Windows play so many roles in our homes: they let natural light in, serve as insulation, provide protection from the elements and bugs, improve energy efficiency, and add curb appeal. Yet, despite all the great things that can be said about windows, they do have one unnerving characteristic: Sometimes, they break for no apparent reason.

As frustrating as this can be, it’s helpful to understand why this happens and what you can do to prevent it.

Is Spontaneous Glass Breakage Normal?

While rare, spontaneous glass breakage does happen sometimes in double-paned windows, due to the pressurized gas between the panes.

It can also happen to tempered glass, which is a tougher type of glass that has been treated with heat and chemicals to withstand high impacts.

Causes of Broken Windows

There are several things that could cause a window or tempered glass to spontaneously break.

  1. Thermal stress. This is what happens to double-paned (or double-glazed) windows when there’s a significant difference between the temperature inside and outside of your home. [Please link What are the Benefits of Double Glazed Windows blog when published].
  2. Large or narrow windows. Square windows distribute weight evenly. However, longer windows are exposed to more stress due to weight variances. This increases the risk of spontaneous breakage.
  3. Damaged edges. Whether during the manufacturing, storing, transportation, or installation process, windows can endure scratches and chips. If it goes unnoticed at the time of installation, it can result in spontaneous breakage as the glass contracts and expands during temperature changes.
  4. Improper installation. There are many factors that should be considered when installing windows, such as the pane’s dimensions, stress, and pressure. These influence the safety of the window as additional pressure on certain portions of it can increase the likelihood of breakage.

How to Prevent Windows From Breaking

The most important thing you can do to prevent windows from breaking is to hire experienced professionals who will take into account extreme temperature changes as well as your home’s structure.

Improve Your Home’s Appearance With Help From Allied Siding & Windows

If you’re a Texas resident and you’re experiencing window woes, don’t hesitate to contact Allied Siding & Windows! We are a proud James Hardie® Elite Preferred Contractor, so you can rest assured that you’re working with one of the best window installers in the industry. Contact us for more information about our services or stop by one of our showrooms in Austin, Dallas, or Houston!

Owning a home means having to stay on top of everything: a working HVAC, a solid roof, landscaping, and replacing windows to name a few.

In addition to the standard upkeep practices, there are other items that may have come to your attention, such as installing low-E glassupdating your home’s siding, or glazing windows.

What Is a Double Glazed Window?

Despite sounding like what you might like on a donut, when it comes to windows, “glazing” refers to how many panes of glass are in it. Depending on the manufacturer, they may be referred to as “single paned” or “double paned” windows.

5 Benefits of Double Glazed Windows

While single paned windows may be fine, there are many benefits to having a second pane, such as:

  1. Energy efficiency. An air conditioner will keep working until your home’s inside temperature matches what you set on the thermostat. If extreme weather conditions are keeping your home too hot or too cold your HVAC cycle will stay on attempting to reach that set temperature and you will see the results on your energy bill.
  2. Keeping your home comfortable. Double panes help to keep even temperatures throughout your home. This is because the gap between the panes adds an extra level of insulation to your windows.
  3. Peace and quiet. How wonderful would it be to walk into your home and not hear everything that’s going on outside? Kids yelling, neighbors partying, cars driving by; not an issue for you anymore.
  4. Reduce the risk of mold. Have you ever noticed condensation on your windows? This is caused by the difference in temperature between the inside and outside of your home. With the additional insulation between the two panes, the likelihood of condensation and mold growth in your home is decreased.
  5. Protection. Double glazed windows are harder to break than single-paned windows. Even if you live in a secure neighborhood, it’s wise to install windows that are less likely to crack easily.

How to Clean Double Glazed Windows

You can clean the outside panes with distilled water, vinegar, and newspaper. These materials will prevent streaks.

The space between the panes should remain clean due to the manner in which the window is sealed. If you see dirt or condensation between the panes, this means the seal has been compromised and the window should be replaced.

