Should you replace or repair your commercial windows?
To repair or to replace, that is the question – but what is the answer for business owners looking to get maximum return on investment from their commercial glazing assets?
Sometimes it can be easy to think that if there’s a problem with your aluminium windows or doors, the quickest and easiest way to solve the issue is by simply getting rid and investing in new kit. But, this isn’t necessarily the case.
All too often, our maintenance engineers encounter panic-stricken firms convinced that their installs are beyond being fixed. We say, let us be the judge of that. Where possible – and, of course, safe – we would always recommend restoration over renewal.
However, when it comes to weighing up what your company should do, it completely depends on the symptoms you’re experiencing…
The age of your windows
This is a really important factor when looking at whether you’d be best replacing or repairing, as it helps you gauge whether the issues you’re experiencing are ‘normal’ within the average architectural glazing lifespan.
Given that glazing has a typical shelf-life of 25-30 years, if your windows fall within this age bracket – and they’ve been properly maintained – you shouldn’t be experiencing any major niggles, such as condensation, cracking, draught or mechanical faults. That’s why repair is usually the most effective remedy for younger windows – unless they’ve experienced a major breakage due to impact.
The glass or frame is damaged
If this is the case, replacement is the only viable option. However, as always, it completely depends on the severity of the issue and if it has spread to other parts of the install.
For instance, the frames and seals also play key roles in determining the strength and overall longevity of the unit, so if these are showing signs of breakage – or wear-and-tear – it would probably be a case of out with the old and in with the new.
However, if your frames are in good condition – for example, there are no signs of warping – sometimes it’s possible to simply replace the glass within.
Other replacement signals
From draughts and in-pane condensation, to just plain difficulty opening or closing a window – these are all tell-tale signs that they’re past the point of rehabilitation.
At Dortech Maintenance, we might like to bang the maintenance drum – but it’s for good reason. A lot of the time, taking care of your windows and doors – keeping them clean and checking their functionality – can ward off any nasty, and costly, surprises like the above, but this is an area many firms tend to neglect.
Considering the downtime
It goes without saying that if you opt for overhauling your aluminium windows and doors – without really needing to – this comes with a longer period of downtime for companies. In fact, a typical replacement job can take days – and sometime weeks – to complete, depending on the size and scale of the project. And this is a long time for organisations which like a smooth day-to-day running of the business.
This is because, a lot of the time, it’s not as simple as solely replacing the glass elements. The frames and seals are key to determining the strength and overall longevity of the unit too.
Counting the pennies
It sounds obvious, but repairs are often cheaper than brand-new installations, so if the window or door can be mended, there’s no point spending unnecessary amounts on something you don’t need.
We’re not only passionate about what we do in the technical sense, but we’re committed to treating only what requires our attention, and are fully transparent – glazing-related pun intended – in the advice and guidance we offer!