Window Maintenance Tips
Your windows are an essential part of your home, almost as essential as doors and roofs. Through your windows, you can still feel connected to the outside world, even on a day when you have to stay in. Windows can help to light your home on a sunny day without having to rely on electricity, and energy efficient windows will help to seal heat into your home on a cold evening. They even enhance the style and architecture of the home.
But just like everything else in your home, if you want to get the most of your windows, you have to properly care for them. This requires some regular windows maintenance and some that’s just occasional. Window maintenance is more than just an occasional cleaning, and even when you are simply cleaning your windows, you’ll need to have the right cleaning solution. So where do you get started when it comes to window maintenance? Follow these tips and you can extend the life and quality of your windows.
Some windows are well-constructed and require fairly low levels of maintenance, but you’ll still need to inspect them once a year to ensure that everything is going smoothly. When you do this, you want to look for: small cracks in the glass, especially along corners; chipped, peeling, or bubbling paint; cracks in the sealant or weatherstripping; or operational issues such as difficulty opening or closing the windows. Make a list of any problems you might find, as this will help you to zero in on the maintenance that needs to be done. It will also help you to know if you need any professional repairs or replacements done that year.
If your sashes or locks feel stuck, it could be an issue of lubrication. Windows that struggle to open or snap closed or that have jammed locks are often stiff or some of the hardware could be beginning to rust. You can avoid this by lubricating any of the hardware of your windows. Make sure to lubricate the lock of the windows, so that you can lock and unlock them if need be for security and ventilation, as well as lubricating the track of the windows so that they can move smoothly. This will keep them in shape not just for now but for years to come.
Repair the Damage
Sometimes an accident happens and your window is cracked or damage is done to the frame. If the damage is small — a small crack or a minimal scrape to the frame of the window — it might seem like a hassle to have it repaired right away. At most, you might be able to put plastic over the crack until you can deal with it later. But not only does this weaken the beautiful aesthetics of your window, it also makes it vulnerable to further damage…as well as pests. You want to repair cracks or notable damage quickly, before things get worse.
You should clean your windows once a month. The type of cleaning needed will depend on the type of windows and window frame. It also depends on how much dirt and grime the window has built up. A gentle spray cleaner should be enough for most windows. If the window is particularly dirty, use a combination of water and a mild dish detergent. A soft cloth should be used to clean the windows. If you have wood frames, wipe them down with a damp cloth but do not let any damp settle there. It might also be a good idea to dust the windows.
Use — and Maintain — Low-e Coatings
Low emissivity coatings, or low-e coatings, help to let light and outdoor views into your home while keeping harmful UV rays out. This can help to boost your home’s energy efficiency, and adds an additional layer to your windows. If you use low-e coatings, make sure that you keep up with window cleaning, using gentle solutions so as not to obstruct the coating. Low-e coatings tend to come with a warranty in case you need to reapply them.
Keep Out Drafts
Your windows are more than just something pretty to look through. They also impact your home’s seal and insulation. If your windows are well-sealed, your energy efficiency is sure to go up and your heating and cooling bills are sure to go down. You can help to ensure your windows stay sealed by checking the caulking that surrounds the frame and filling in any cracks. You can also weatherstrip during the winter months, and apply a plastic window wrap to help prevent heat loss and keep cold air from leaking in.
Get the Family Involved
It’s not enough that you know how to care for your windows. Make sure those who live in the household with you also understand window care and maintenance. You can add window cleaning to the chore rotation, or the person most comfortable with the chore can tackle it. More importantly, though, if you have kids, make sure you show them how to open, close, lock, and unlock the window. Without knowing the proper way to do things, they could accidentally break the window in attempting to open or close it. If you have window treatments, take some time to show them how those work, as well.
Clean the Exterior, As Well
Take care not to power wash the exterior of your windows, as this could lead to breakage in the windows or damage to the frame. Instead, use another gentle cleaning solution to clean the exterior glass and wipe down the vinyl or fiberglass window frames outside to keep any dirt or dust from piling up. This will make your windows healthier, but it will also help them to look better and boost your curb appeal.
Are you still looking for high quality windows in the first place that will last for decades to come? You can find top of the line wood, fiberglass, or wood-ultrex windows — with interior wood frames and exterior fiberglass frames — at Jancewicz & Son. Contact us today for more information or to get started with a free quote.