Improve Your Home’s Appearance With Help From Allied Siding & Windows

If you’re a Texas resident and your windows need professional attention, let Allied Siding & Windows help! We are a proud James Hardie® Elite Preferred Contractor, therefore, you’ll know you’re working with one of the best window installers in the industry. Contact us for more information about our services or stop by one of our showrooms in Austin, Dallas, or Houston!

Home ownership comes with many joys: Having a place to call your own, gaining equity with each mortgage payment, and designing and decorating as you please. It also comes with additional expenses. If the roof leaks, if a water pipe bursts, if the toilet stops working, it’s all on you.

That said, while some necessary fixes are obvious and emergent, knowing when it’s time to replace your windows can be ambiguous. In a best-case scenario, your windows will leak allowing conditioned air to seep out resulting in elevated energy bills. In a worst-case scenario, your hometown endures a destructive storm or hurricane and your windows are damaged.

12 Signs You Should Replace Your Home’s Windows

If you’ve had your home for a while, or if you recently purchased a house, pay attention to the following signs to determine whether you need to install new windows:

  1. It’s hard to open or close the windows
  2. You feel a draft when you walk by a window
  3. Your energy bill has increased
  4. Furniture or decor placed in direct sunlight is fading
  5. You can hear most noises happening outside
  6. Cracks on the panes and/or the frames
  7. Windows don’t lock properly
  8. Windows look old or outdated
  9. Replacement parts have been discontinued
  10. Windows leak when it rains
  11. Windows only have one pane
  12. There’s condensation between panes

How Long Do Home Windows Last?

The lifespan of your home’s windows depends on the materials they’re constructed with. If they are aluminum or wood, they can last up to 30 years. If they’re fiberglass, they can last up to 40 years. Vinyl windows typically last between 20 and 40 years. And double paned windows can last up to 20 years.

Although, there are factors that can reduce the lifespan:

  • Poor installation
  • Structural settlements of the house
  • Pressure washing
  • Heavy condensation (this can be ameliorated by installing a humidistat)
  • Harsh environmental factors (such as constant sunlight or rain and wind)
  • Lack of maintenance

How do you provide maintenance on windows, you ask? We are happy to help.

Wash Windows Regularly: This prevents dirt buildup, which can cause them to jam. Pressure wash infrequently and use low pressure when you do. Clean the tracks with a dry brush. Do this for windows and for sliding glass doors.

Annual Window Inspections: Look for cracks, dents on the frame, or parts of the caulk that are cracked or have broken off. If these issues go unchecked it could cause your home to become drafty, increase your energy bills, and allow water leaks.

Should I Replace All Windows at Once?

If you have the budget to do so, replacing all windows at once may result in a discount. However, doing so is a big investment, so it’s fine to replace them individually over the years. It also depends on why you want to replace them. Is it functionality (e.g. it’s too hard to open the windows, they’re damaged, your home is drafty) or is it aesthetics?

Is it solely for aesthetic reasons; are you trying to sell your home? Replacing windows will significantly improve its curb appeal and raise your home value.

Whether your windows are affecting the quality of life inside your home, failing to protect you from the elements, increasing your energy costs, or you want to improve the look of your home, talk to us to discuss pricing options.

Improve Your Home’s Appearance With Help From Allied Siding & Windows

If you’re a Texas resident and your windows need professional attention, let Allied Siding & Windows help you! We are a proud James Hardie® Elite Preferred Contractor, hence, you’ll know you’re working with one of the best window installers in the industry. Contact us for more information about our services or stop by one of our showrooms in Austin, Dallas, or Houston!

How to Seal Windows

Are all the windows in your home properly sealed? Are you 100% sure about that? The truth is that it’s rare for a person to actually feel leaks simply by walking around their home. If you think that if you can’t feel it and there’s no harm done, think again. Drafty windows mean uneven temperatures in your home and an HVAC that works harder to cool or heat the house. The result: skyrocketing energy bills.

If you’re not sure how to find out whether you need to seal your windows, you’ve come to the right place.
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How to Check For Drafts

If we’re having a particularly chilly winter, you may be able to feel colder air while walking by your windows. However, during mild and moderate temperatures, you’ll have to be proactive to find these leaks.

