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Your window treatments may have served you well over the years, but there always comes a time when they no longer work the way they used to. Your job as a homeowner is to determine when this happens and to take the steps to replace them. This way, you can continue to get the most out of each aspect of your home and ensure your window treatments are up to the task. Be on the lookout for these signs you need to replace your window treatments.

They’ve Become Hard to Maneuver

Whether your window treatments of choice are curtains, blinds, or interior shutters, age can significantly reduce their flexibility and maneuverability. This makes them not only less effective, but also more prone to breaking as you try to move them into place. Hard-to-lift blinds, in particular, can even be dangerous, as a faulty lift mechanism can potentially cause your blinds to fall out of the window.

They’re Discolored or Stained

Years of sitting in the sun and collecting dust can begin to distort the color of your window treatments. Depending on their original color, this change can be significant, and it can make them a real eyesore compared to the rest of your interior design. White wooden treatments, specifically, often see the most staining, as prolonged sun exposure can slowly dye their bleached exterior an ugly yellow. The fading of color is also a sign that the materials are weakening and that they could potentially break.

The Slats Are Warped or Bent

If your treatments are regularly exposed to intense heat, you could begin seeing them warp or bend out of shape with very minimal effort. This is because the heat is slowly melting the materials and making them more flexible. With enough breakdown of the materials, your treatments could warp so badly that the slats no longer align with one another, which diminishes their functionality.

They No Longer Meet Your Needs

Even if you don’t notice any of these other signs, you may still want to consider getting replacements if your window treatments don’t meet your needs anymore. For instance, effective blinds or shutters will give you control over how much light you let into your home as well as provide you with a bit of temperature regulation. If they lose their ability to do these things, you should still replace them even if they look fine. Fortunately, there are several different types of interior shutters and blinds you can experiment with until you find the model that works best for you.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.