Windows are a home’s best friend. They let in beautiful natural light to stop us from wasting electricity. They give us access to a nice cooling breeze during summer and help keep warmth in during winter.
Window Maintenance 101
Most of us don’t think about our windows too much. There are often other things to worry about and other things to clean.
But it doesn’t matter if you have wood frames, double hung, or vinyl windows. Each and every one of them needs regular maintenance in order to keep them in top condition. Without these measures, your windows will deteriorate over time.
Keep reading to learn all the right steps for proper window maintenance!
As with most things, the first step to good maintenance is to clean and clean some more. It’s hard to complete the other window maintenance tips when there’s dust or grime clinging to the surfaces. It also makes it a lot harder to see if there’s a potential problem that needs fixing.
While you might keep the inside of your window panes clean, the outside isn’t as easy. The outside of the window is the one exposed to all the elements of nature and weather, so it’s the part that needs the most love.
Make sure to use a non-abrasive cloth or sponge whenever you deal with glass. A mild soap, often based in vinegar, is the best choice for detergent.
Use circular motions to create fewer streaks. If streaks do occur, keep rubbing with the sponge. Most of the time, streaks go away with a little more effort or an extra spritz of water.
Always take extra care whenever pulling out the screens as it’s easy to dent or tear the delicate wiring. Repairing screens is a tedious—and sometimes impossible—process.
The safest way to clean between all those tiny spaces without damaging the screen starts with laying it on a flat surface. Something like your kitchen counters, table, or even a tiled floor works great for this.
Then spray the screen with mild soap and let it soak for ten minutes or so. After that, give it a good rinse with a low-intensity water stream. A showerhead or a hose is good for screens too big to fit in the sink.
Cleaning up the frame, both inside and outside of the house keeps the material from faster deterioration. It’s also much nicer to bask in the sunlight of a window that looks pristine.
Mild soap and a non-abrasive sponge is all you need for this. Wipe away dust and built-up grime to keep your window looking great. Dry off the frame to keep any excess moisture from damaging the material.
Over time, dirt and dust clog up the tracks your window uses to move. If you’ve had trouble opening or closing your window, this is one of the potential reasons.
Soap and water with a good sponge or rag are often enough to get the worst of the grime away. If it’s caked on there or you’re having trouble getting the dirt out, a vacuum works wonders to suck up the gunk.
Make sure to dry off any excess water as you don’t want too much moisture to interact with the inner workings of your window.
Check for Damages
Now that everything is squeaky clean, it’s time to give the window an inspection. You might have noticed some damages while you were cleaning and now it’s time to address them.
Look close at the framing, the metalwork, even the glass and be sure to do this both on the inside and outside of the window. Replacements for these worn out parts are often the best way to go. Any DIY fixes solve the problem for a little while, but they’re only temporary.
The worst kind of damage that needs fixing right away is a cracked pane of glass. This is not only energy inefficient, but it’s also dangerous. Replace that glass as soon as possible.
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if the seals on your windows are in good condition. One of the best window maintenance tips is to learn more about the warning signs.
Any holes or cracks in the sealant weakens the integrity of the window and lets moisture and outside air into your home. You’ll need to remove and then replace the seals in order to maintain an energy efficient home.
Lubricate Moving Parts
This step depends a little on what type of window you own, but if it has any metal joints or hinges, it needs lubrication. A single drop or two of lubricant makes a huge difference to the function of your window.
It also protects those important bits from erosion. Metal grating on metal damages those delicate moving parts. Plus, you’ll no longer struggle to get that window opened or closed.
This is one of the most satisfying steps to any window maintenance list. Adding a fresh coat of paint looks great no matter what else you’ve done before. It brings new life to that section of the house that you can’t achieve any other way.
Adding new paint to the framing also protects the material from moisture or dust. This gives the window a longer lifespan and lessens the chance that you’ll need to replace it in its entirety.
Use painter’s tape to ward off the glass and other places you don’t want any accidental paint. Always make sure that the paint goes onto a clean frame so that you’re not sealing in anything that damages the material.
Perform Window Maintenance at Least Once a Year
It’s a lot to tackle in a single day so try breaking up the steps in manageable chunks. The nice part is that general window maintenance only needs doing once or twice a year.
Cleaning is the exception to this rule. Giving windows a thorough cleaning once a month keeps them from accumulating preventable damages. Make it a part of your normal cleaning routine and it’ll no longer feel like an extra chore.
With your windows refreshed, don’t forget to check out even more ways to improve your home!