To do so, place the palms of your hands around the window frames. If you can feel some air coming in, you have your answer. If you need more of a visual reassurance, hold a lighter or a candle around the window. If the flame flickers, you most definitely need to seal the area around the windows.

How to Seal Window Frames in 5 Steps

Step 1. Get the right tools

You’ll need caulk softener, a putty knife, a cleaning rag, a dry towel, window glazing, and new caulk.

Step 2. Scrape off old caulk

Do this by using the putty knife. If nothing’s coming off, you can use caulk remover (available at any hardware store). Apply it around the window frame and let it sit for several hours. A minimum of two hours should work, but if you’re still having a hard time, leave the softener on overnight.

Step 3. Wipe off the frame’s surface

Use a damp cleaning rag to get rid of old caulk flakes and dust, then use a towel to dry up the window frames. They will need to be fully dry for the new caulk to set properly.

Step 4. Spread new glazing around the frames

Using the putty knife, spread a new layer of glazing around the window frame.

Step 5. Apply new caulk

Cut off the tip of the caulk tube at a 45-degree angle for easier application. Use an entire tube for each window. Allow for about 15 hours for the new caulk to fully dry.

Improve Your Home’s Appearance With Help From Allied Siding & Windows

If you’re a Texas resident and your home roof is damaged, let Allied Siding & Windows help you! As a proud James Hardie® Elite Preferred Contractor, you’ll know you’re working with one of the best siding contractors in the industry. Contact us for more information about our services or stop by one of our showrooms in Austin, Dallas, or Houston!

Unless you’re a contractor who installs windows on a regular basis, navigating which type of glass would serve your home best can become pretty overwhelming. From tempered, tinted, insulated, Low-E… how do you know if you’re making the right decision? Considering that about 70% of energy loss occurs through the windows, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of the type of panes you’re installing.

In aims of helping you choose wisely, below is an overview of one type of glass; specifically Low-E glass. What is it all about and is it a good selection for your home?

What is Low-E glass?

Low-E means “low-emissivity”. This type of glass is covered in a thin coating designed to minimize the amount of UV rays that come through your windows and maximize energy efficiency. In fact, Low-E glass windows come with the Energy Star logo, which means it exceeds energy efficiency criteria established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE).  

When you purchase a Low-E glass window, you’ll notice it will include a sticker that specifies the U-Value. This is a rating that informs you the ability of energy to penetrate the glass. The lower the value, the more energy efficient the window pane will be.

Benefits of Low-E glass?

The beauty of it is that while it protects your family and home from the sun’s harmful effects, it doesn’t the diminish the amount of sunlight that comes through the windows. In addition to keeping UV rays out, installing Low-E glass also results in additional benefits for your home:

  • Prevent energy from leaving your home through the windows
  • Maintain temperatures consistent throughout your house
  • Prevent the original color of wood furniture from fading in the sunlight
  • Provide better insulation
  • Your home stays cooler in the summer
  • Your home stays warmer during winter

All of the reasons stated above keep your household comfortable and maximizes energy efficiency. So in addition, you get to save money on your energy bills.

Is it Installed Inside or Outside?

The coating is installed on the inside of the glass. So no matter how many branches are outside or little children are inhabiting your home, there won’t be any risk of scratching. It also means that you won’t have to use a different type of detergent to keep the windows clean.  

Types of Low-E coating

Passive. Passive coatings allow some of the sun’s infrared rays to penetrate the glass, making them better suited for cooler climates.

Solar Control. Solar control coatings fully block all UV rays and infrared light, making it a better option if your home is located in a mild or hot climate.

Improve your home’s appearance with help from Allied Siding & Windows

If you’re a Texas resident whose home could use an exterior upgrade, don’t hesitate to contact Allied Siding & Windows! As a proud James Hardie® Elite Preferred Contractor, you’ll know you’re working with one of the best siding contractors in the industry. Contact us for more information about our services or stop by one of our showrooms in Austin, Dallas, or Houston!

