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The windows of your condo property impact the building’s aesthetics, energy efficiency, and water/air tightness. When your condo board embarks on a window replacement project, addressing these factors is critical. Here, we spotlight condo window replacements with tips for success.
Timing for Condo Window Replacement
A general rule of thumb is that windows require replacement every 25 years. However, you should also continue to monitor window condition annually to look for the following signs of window failure:
- Air leakage: Infiltrometer tests help confirm air leakage issues by pressurizing the building’s interior. More advanced methods, such as thermographic scans and infrared photography, are also available. This technology can spot energy leaks from the building envelope. A visual inspection can also look for gaps and damaged seals around windows.
- Water leakage: Aging seals lead to leaks and should be replaced at least every 10 years. Once the windows begin to age, you’ll encounter issues such as expired window gaskets contributing to water penetration.
- Increased noise penetration: When all components of older windows fail, sound levels increase as the insulation no longer works.
- Condensation: Condensation, frost, and a foggy appearance between windowpanes indicate failing seals and inert gas leaks.
- Function deterioration: Broken hardware, locks, cranks, etc., indicate windows lack proper function, presenting a security and safety risk.
Suite Replacement Scheduling and Communication
Once you confirm a window replacement is required, you should create a communication plan following your communication strategy to keep residents updated on the process. Because residents will be living in the building during the process, you must provide fair warning and explain what they can expect. Scheduling as accurately as possible will help occupants understand when the window replacement team will occupy their suites and make plans to leave their homes while the team is working. You can also provide ongoing updates with residents as their scheduled day approaches and continue sharing general updates using social media.
Coordination of Replacement Operations
The window contractor coordinates all the moving parts to help the project go smoothly. This includes:
- Material deliveries
- Preparing a suite-by-suite and common area/amenity schedule
- Ensuring the site is safe
- Providing instructions to your board/property manager to share with residents on necessary prep required before their window replacement
- Managing their crew and ensuring all unit property is protected during the process
Ensuring you assign an experienced project manager helps improve communication between residents and your board.
Minimizing Damage and Disruption
Window contractors must minimize damage to unit furnishings, floors, and walls. Residents can move their furnishings away from the window areas to help protect their belongings. However, vulnerable residents with limited abilities will require assistance during the window replacement process. Sending out notices to these residents well in advance of the project will ensure enough time is provided to arrange assistance. Vulnerabilities also include language barriers that could lead to misunderstandings about the project. Contractors also have to keep common areas safe, posting signage and cordoning off the area indoors and out while work is underway.
Returning Units to Livable Conditions
Part of coordination and planning is ensuring the contractor provides enough time to complete window replacement for each unit. The suites must be livable at the end of the day. It is unacceptable to be “halfway done” with a unit window replacement, as this leaves the resident without a home while presenting risks for unit damage. As a result, it is better to overestimate the scope of work per unit to ensure every unit is complete and all debris that presents a safety hazard for occupants is completely removed.
The condo experts at CPO Management Inc, a full-service property management company in Toronto and the GTA, have had tremendous success helping condo corporations undergo major restoration projects such as window replacements. Reach out to us today to learn how we can implement capital projects and achieve cost savings and efficiencies for your corporation.