A good window installed incorrectly is no different than a bad window. Even the highest quality window will not perform properly if it is not installed correctly. This may seem like a “duh” statement, but the thing that usually goes wrong in residential replacement windows is the installation. The windows come from the factory, where there is quality control and inspections, but once it leaves the factory, who makes sure it gets installed properly? Choosing the wrong replacement window installation company can lead to major problems.
A Story of Poor Replacement Window Installation
Unfortunately, the homeowner is at the mercy of the replacement window installer. Take one of our customers, for instance. The first time she ordered replacement windows, she hired a different company. They came, measured her windows, and ordered her replacement windows. Unfortunately, they ordered the wrong size for her dining room window. They said it was no problem and they could make the window they ordered work. Fast forward six years and that window leaked causing her interior wood frame to swell and warp and mold to show up on the carpet inside her home.
Most Common Installation Mistakes
We share this story to drive home the importance of proper window installation. There are several things that can cause issues with replacement window installation. Here are the most common mistakes we see:
Measuring the Window Opening Wrong
This happens more often than you think. Each home has multiple windows and each window has different measurements. If the dimensions are wrong there is nothing you can do to correct the mistake other than ordering another window at additional cost. A mistake like this costs time and money because not only do you have to order additional products, but the entire installation job is delayed. Or, in the case of the customer above, the company “makes do” with the incorrectly sized window, which is not ideal either.
OrderingWindows with the Wrong Size Jamb
In full-frame window replacement, windows are ordered with the jambs attached. The width of the jamb must be considered. While the jamb depth is usually the same for most windows, occasionally the jamb may need to be wider if the finished surface of the interior wall is thicker than drywall.
Not Ensuring the Window Is Centered, Level, Plumb, and Square
After placing the replacement window in the rough opening, it needs to be secured to that opening. This can be tricky if the opening isn’t square. As homes settle, window and door openings can shift. Before securing a window in place, we make sure to check that it is centered, level, plumb, and square. Sometimes we have to add shims to get the fit just right.
Spray Foam Issues
Spray foam is used to seal the window from the outside elements. Seems simple enough. But if the wrong foam is used, or the foam application is done wrong, it can cause problems. First, we use only non-expanding foam sealant. Expanding spray foams can bow the wood jambs or distort the window frame shape. Sometimes homeowners ask us to fill the entire cavity around a window with foam thinking that it will seal it tighter, but that’s not a good idea. Filling the entire perimeter with foam can cause water to be trapped causing water to build up where it shouldn’t. Water needs a way out. Knowing where and how to apply the foam is important.
Not Following Manufacturer Instructions
Each replacement window manufacturer has specific requirements and best practices that will make sure their windows perform to their standards. While most replacement window installations follow a similar process to get the most value from the window, we follow the specific manufacturer’s instructions. This also prevents voiding the warranty. To ensure the integrity of their products, most window manufacturing companies will offer lifetime warranty options on their energy-efficient window products. However, this warranty only applies when the windows have been installed by a licensed professional to ensure the safety, longevity, and reliability of their products.
Symptoms of Improper Replacement Window Installation
Improper installation can lead to many window problems. Some are annoying and some are costly to repair. Either way, proper installation will help avoid these problems:
- Drafts/High Energy Bills
- Leaks/Water Damage
- Condensation between Panes
- Problems Opening or Closing
- Cracks in the Glass
- Warped Frames/Uneven Windows
- Repair Costs
At All-Weather, you won’t experience these issues with installation. That’s because we are experienced Andersen window installers.
We Are Experienced Andersen Installers
At All-Weather Window, Doors & Siding, we are experienced Andersen Installers. Our installers have been trained by Andersen so they know exactly how to install their windows to ensure perfect performance. Our trained installation technicians measure your windows to confirm the sizes and then they install them perfectly. Our team has been with us for years and they know their stuff. That’s why we can offer our 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. We’re not happy unless you’re happy. We hope you’ll trust us to take care of your window, door, and siding needs.
Call us at (913) 262-4380 in Kansas or (816) 673-2480 in Missouri or make an appointment online. At All-Weather, it’s all good under the yella umbrella.