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As the chilly fall air rolls in, you may notice something peculiar happening with your windows. Despite not having had issues the rest of the year, tiny water droplets are now forming on the panes, fogging up your view of the outdoors. You try to wipe the water off with a paper towel, but alas – it comes right back! What’s going on here, and how do you fix the problem?

Why Is There Condensation on My Windows?

Condensation is a process that occurs when muggy air comes in contact with a cold surface. As the air nears the surface, it cools and contracts, losing its ability to hold the same amount of water. This moisture then adheres to the cold surface – in this case, your window.
Why you have window condensation depends on where the water appears.

  • On the Outside – If you can’t wipe the moisture from your window pane and you see it on all your windows, especially in the morning, the condensation is on the outside of your home. This is normal and not harmful to you or your house.
  • On the Inside – Take your finger and see if you can draw a line in the droplets on your window. If you can, the condensation is on the inside. This means your home has high humidity. Preventing condensation buildup requires lowering the humidity, but if you or a loved one need to run a humidifier for medical reasons, this may not be an option.
  • Between Panes – This can only happen if you have double-paned windows. If you notice one window has water droplets and you cannot wipe the condensation, the seal on your window is likely broken. This isn’t only an annoying eyesore, it also means the insulation value of your windows is compromised and you’d likely benefit from replacement.

Window condensation is largely dependent on the local climate. Cities like Houston have particularly high levels of humidity, even in the fall and winter, which means Texans need to be extra vigilant. In addition to climate, the following situations can also increase a home’s humidity:

  • Construction in the past year or so
  • Heavy use of water in the home (cooking, showering, etc.)
  • Lack of ventilation
  • Seasonal change or cold snap
  • Fireplace use
  • Possession of indoor plants

Ideally, your humidity levels should be between 30 percent and 50 percent to prevent mold, and definitely not above 60 percent. To track your home’s humidity, purchase an inexpensive hygrometer and monitor how the humidity changes depending on the time of year, weather conditions and your activities.

What Does High Humidity Mean for My Home?

Window condensation might not seem like a major inconvenience, but it’s not a good idea to ignore this symptom for too long. High humidity has costly consequences that compound over time.

  • Discomfort – If your house is unusually humid, you’re more likely to be physically uncomfortable. High humidity makes it hard for your sweat to evaporate since the air is already saturated, so you may never feel fully clean.
  • Health Issues – Excess moisture encourages the proliferation of mold and dust mites. Mold can be toxic, and both can cause allergic reactions, worsen asthma and wreak havoc on your respiratory system.
  • Expensive Energy Bills – You’ll either spend more money on air conditioning to keep your house a reasonable temperature, or you’ll waste heat by opening your windows to dry your house out.

Allied Siding & Windows Can Make Condensation Disappear

There are many short-term fixes for humidity problems in your home, including extra ventilation and dehumidifiers, but the best solution might be replacing your windows. If you suspect a broken seal, notice mold or warping around your current window, or simply want to upgrade to more efficient, double-paned windows, it’s time for a professional solution.

Allied Siding & Windows is proud to offer the highest quality brand name windows to homeowners in Houston, Austin and Dallas for the past 25 years. We can assess any damage and recommend the best window replacement to match the look and feel of your home. We even remove your old window without charging extra! Call us to inquire about your window replacement today.

See our infographic below for quick tips on how to wipe out window condensation.

cleaning windows

Cleaning windows is a way to make your home sparkle from the outside and enhances your view inside. While window cleaning may represent a time investment, it’s one that can pay off in big rewards when you enjoy crystal-clear panes this season. Use these tips to show off your windows to their best advantage.

Start With Dust Removal

A common mistake homeowners make is solely cleaning the panes of the windows, ignoring the debris that tends to build up on windowsills and around the panes. Also, neglecting these areas can mean your cleaning cloth picks up unwanted dirt and gunk when you go to clean the panes.

