South Florida’s hot, humid, rainy summers make the windows and doors on a Palm Beach house an important first line of defense against the climate outside coming inside and the air conditioned coolness inside escaping to the great outdoors. A residence’s exterior can appear to be absolutely sound but if any of these many "points of entry" are compromised the homeowner faces excessive energy costs and the bigger threat, the risk of mold forming on the interior of the home.
Windows and doors deserve regular and thorough inspection.
Top Inspection Tips for Windows and Doors
Age is one cause of window failures but in many cases poor or rushed installation causes a variety of problems. Our professional inspection team is comprised entirely of former builders and they are especially attuned to "short cuts" taken by contractors to meet deadlines and reduce costs. Take advantage of their experience and look for:
- Wood window exterior frames. New construction usually uses a vinyl frame on the exterior which offers superior insulation and a wood frame for the interior to provide the desired esthetic value; however older homes use just wood for inside and outside. The most common damage to exterior frames is rot. If the unpainted portions of the frame were not treated before installation, or the caulking was rushed or otherwise not properly done, rain moisture will attack the wood resulting in rot. A poke with a screwdriver will reveal the extent of the damage.
- Window Frames separating from walls. Sometimes there is an issue with the window frame separating from the wall of the house. With adobe exteriors you’ll see cracks around the window. With other materials you may actually see the anchors and screws appearing just under the paint. When this occurs moisture and insects can find their way into the interior of the house. Check carefully around the frame for holes and cracks in the caulking.
- Unprotected doors and jambs. Many of the problems that haunt window frames also apply to doors, thresholds and door frames. Those lovely French doors that lead out to the patio most likely have no paint or sealant on the bottoms if the contractor was rushed to get them installed or just inattentive. The same goes for the frame that holds them in place. A probe with a screwdriver will let you know just how badly the rot condition is.
- Doors and windows that don’t fit. Windows and doors should open and close easily. If they don’t you may have a problem with hardware (window tracks, door hinges, thresholds) but more likely something is out of align because of warping or the house settling. The hardware is easy to fix. The other two conditions are going to need the attention of a professional.
Our home inspection services are typically used by clients looking to purchase real estate in Palm Springs but these tips can be helpful to everyone. Any point of entry to your home is a potential invitation for the ample moisture, mold spores and insects that make up our environment. Ensuring that they are weather tight and functional is critical to protecting the interior from damage.
If you are interested in getting a comprehensive inspection of a residence in South Florida, call Windridge Olen Exports today for an appointment!