A major reason most window companies in Saskatoon work with vinyl windows is these windows are supposed to last over 25 years if installed correctly. But even the best windows can fail due to changes in pressure, leaks around the window, or misuse.
Fortunately for homeowners, most windows sold and installed in Saskatoon and most of Canada come with a warranty. Unfortunately, a lot of companies claim warranties that are too good to be true in an attempt to make their windows more appealing. Homeowners also don’t always consider the warranty during the purchasing process, but by the time they need service on their new windows, it may be too late.
Let’s find out what you should look for in a window and door warranty, and how to spot warning signs in window warranties in Saskatoon.
A window warranty should cover and clearly, state time periods on:
- The vinyl extrusions of a window. These are all the vinyl components a window is made from.
- The insulated glass unit. This is your glass panes combined into one. The warranty should cover both the glass and the seal of the unit.
- The labour. This is a warranty on anything that could go wrong as a result of the window installation.
What does a “lifetime” window warranty mean?
Lifetime warranties are everywhere in the world of replacement windows. In fact, all the Saskatoon window companies we researched offer a lifetime warranty on their windows. But not all window companies will bother to explain to the customers exactly what it means.
When it comes to replacement windows, the term “lifetime” applies to the expected lifetime of a product.
The average lifetime of a vinyl window is 25 years, therefore a lifetime product warranty on vinyl windows will also be 25 years.
Warranty on Vinyl Extrusions
Vinyl extrusions are all the vinyl components that make up your window. This is the part of the window that will be warranted for a “lifetime” term in most scenarios. Vinyl extrusions are warranted against cracks and breaks, warping, and discoloring.
One thing to keep in mind here is that vinyl components of the window often get damaged as a result of misuse by the homeowner. Something as simple as opening your sliding window with two hands instead of one can reduce the stress on the vinyl sash and prevent it from warping.
Warranty on Insulated Glass Units
The insulated glass unit is what makes your window efficient. Simply explained a sealed unit is two or three panes of glass bound together by an energy efficient seal. An inert gas like Argon or Krypton is pumped in between the glass panes to improve the unit’s efficiency.
The insulated glass unit is also an area where damage or breaks are most likely to happen over time. There are many reasons why they happen, but glass units are usually warranted against cracks due to the pressure change, or gas leaks. Sealed units are usually warranted for 15-20 years. In rare cases, you will see a company offer the same “lifetime” warranty on a sealed unit as on their vinyl extrusions.
One thing the sealed unit is not covered for in a window warranty is the human factor or so-called “acts of God.” If a rock from a lawnmower cracks your window, or it gets damaged by hail, the warranty will not cover a sealed unit replacement.
Warranty on Labour and Window Installations
A labour warranty is exactly what it sounds like. Most companies will warrant any problems with the installation of the window for a period of around five years. A few companies will go as far as offering a ten-year labour warranty.
What’s important to know is that most window companies will differentiate between general labour warranty and what is considered as “specialty” or “additional” labour. For example, if after three years your sealed unit has failed it will still be under the company warranty. However, you may be on the hook to pay for the re-installation of the sealed unit as the company considers it “specialty labour” that is not covered by the labour warranty.
How to recognize a bad window warranty
Because companies are more likely to use warranty information to make their product seem better than it is, start with assessing the windows. Are their windows ENERGY STAR rated? Do they meet the CSA (NAFS) requirements? If the company’s windows are registered on these two lists, there is a good chance their warranty will truly cover that 20-25 year time span. We would recommend you don’t consider buying windows that aren’t ENERGY STAR and CSA rated if you truly want an energy efficient window replacement.
A big problem with window warranties is that even if a warranty is legitimate, with certain companies it may take months to receive any kind of service. Issues like this often pop up in companies reviews and BBB complaints online. See what past customers are saying about a company in reviews before you sign a contract.
Learn everything you need to know about replacement windows:
Find out more about Ecoline Windows warranty
See how much a window replacement should cost
Follow the replacement process in our visual infographic