Start your window-cleaning endeavors by taking a small-handled brush, dustpan, and cloth-wrapped screwdriver by all your windows on the inside. Use the brush and dustpan to collect dirt, cobwebs, and all the debris that tend to build up on windows. The cloth-wrapped screwdriver is ideal for cleaning out stuck-on gunk or the inevitable dead insect you’ll come across.

Clean Off Screens

If you have protective screens between the outside and inside window panes, you can quickly clean them using a vacuum and brush attachment. Simply run the brush attachment over your screens to get them clean and keep dirt from rushing in your home if you choose to open up your windows this summer.

Cleaning the Panes

The best day to clean your windows is a cloudy one. Cleaning on a sunny day causes streaking because the cleaner will evaporate too quickly. You’ll still be able to see potential signs of streaking on a cloudy day. You can choose from a number of cleaning tools based on what suits you best. Pre-moistened wipes are available or you can opt for a store-bought cleaner and microfiber towels. You can also make your own window cleaning solution using one-fourth cup of vinegar, one-half teaspoon of liquid soap, and two cups of water. Mix and pour into a spray bottle.

If you have multi-pane windows, using a handheld sponge may work best. Try to keep the same cleaning pattern, such as left to right, then top to bottom. If desired, wipe clean with a squeegee. Finally, you can sit back and enjoy the beauty of well-cleaned windows!

Ready to install energy-efficient windows that allow you to enjoy fresh air this summer? Contact Allied Siding and Windows. We’ll gladly help you evaluate your options and help you arrive at the best decision. You can also complete our online form for a free estimate.

The benefits of having energy-efficient windows that you can easily open and close is that, at the touch of a button or latch, you can let the outside in. As you approach summer, don’t let warm daytime temperatures keep you from cracking the windows open. Here’s why.

Reduce Pollution

Opening the windows and allowing air to circulate in your home during the summer can reduce the amount of indoor air pollution your family is breathing in. Many people are surprised to find out that indoor air can be subject to air pollution from pain, carpeting, new furniture, and cleaning chemicals. By opening the windows, you allow the fresh air to permeate your house and sweep out unwanted chemicals with it.

Appreciate the Greenery

Summer’s beauty is on full display when you open your windows to the outside world. From appreciating greenery and flowers in your home to listening to the peaceful sounds of the outdoors, there is often something very serene and calming about opening up windows.

Cost Savings

Opening up windows can also represent a cost savings. According to “Organic Life” magazine, it actually costs less to cool a hot home than to keep a home cool at a consistent temperature. This means you can open your windows and turn off that AC unit to save money on energy. If temperatures start to border on the unbearable you’re still making a good economic decision in terms of energy costs.

While some people may object to opening the windows in the summer for fear of bugs or other pests, if you have windows with protective screens (which are available from Allied Siding and Windows), these screens will keep pests out, but let fresh air in.

Strategic Tips for Opening Windows

You can orchestrate a window-opening plan that helps keep your home surprisingly cool, even in the summer. The idea to keep in mind is that hot air rises. Therefore, if you open windows in the downstairs area where the cool or shady side of your home is, this will allow cool air in. At the same time, open windows on the upstairs (if applicable) portion of your home where the sun is still hitting. This effect allows hot air to rise up, out, and away.

Ready to install energy-efficient windows that allow you to enjoy fresh air this summer? Contact Allied Siding and Windows. We’ll gladly help you evaluate your options and help you arrive at the best decision. You can also complete our online form for a free estimate.

prevent mold

The mold that forms on and around your home’s windows is typically the result of prolonged exposure to condensation. There are a number of things that can cause mold on your windowsills, including plumbing leaks, humid outside air making its way into your home and even steam from cooking or showering, especially if airflow is inadequate.

If left unaddressed, mold can not only affect the appearance, lifespan and structural integrity of your windows. It can also be hazardous to you and your family’s health. If you allow mold to continue accumulating, it can eventually cause wooden sills (both painted and stained) to rot and drastically deteriorate. As such, it’s important to know how to tell if you have mold growth, how to safely remove it and prevent it from returning in the future.

