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Common Window Problems in Des Moines, IA

Des Moines, Iowa window problems

Des Moines’ temperatures often leap beyond 100 degrees, and the moisture in the air sends real-feel temperatures soaring even higher. On the hottest midsummer days, your HVAC unit is your only connection to sanity, but if your windows aren’t well-insulated, even the most powerful air conditioner will do little to improve your comfort. To make matters worse, this humid continental climate brings snow each April.

Unlike water, ice seals itself against your infrastructure, making water intrusion more likely. Gale force winds are just as destructive. If your window seals have passed their sell-by date, that wind will cause fractures and leaks. Once seal failure has occurred, your windows will fog and exacerbate leaks. After that cycle has started, the only solution is a sturdy repair. Let’s look at how you can Iowa-proof your windows.

Foggy Windows

Window seals don’t last forever, and if your glass is starting to look foggy, it’s time for a replacement. This problem is most noticeable during high winds when multi-pane windows undergo solar pumping. The effect happens when the gas between your window panes expands and contracts.

Ultimately, this will strain your seals and cause fractures. Wind damage allows storm debris to penetrate your home and wear down your window frame. Outdated windows are more prone to seal failure, but sliding windows can exacerbate the problem, too. These designs let water seep behind the seals, which lifts them from your window frame. If your heating bills have skyrocketed and can no longer achieve a stable temperature, your seals could be the culprit.

High AC Bills

Humidity forces your air conditioner to work overtime, so your windows are an important contributor to your indoor climate. When levels reach 40% or more, it’s best to keep your windows closed, but you might need a little extra help. Des Moines’ climate is primed for casement windows.

They have a monodirectional opening that develops a good balance between indoor and outdoor temperatures. The right material will also help you to cope with a continental climate. Vinyl frames are ideal, but only if your choice of glass achieves a reasonable solar heat gain coefficient. Your SHGC should be lower than 0.22.

Warping and Fading

The Iowa sunshine bears down heavily on window frames, causing buckling and bleaching. The consequences are more than just aesthetically unpleasant. They reduce your home’s U-value and let moisture penetrate your interior. Aluminum is a reasonable alternative, but vinyl has a better R-value.

To reduce heat flow, you also need a thermal break between the frame and sash. Choose frames with a UV stabilizer to prevent corrosion. Wood is a good option, too, but it relies on plenty of maintenance. It’s hard to beat the beauty of a cherry wood frame. If your heart is set on the organic look, be sure to keep a disciplined maintenance schedule.

Cold Air Leaks

If winter storms are intruding into your home, you might have air leaks. Drafty windows are a sign or a poorly-fitting or worn window. Cracked caulk can undermine your HVAC system’s effects, so it’s an expensive problem to have. It occurs naturally as your window frame ages, so it might be time to choose a more durable alternative. Silicones and polyurethane sealants are the longest-lasting alternatives on the market. You can even use them to insulate any gaps in your frame.

Des Moines windows are prone to seal failure, drafts, and leaks. High quality cladding and insulated, glazed glass will make light work of local climates. Ultimately, they’ll reward you with lower HVAC bills and a dryer indoor environment. 

More information on 1-800-HANSONS windows in Des Moines including location and contact information.

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