The title of this post may be a bit melodramatic, but we wanted to drive the point through. Windows do more than just make our homes beautiful. Windows let natural sunlight and fresh air into our homes throughout the spring and fall, but can also prevent uncomfortably hot or cold air from entering. Furthermore, windows can enhance our homes by giving occupants excellent views of the outdoors. However, in spite of all this, windows are often taken for granted.
Once installed, many homeowners expect windows to remain fully functional for a century or more, even without maintenance. We will try to present the truth as delicately as possible: A window needs to be maintained properly so that it reaches or even exceeds its expected lifespan – and it’s up to the homeowner to make it happen.
If you’re not familiar with what basic window maintenance involves, here are a few tips.
Clean windows as often as you can
The exterior frame and glass of the windows are exposed to dust, rain, snow, ice, and anything Mother Nature can conjure up. Windows may be tough, especially modern ones, but everybody knows that nature can be a difficult opponent. In time, paint may crack and the glass may fog up or blur.
Cleaning your windows on a regular basis will ensure that dirt doesn’t build up and damage the frame or the glass. Some windows can be cleaned using regular water and some detergent. Others can do with water alone. If you want to ensure that your windows are cleaned properly, check the manufacturer’s recommendations on the type of chemicals to use (or not to use) to clean your windows.
Fix any damage you see as soon as you can
Window damage is inevitable. Glass panels may crack and frames can get bent out of shape for a variety of reasons. Whenever your windows show signs of disrepair or damage, they should be repaired immediately to prevent the damage from spreading. This is especially true with windows that have double glass panels with air or gas between them. If the gas escapes, the window’s ability to help save energy diminishes significantly. The only way to prevent energy loss effectively is to have the window repaired or replaced promptly. Keep in mind, too, that while it may be tempting to just repair what we think are small window issues – such as cracks, chips, and damage to the glass – these could add up and become quite a headache over the long term. Also, problems like wood rot and mold/water damage should never be left to fester. It’s best you replace the window right off the bat to fix the problem completely.
Repaint when needed
Some window manufacturers recommend that the window’s painted surface receive a new coat of paint every three to four years. Some window frames are made from materials that never need to be painted. Always follow recommendations from the manufacturer. Applying a coat of paint on a frame that does not need it can have disastrous results.
Caring for and maintaining your windows doesn’t take much time or effort. In fact, it shouldn’t take more than an hour every few months to ensure that your windows are kept clean and inspected for damage. Setting aside this small amount of time can add years to the life of your windows. Don’t let regular window maintenance intimidate you; be a homeowner who prioritizes your windows.
Colin Jeffries serves as Regional Marketing Manager for Renewal by Andersen Cincinnati. While his primary responsibility is to develop the company’s marketing and advertising strategies, he still finds time to write informative and helpful articles for homeowners throughout America.