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Can My Window Installation Be Done in The Winter?

Window Replacement — White Window in Richmond, VA
As the temperatures drop toward the end of the year, many prospective customers ask whether an installation can be done in cold weather.

In short, window companies do replacement work all year round.

However, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to getting your units replaced in the winter time, but a properly executed window installation is effective regardless of the season. It is crucial that workers properly follow installation instructions in cold weather.

In fact, in the last couple of years, we noticed a significantly smaller number of issues with our winter installations as opposed to the summer. Why?

Difference between summer and winter window installation

Although overall winter installations vary little from summertime, the processes employed are somewhat different. In order to reduce the energy consumption in the house and prevent heat loss, work is usually done on one window at a time. This means the installer has to ensure a window is properly installed before starting work on another one. Although this generally means jobs in the winter take a significantly longer amount of time, the trade off is in the extra care taken by installers and minimum possible discomfort for your home.

Generally, winter window installations can be performed in wind chill as low as -20°C.

Although the vinyl in your modern windows is made to withstand such cold temperatures, it does become more brittle and therefore harder to cut. It is therefore not advisable to install bay or bow windows in the winter time, as they require intricate cutting and smaller pieces, which are difficult to get right in colder weather.

Similarly, for windows with aluminum cladding on the outside, the finish is often not put on until warmer temperature as it requires precise bending work which is made more difficult by the low temperatures.

Another detail important to seasonal installation, is the kind of materials that are to be used. Certain insulating foams and caulking are rated for lower temperatures than others. It is also possible to warm the caulking and foam up before application to ensure it is malleable and can be put on properly.

Something that isn’t often taken into consideration by the customers, is effect snow has on installation. Most window replacement companies are not responsible for clearing the snow around the house in order to perform the work. Therefore, it is generally the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure the area is adequately cleared.

Ultimately, the concern with winter installations is not so much in the temperature outside, but with the amount and kind of precipitation on any given day. If your installation cannot be performed on a specific day because of severe weather, the company will do their best to accommodate it on the closest available day.
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