one that you can trust.

Hiring a new contractor can be a lot of work, especially when you do not know where to look. What you can do is look for references or find a good contractor online.

When choosing a contractor, find someone who is easy to contact. They should have a physical office nearby that you can visit. Simply hiring a contractor over the phone without a permanent place of business can put you at risk if they do not do a good job.

Check your contractor's credentials. What are their reviews? Get a reference from at least five other people who have availed of their services. The contractors must also specialize in the work that is done. Hire a window specialist if possible.

How To Repair Windows On Your Own

Hands applying weather seal caulk to window frame

If you do not want to rehire your old contractor or hire a new one, you can opt to repair your windows by yourself. The difficulty of this task can vary, so make sure not to take on anything beyond your skill level. 

First, assess the state of your windows. Figure out what work you need to do to make them fit better with your house. For some installations, you will only need to do some sealing or caulking with smaller gaps, or you could simply oil, tighten, or loosen hinges.

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You might have to completely replace some of your windows if they are too far gone. This is not ideal, but should the need arise, prepare yourself to reinstall the windows properly. If installing windows by yourself is what led to the poor work, consider hiring a contractor instead. 

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Wrapping Things Up

You can tell when your windows are poorly installed if they show signs of not working properly, gaps that are too large, or if they simply do not look right. Take care in installing new windows and choose contractors who you can trust.

Did you find this post helpful? Check out our other posts!

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