How to Determine if Mold Is Growing on Your Windows

It can be quite tricky to tell if you have mold growing on your windows, as it typically grows in the hard-to-see area along the joint between the window sash frame and the bottom edge of the window glass. Depending on the color of your windows, the mold can even blend in, making it camouflaged to most homeowners’ untrained eyes. That said, it’s always best to play it safe and have mold remediation specialists inspect your home, test the mold (if necessary) and make sure it hasn’t contaminated any other areas of your home.

How to Safely Remove Mold if You Find It

While it is possible to remove mold yourself, we at Allied Windows and Siding always recommend you call on professionals who have the know-how, tools and personal protective equipment necessary to ensure a safe, thorough removal. Professionals have the equipment and knowledge to significantly reduce the risk of mold spores being circulated throughout your home during the cleaning process.

Ways to Prevent Mold Growth:

  • Keep ceiling vents open at all times
  • Frequently clean your home’s windows (inside and out)
  • Add caulk to the edges of your windows to prevent leaks
  • Thoroughly wipe off condensation anytime you see it forming on or around your windowsills
  • Always turn on the bathroom fan when showering and the exhaust fan above the stove when cooking
  • Reduce condensation on windows by setting your thermostat to 70 degrees with the fan on “auto”
  • If there are any rooms in your home that tend to remain damp for prolonged periods of time, like basements or bathrooms, consider using a dehumidifier

Turn to Your Trusted Allies in Texas Window Replacements

If mold has ruined or compromised the appearance or functionality of your windowsills in any way, the first thing you should do is contact a reputable mold removal company to ensure all signs of mold have been effectively eliminated.

Once that essential step is completed, you can turn to Allied Siding and Windows for durable, affordable and energy-efficient replacement windows from Andersen, Simonton and Don Young. Our courteous, professional siding and window replacement experts have installed more replacement windows than any other company in the great state of Texas, and we’d love to improve the beauty, resale value and overall health of your home with award-winning window products that will serve your family well for years to come.

To speak with one of our friendly team members about your window replacement needs, visit one of our three conveniently located showrooms in Houston, Austin and Dallas, or contact us online for a free estimate!

prevent mold windowsills

Besides a white picket fence, one of the greatest ideals for a home is a picture-perfect window that serves as the focal point of a home’s appearance. For those inside the home, the window is an escape and place to look out to the outside world. Two window options that fit this description offered at Allied Siding and Windows are bow windows and bay windows.

Bow Versus Bay: What’s the Difference?

Bow windows are those that have four or more windows that come together to form a gentle curve. The windows can be fixed (do not open) or venting, which will open. By comparison, bay windows are usually a larger, fixed window in the center flanked by two smaller windows on either side. The windows on the side are typically venting windows to open on a cool summer day. Like bow windows, bay windows angle out slightly. Each can feature a bench of shelf-like area under the window where a person can comfortably sit and enjoy the sunlight.

Evaluating Pros and Cons

Both bow and bay windows can be a beautiful addition to any home. However, sometimes a home’s architecture or homeowner’s goals can guide the decision-making process. Some factors to take into account for bow windows include:

Pros: The gentle curved structure is often an excellent complement to a Victorian-style home. They also have more panes of glass, which can add more light.

Cons: Require more width to install the windows.

Factors to consider for bay windows include:

Pros: These window types are often complementary to a modern home, thanks to its angular lines. They also often protrude more into the exterior, creating more of a “nook” appeal.

Cons: Are not usually as wide as bay windows, which may not make as much of an impact. Can require a more complex installation to ensure air and water is appropriately sealed out.

Both window types can be modified in many ways to best enhance a home’s overall appearance. From interior and exterior colors to overall shape, there are many options. Additionally, both options are installed in an energy efficient manner, making them an excellent economic and aesthetic choice for your home.

If you’re unsure which window type can best suit your home, contact Allied Siding and Windows. We’ll gladly help you evaluate your options and help you arrive at the best decision. You can also complete our online form for a free estimate.