When considering carrying out commercial window replacement, a step-by-step guide includes the following: Removing the old window, inspecting and cleaning the rough opening, applying a fast flash, installing the new window, etc.
Taking on a commercial window replacement project doesn’t have to be frightening; in fact, it can be a great way to get the most out of your building materials.
It can be motivated by renovation, energy efficiency goals, the need for a modern aesthetic, or the desire to save maintenance costs and attract more customers to your business.
Sometimes, replacing your existing commercial windows is no longer an option but necessary. When you have to transform your commercial building to improve business, one of the significant improvements you can make is to replace your old or damaged windows.
This guide offers a systematic process to guarantee a seamless process while maintaining the integrity of your building envelope, alongside the procedural insights and benefits of replacing commercial windows.
What is a Commercial Window?
A commercial window is a crucial element of a commercial building, designed to be visually appealing and functional.
Commercial windows can be composed of many materials, such as vinyl or metal, even if glass is the main component.
A new commercial window can survive for many years with the proper maintenance. On the other hand, a commercial window can be readily broken and exposed to the elements if maintained.
Different Types of Commercial Windows
Commercial buildings vary in shape and size, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. To achieve optimal results in your commercial window replacement, you must have a complete knowledge of the types of commercial windows. They include:
Fixed Pane Window
A solid unit that doesn’t open or shut, primarily designed to provide ventilation while maintaining security. Fixed pane windows are often used where ventilation isn’t a primary concern, such as on higher floors or in combination with other window types.
These windows have sashes that can be opened or closed to allow for fresh air and ventilation. They typically use a crank mechanism to open and close, providing controlled airflow while maintaining security.
Venting windows are commonly seen in offices, commercial buildings, and residential spaces where ventilation and security are important.
Insulated Glass Windows
These windows are constructed using two or more glass panes separated by a spacer filled with an insulating gas, such as argon or krypton.
The insulating gas reduces heat transfer between the panes, improving energy efficiency by maintaining consistent indoor temperatures. Insulated glass windows effectively reduce energy costs and minimize outside noise.
Single-panes and Dual Panes
Single-pane windows have a single glass layer, offering minimal insulation against temperature changes and noise. On the other hand, dual-pane windows contain two glass panes separated by a spacer and filled with insulating gas.
This design provides better insulation, increased energy efficiency, and improved soundproofing compared to single-pane windows.
A thin, transparent material layer is applied to low-emissivity glass to reduce the quantity of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared light that transmits while permitting visible light to pass through.
This coating reduces heat transfer, blocks harmful UV rays that can fade furniture and flooring, and helps maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
Low-E glass contributes significantly to energy savings by cutting down the demand for heating and cooling systems.
Each type of commercial window can be used for your commercial window replacement as they serve specific purposes and offer distinct advantages based on factors such as energy efficiency, security, ventilation, and insulation.
The choice of window type often depends on the specific requirements of the building, local climate, energy regulations, and the desired balance between natural light, airflow, and thermal control.
When Do You Need Commercial Window Replacement?
Promptly consider your commercial window replacement when signs such as cracked glass, difficulty in opening panes, condensation between panes, worn sealant, foggy appearance, or water leaks are observed. Professional assessment and timely action are also essential to prevent widespread issues.
In my experience, the decision to replace commercial windows was driven by visible damage and increasing energy costs. The impact on our retail space was transformative, leading to improved aesthetics and a more energy-efficient environment.
Step-By-Step Guide to Commercial Window Replacement
Written below is a step-by-step method for carrying out a commercial window replacement.
Step 1: Remove the Old Windows
The initial phase involves the removal of existing windows. Considerations such as trim removal and potential alterations to siding must be weighed. Wearing protective gear is essential when handling glass during this process.
Step 2: Inspect the Rough Opening
Thoroughly inspect the rough opening for signs of damage or rot. Any issues discovered should be addressed and resolved before proceeding with the replacement.
Step 3: Clean the Rough Opening
Clean the rough opening meticulously using a wire brush or tools to eliminate loose debris. This prepares the surface for proper sealing with the waterproofing membrane.
Step 4: Apply Fast Flash
Use a Fast Flash, an ideal waterproofing membrane, around the rough opening perimeter. Ensure a thick, continuous bead for complete coverage and contact with the existing exterior water-resistant barrier (WRB). To create a seamless seal, smooth the Fast Flash using a trowel or putty knife.
Step 5: Install the New Window
Install the new window into the rough opening, ensuring level and plumb alignment. Secure the window to the framing with screws or nails as specified by the manufacturer.
Step 6: Apply Fast flash to Flanges
Extend the application of the fast flash to the new window’s head, jambs, and nail flanges, excluding the sill flange for drainage. This secondary barrier enhances protection against water and air infiltration.
Step 7: Install Exterior Cladding
Integrate the chosen exterior cladding around the new window, such as brick, stucco, siding, or trim. Ensure a seamless connection with a fast Flash for a continuous seal.
Step 8: Finish the Interior
Complete the interior by installing backer-rod and sealant at the head, jambs, and sill joint between the fast flash-treated rough opening and window frame. This perimeter sealant acts as a barrier against water and air infiltration.
Why Commercial Windows Should Be Replaced
1. Energy Cost Reduction
Commercial window replacement contributes to a reduction in energy costs. By installing more energy-efficient windows, such as insulated glass or those with Low-E coatings, businesses can decrease the amount of heat transfer between the interior and exterior.
