San Francisco is full of historic Victorian and Edwardian-style homes, which are beautiful, yet old. An old home means old features, including doors and windows. Old home windows in San Francisco can be drafty, hard to clean, energy inefficient, unsightly, and difficult to maintain. Oftentimes, these windows are more trouble than they’re worth and replacement is the only option. This is especially important if you’re planning to sell your home in the near future. Although window replacement might seem like the only option, simple maintenance can help you avoid this expense.
Maintaining old windows is important for their durability and functionality. Besides that, well-maintained windows can increase your home’s property value, as they represent a sizable investment in your home. Just a few maintenance steps can go a long way in increasing the longevity of your windows and their window frames. This will increase your home’s value, protect your investment and even secure a future sale in the San Francisco real estate market. Below are five of these window maintenance tips that can help you prepare for selling your home in San Francisco.
Caulk and Seal Windows
Old window frames have a tendency to develop openings, such as holes, cracks, crevices and seams that can only be sealed with caulk. Air seeps through these openings and lowers the energy efficiency of your windows and your home. This will only lead to increased energy bills, and no new homeowner will want that.
Openings also allow moisture to seep through, which can cause wood rot on wood-based frames and mold and mildew development. However, this can be counteracted by sealing the frames with caulk or installing weather-stripping around the windows. Remember that weather-stripping degrades over time and will need to be replaced at least once a year.
Maintain Window Frames
The framing is perhaps the most important maintenance area of your windows, especially if they’re vinyl or wood. Home windows in San Francisco often have wood frames, so most likely your windows will require some extra care. But, don’t worry, wood windows are a wise investment in San Francisco, as there’s no heavy snow to contend with.
Regular maintenance will prevent damage — check for open seams or leaks and protect against moisture buildup. As stated before, moisture buildup can lead to mold, mildew and wood rot. Wood rot will degrade your frame, and degraded frames will have to be replaced.
If you have vinyl, fiberglass or aluminum window frames, then all you have to do is make sure they’re clean. Cleaning with non-abrasive cleansers or mild soaps and warm water will extend the life of your frames. Well-maintained original window frames can mean a return on investment. They’ll reduce the risk of costly moisture seepage, increase the energy efficiency of your windows, lower energy bills, prevent window replacement and impress future home buyers.
Replace Cracked Glass
Even one crack in the glass can reduce the strength and functionality of a windowpane. Besides that, even the smallest crack can allow air seepage that causes wasted energy and leads to skyrocketing energy bills. Old windows are often single-paned, thus more fragile and prone to cracking. When selling a home in San Francisco, keep in mind that home buyers will expect durable double- or triple-paned windows.
You can remain competitive by periodically inspecting your windows for cracks or by simple replacing the glass. Window glass replacement is cheaper than full-window replacement, and it allows your windows to keep their old charm while increasing functionality and efficiency.
Maintain Window Screens
While not always a feature of San Francisco homes, window screens have many benefits. Window screens help keep the elements outside, including moisture, insects and other pests. However, screens can deteriorate over time, especially if you have an old home with old windows. They can become damaged or unsightly from dirt and grime buildup. So, it’s important to take proper care of your window screens. Screens should be cleaned periodically and checked for tears, holes and rips. Any damaged screens should be replaced. Additionally, check the spline that holds each screen in place, as they can deteriorate too and may require replacement as well.
Keep the Windows and Frames Clean
Dirty windows are unsightly and can hide major issues, such as film degradation, glazing problems, bubbling, and cracking. The simple fact is that dirt and grime can easily build up on windows, so they should be thoroughly cleaned at least every three to four months. Just remember that all parts of the interior and exterior window should be cleaned, especially if you’re planning on selling your home.
Home Windows in San Francisco: Replacement Considerations
When you’re thinking of selling your home in the San Francisco real estate market, having new windows installed may seem like a great idea. However, there are some things you should consider before taking on this expense. The number one thing to consider is simple window maintenance. If you take proper care of your home’s beautiful, old windows, then you won’t have to worry about replacing them with new windows that negatively affect the architecture and aesthetics of your historical home.
A few other things to consider before replacing your windows are:
- Windows can be repaired
- Window replacement is expensive
- Aesthetics and architecture matter
Maintenance can increase the lifespan of your windows, but sometimes old windows just need to be replaced. New windows are a great selling point and oftentimes important to buyers. Plus, having an energy efficient home can give you a big advantage in real estate, and that efficiency usually starts with architectural features, such as windows. If your windows must be replaced, you should consider simply replacing your windowpanes or having your old windows restored. Just remember that window replacement goes a long way, and the look, efficiency and maintenance of your windows matter.
If you’re thinking of selling your home in San Francisco, set up a consultation with the team at Danielle Lazier :: SFhotlist and Compass San Francisco.