Are there visible signs of soft wood and/or rot? Try using a sharp object to check for soft wood, such as a small pocket knife or anything else that has a sharp point at the end you can safely use. The pointed part of your object of choice will be the least disruptive on the window, meaning the rot and/or soft wood will show itself fairly easily.
The rot will typically show up on the sides of the exterior sill first and then work its way up to the jambs.
Depending where the window shows soft wood and/or rot will be telling of whether you can repair the window or will need to replace it.
If the damage shows up on the sills, it can be easily cut out and replaced for a fair price. However, if the rot has begun to work its way up the vertical jamb of the window, then unfortunately a complete replacement will likely be necessary.
Sometimes, the brick moulding around the windows and the sill nosing show rot while the window itself is absolutely fine. If the trim can end up being replaced before the window components begin their turn with the rot, then a lot of money can be saved on the consumer end. Therefore, it’s always important to keep an eye out on your windows and seek repairs at the first signs of damage.
For frames that are in good condition, regardless of age, will be great candidates for a sash replacement kit. Replacing the sash will keep the window working at its best and add longevity and more years of life to the window’s performance.
Windows that are found with or neglected to the point of extensive rot, should be replaced as soon as possible. Doing so immediately is ideal to prevent any further damage to the other important structural and aesthetic components of the house.