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What the lumber companies now produce are genetically modified trees that grow to maturity in a short amount of time.Because this wood expands and contracts to extremes, it doesn’t have adequate density, and doesn’t hold finishes very well leading to decomposition and rot.A properly functioning storm window combined with properly functioning sashes will in effect create a double insulated glass system without the inert gas-filled double insulated windows that are heavy, and often fail and fog, or low-e glass that impedes solar radiation from heating a home in the winter time.When a new window fails (and they often do) the whole contraption needs to be removed and a new one installed. ) Your old windows are build from pieces that can be dismantled and reassembled. Other companies don’t have the time or skill to fix your old windows so they want to sell you a whole new package that they can slap in and walk away from.
In addition, a pane of glass was often left in the upper position leading to the top sash becoming painted shut and ruining the functionality of the double-hung window.
You might think that because you see some decay on the surface of your old windows, you should throw them out and install new ones. Underneath the surface of some scuffed-up wood, the rails and stiles that make up your old windows could be perfectly fine.
A simple test will determine if this rot is superficial or systemic. Your old windows are made with old-growth wood that took decades to grow. Unfortunately, there isn’t much left of this old wood.
Heat loss occurs in the gaps and cracks around the window frames, jambs, and casings.
Furthermore, double-insulated glass is not an appropriate choice for an old house like yours as it will destroy much of the architectural integrity of your house.