What Causes Warped Windows?

Warped windows can impair your windows’ long-term performance and make them difficult to use. In today’s post, Renewal by Andersen® takes a look at what makes windows warp, what can be done after the fact, and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.

Signs of Window Warping

Window warping happens to the frames and sashes, which results in these parts becoming too loose, introducing gaps, or too tight, making the window difficult to close and open. While it’s not always noticeable, you may see visible distortion on the frames and sashes, which may exert pressure on the glass and result in cracking or bowing. The gaps created by warped windows can allow air leaks that cause drafts, as well as an increase in your indoor heating and cooling requirements that lead to an uptick in your energy bills.

Causes of Window Warping

The following are some of the factors that contribute to window warping.

  • Changes in temperature. Changes in temperature can cause thermal expansion and contraction, which can irreversibly damage certain materials. Wood, for example, has inherently uneven fibers that are vulnerable to temperature changes. Vinyl, like most plastics, loses its shape when heated and doesn’t spring back when it cools down.
  • Humidity. Wood frames are also vulnerable to high humidity, as it can contribute to uneven expansion and contraction.
  • Untreated materials. Wood has to be dried and treated properly for it to maintain its shape. Frames made from green and/or untreated wood, typically made by inexperienced DIYers, are prone to warping.

Solutions to Window Warping

There’s no better way to say it: warping is irreversible. However, there are some ways to work around it. If you have wood windows, the framing or sash can be carefully planed to improve operability. Some types of window hardware can be adjusted to achieve the same effect. Seals around the windows can be replaced to make up for the gaps.

Windows that are in good condition can be protected from the effects of heat and moisture through regular maintenance and recoating or repainting bald spots. If your windows are up for replacement, you can choose windows made with materials that are less vulnerable to warping. In fact, we at Renewal by Andersen offer window frames made with an exclusive composite called Fibrex® material. It combines the durability of wood and the low maintenance requirements of vinyl with the stability and the resistance to warping of engineered materials.

Learn more about the benefits of Fibrex by giving our team at Renewal by Andersen a call at (206) 775-7533. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve communities in Seattle.

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