Your home’s windows are engineered to last a long time and it’s this durability that makes it easy to overlook them when it comes to your home’s regular maintenance routines. Unfortunately, neglect can drastically reduce the number of years a window has. To help you avoid that, here are some care tips to keep your windows not just clear and clean, but also properly functioning for years to come.
You should take the time to inspect your windows at least once a year but once a season is optimal. Make sure to check the frames and the sashes, using a metal probe to properly assess rot or similar signs of decay, such as rust in a metal frame. Inspect the paint to see if it is peeling and that a new coat needs to be applied. Look for gaps between the wall and the window casing – any such will need to be filled in with caulk – and if the weatherstripping has worn out, replace it. Check between the panes for moisture buildup, which may mean your window’s seals are failing and no longer offering proper insulation.
Your windows’ frames should be cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of dust and dirt. Don’t ignore the window casing and the area of the wall immediately around the window. Dirt and debris can just as easily accumulate there, which can cause the window to jam. Typically, a soft, damp cloth is enough to clean window frames. Plain water will be more than enough but feel free to use commercial cleaners if you want. Always follow product instructions though and remember to dry the window after cleaning. To get dirt or debris out of nooks and crannies, you can use a brush with soft bristles to get the job done.
When wiping down window glass, make sure you’re using a soft cloth free of grit and debris to avoid leaving scratches. Simple soapy water is already great for cleaning window glass but you can also opt to use commercial cleaners. Just make sure that what you’re using has been specifically formulated for use on window glass. If you’ve got specialized windows, do check manufacturer instructions for specific care requirements your window might have.
Things to avoid when cleaning the glass:
- Don’t use a metal scraper to remove paint, mortar, or similar substances from the glass. Use water and a sponge instead, keeping at it until the offending speck is removed.
- When using a hose to clean the exterior side of your windows, make sure you set it to deliver a fine spray only as stronger streams of water can break
Any window damage should be addressed promptly. It goes without saying that the longer you leave damage unrepaired, the worse it will get. Damaged frames reduce your windows’ energy efficiency and your ability to operate your windows, while damaged glass presents risk of injury, and should be replaced as soon as possible.
Simon Gale believes that it’s not enough for windows to just be nice and beautiful. True beauty, rather, is found in the proper combination of style, appearance, and utility, something he strives to put into every project he works on as a consultant for Renewal of Andersen of Long Island. To receive updates from Simon, check out the company blog!