This can lead to substantial energy savings, ranging from 10% to 40%, depending on the efficiency of the selected windows. Lower energy consumption reduces utility bills, making window replacement a cost-effective long-term investment.
2. Operating Cost Reduction
Decreasing energy costs directly impacts a business’s operating expenses, positively affecting the bottom line. By investing in energy-efficient windows, businesses can lower their ongoing operational costs, enhancing overall financial performance.
The initial investment in window replacement can translate into significant savings over time, making it a strategic plan for businesses looking to optimize their expenses.
3. Customer Comfort
Natural light, fresh air, and stable indoor temperatures enhance customer comfort. Improved windows that allow for better light penetration and controlled ventilation contribute to a more pleasant and inviting environment for customers.
A comfortable setting can positively influence customer experience, potentially leading to increased satisfaction, longer stays, and higher patronage rates.
4. Reduced Turnover Rates
Commercial window replacement should be done, as well-maintained, aesthetically pleasing commercial spaces with enhanced comfort due to new windows can positively impact tenant satisfaction. This, in turn, can lead to lower turnover rates for rented spaces within commercial buildings.
Businesses that invest in creating comfortable and appealing environments are more likely to retain tenants, reducing vacancies and associated turnover costs.
Advanced window technologies, particularly those with multiple panes or specialized soundproofing features, can significantly reduce noise transmission from outside sources.
This creates a quieter and more conducive working or retail environment. Improved soundproofing can be particularly beneficial in urban areas or locations with high traffic, enhancing employee productivity and customer experience.
6. Building Facade Revitalization
Upgrading commercial windows can transform the external appearance of buildings. Modern, stylish windows can revitalize the building’s facade, creating a fresh, cleaner, and more inviting exterior.
This can positively influence the business’s perception, attracting attention from potential customers and enhancing the property’s overall aesthetic appeal.
Reasons for Commercial Window Replacement
Window frame damage, cracked or missing panes, and water damage are strong indicators necessitating window replacement. Regular assessments are crucial to identifying and addressing such issues promptly.
Outdated windows contribute significantly to energy losses in commercial buildings. Upgrading to energy-efficient windows can result in substantial energy savings, making replacement a wise investment.
Condensation between glass panes indicates failed seals, and widespread occurrences may warrant replacement to restore insulation effectiveness.
Compliance with Energy Requirements
Adhering to new energy conservation targets for commercial buildings is essential; window replacement may be necessary to meet these requirements.
One of the main reasons for commercial window replacement projects is the technological advancements in window design, which can significantly reduce noise transmission, enhancing the overall soundproofing of the commercial space.
Replacing less functional old windows with modern operable alternatives can improve overall functionality and ventilation within the commercial space.
Modern commercial glass windows can transform the exterior of aging properties, providing a cleaner and more inviting look.
Upgrading to newer windows not only enhances functionality but also contributes to a reduction in maintenance.
Benefits of Replacing Commercial Windows
1. Enhanced Curb Appeal
New commercial windows, especially Weather Shield’s ones, contribute to a modern, environmentally friendly, and visually appealing building. This enhancement is perfect for attracting customers and opportunities in various commercial settings.
I had stated earlier how replacing an outdated commercial window instantly revitalized the exterior of our retail space. The modern look attracted more customers and positioned our business as a contemporary and inviting establishment.
2. Improved Energy Efficiency & Comfort
Energy-efficient windows are pivotal in reducing drafts, minimizing heat transfer, and lowering energy bills. This benefits the environment and enhances the comfort of employees and customers.
Not only did we enjoy the influx of more customers, but Installing these energy-efficient windows in our business space led to a noticeable reduction in heating and cooling expenses.
The consistent temperature created a more comfortable business environment, positively impacting the productivity and well-being of the team.
3. Reduced Maintenance
The transition to windows with advanced features translates into a considerable reduction in maintenance-related issues. Modern commercial windows with tilt-in sashes and self-cleaning glass significantly reduce annual maintenance needs.
This reduction in maintenance tickets contributes to long-term cost savings. The new windows’ ease of operation and durability minimize disruptions, allowing for an even better focus on core business activities.
Factors to Consider in Commercial Window Replacement
Commercial window replacement offers an opportunity to maximize the potential of building materials, improve energy efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, and enhance the overall attractiveness of a business.
It is, however, essential to consider the following vital aspects before embarking on this journey,
Identify the project’s scope, as more significant projects may offer pricing breaks. Purchasing the entire project at once can maximize savings.
Consider engaging multiple suppliers for different aspects of the window project. This approach allows you to avail the best and most cost-efficient services for various project components.
Window Code Requirements
Ensure compliance with window code requirements, structural considerations, and energy conservation targets. Check for necessary permits and adhere to jurisdiction-specific regulations.
Select a contractor experienced in commercial glazing with a track record of completing projects efficiently. Assess the quality of their work by visiting past projects and seeking insights from building owners.
Safety and Efficiency of Installation
Prioritize the safety and efficiency of the installation process. Choosing a trusted commercial window specialist ensures a smooth and seamless installation that aligns with safety standards.
Ensure proper disposal of broken glass and debris from the project, following safety procedures.
Commercial window replacement is a multifaceted journey encompassing practical steps, thoughtful considerations, and significant benefits. From removing old windows to installing modern, energy-efficient alternatives, each phase contributes to the project’s overall success.
Balancing functionality, aesthetics, and energy efficiency, replacing commercial windows is a strategic investment with long-lasting impacts on the business environment.