The Average Life of Commercial Windows: What You Need to Know

April 16, 2024
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Windows plays a crucial role not just in aesthetics but also in functionality. However, understanding the average life of commercial windows is imperative for property owners and managers.

As a building owner or manager, your commercial windows play a vital role in the functionality and aesthetics of your property. They provide natural light, ventilation, and a view of the outside world for occupants while also contributing to the overall energy efficiency of the building. But like any building component, commercial windows have a finite lifespan. Exploring the average life expectancy of your windows and the factors that can influence it is crucial for planning maintenance and budgeting for replacements.

Average Lifespan of Commercial Windows

Commercial windows are subjected to various environmental factors and wear and tear over time. The average life of commercial windows can vary depending on several factors, including material quality, installation, maintenance, and usage. Generally, the lifespan of commercial windows ranges from 15 to 30 years.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Commercial Windows

Several factors can influence how long commercial windows last and remain aesthetically pleasing. Here’s a closer look at the key considerations:

Material

The frame material significantly impacts a commercial window’s life expectancy.

  • Aluminum is a popular choice due to its affordability and strength. Aluminum windows typically last 15-20 years, but they can be susceptible to corrosion in coastal areas.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl offers excellent weather resistance and affordability. High-quality vinyl windows can last over 20 years, with some exceeding 40 years with proper care.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a relatively new option known for its exceptional durability and energy efficiency. Fiberglass windows can last over 40 years.
  • Wood: Wood windows provide a classic aesthetic and superior insulation but require more maintenance. Well-maintained wood windows can last 30 years or even longer.

Glass Quality

The type of glass used in your windows also plays a role. Tempered glass offers superior impact resistance, while laminated glass provides enhanced security and soundproofing. Both options can contribute to a longer window lifespan.

Glazing

Glazing refers to the number of glass panes within a window unit. Double-glazed windows are the most common, but triple-glazed units offer superior insulation and noise reduction, potentially extending the lifespan of your windows by reducing stress on the frame. Consider commercial glazing for your property.

Installation Quality

Proper installation is essential for ensuring a long window lifespan. A poorly installed window can be more susceptible to leaks, drafts, and damage, ultimately shortening its lifespan.

Maintenance: Regular maintenance is key to maximizing the longevity of your commercial windows. This includes cleaning the windows regularly, inspecting them for any signs of damage, and lubricating moving parts as needed.

Environmental Factors:  Exposure to harsh weather conditions, such as extreme temperatures, strong winds, and UV rays, can accelerate the deterioration of window frames and seals.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Commercial Windows

While 15-20 years is the average life of commercial windows, there are situations where you might need to consider window replacement sooner. Here are some signs that indicate your commercial windows may be nearing the end of their lifespan:

  • Drafts: Windows become drafty due to air leaking through gaps around the frame, leading to increased energy bills and less comfortable working conditions.
  • Condensation between the panes: This indicates a failing seal, which can lead to moisture damage and mold growth.
  • Difficulty opening or closing windows: Sticking windows can be frustrating and a sign of deteriorating hardware or warping frames.
  • Visible cracks or damage to the frames: Damaged frames can compromise the structural integrity of the windows and allow for water infiltration.
  • Increased noise levels: Old or damaged windows may not provide adequate soundproofing, leading to a noisy work environment.

Extending the Lifespan of Your Commercial Windows

By following these tips, you can significantly extend your commercial windows life expectancy:

Regular cleaning

Clean your windows inside and outside at least twice a year to remove dirt, debris, and pollutants that can damage the frame and glass.

Inspection and maintenance:

Regularly identify problems such as cracks, leaks, or failing seals. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.

Proper ventilation

Proper ventilation helps to reduce moisture buildup inside the building, which can contribute to window deterioration.

Window treatments

Consider installing awnings or blinds to provide shade and protect windows from harsh sunlight and UV rays.

Professional maintenance

Schedule professional maintenance checks every few years to ensure your windows function optimally.

If you’re uncertain about the condition of your windows, address potential issues before they escalate into significant costs.  Kryger Glass, a trusted provider of commercial glass services and exterior glass windows for commercial businesses, can help.  Contact us today for a free quote and discuss your window replacement or repair needs with our team of experts. 

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