How to Keep Your Windows in Top Condition
Windows are an essential part of any home, but they also require regular care and maintenance to ensure they function properly and look great. Whether you have wooden, vinyl, or aluminum-framed windows, there are some simple steps you can take to keep them in good shape for a long time. In this blog post, we will share some tips on how to maintain your windows and avoid common problems.
One of the easiest things you can do for your windows is to keep them clean. Dust, dirt, insects, and moisture can accumulate on the glass and the frames, affecting the appearance and performance of your windows. To clean your windows, you will need a gentle glass cleaner, a microfiber cloth, a mild detergent, and a soft scrubbing brush.
For wooden windows, wipe them down with a damp cloth regularly to remove dust and dirt. Avoid using too much water, as it can cause rotting or warping.
For vinyl and aluminum-framed windows, wash them with a mild detergent and a soft scrubbing brush. Rinse them well and dry them with a cloth.
For the glass panes, use a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to remove smudges and spots. Clean the inside of the windows once a week and the outside once a month.
Another key step in window maintenance is to inspect your windows periodically for any signs of damage or deterioration. Cracks, leaks, gaps, peeling paint, and broken parts can all affect the efficiency and functionality of your windows. By spotting these issues early, you can prevent them from getting worse and causing more problems.
Inspect your windows at least once a year, preferably at the start of each season. Look for any leaks or moisture around the frame, cracks in the glass or the material, sealant cracks or breaks, problems with sliding sashes or window cranks.
Pay special attention to the caulking around your windows. This is the sealant that keeps your windows watertight and prevents air leakage. If you notice any cracks, breaks, or missing pieces in the caulking, you need to fix them as soon as possible. You can use a caulk gun and a suitable sealant to fill in the gaps and create a tight seal.
If you notice rubber hanging out in between the windowpanes, this is a sign to replace your window soon, as it may be leaking into your home. When this happens, your windows typically fog up and retain moisture between the panes.
In old single pane windows, which is common in the US, check if the glazing is cracked or too deteriorated to withstand the elements.
Check the finish of your windows, especially if they are made of wood or metal. The finish or paint protects your windows from weathering and corrosion. If you see any peeling, cracking, or chipping in the finish, you need to repaint your windows every three to four years. Use a high-quality paint that is suitable for your window material and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you find any damage or defects in your windows during your inspection, you need to repair them as soon as possible. Some repairs are easy to do yourself, while others may require professional help. Here are some common window problems and how to fix them:
Cracked glass: A cracked windowpane can let in cold air and moisture, as well as pose a safety hazard. You can fix a cracked windowpane by using a repair kit that contains glass adhesive and stabilizer strips. Follow the instructions carefully and apply the adhesive over the crack. Then place the stabilizer strips over the adhesive and press firmly. Let it dry for 24 hours before removing the strips. You can also cut to size a piece of plexiglass and siliconize the edges of it to the windowpane.
Stuck sash: A stuck sash can make it hard to open or close your window. This can be caused by dirt buildup, warped frames, or faulty hardware. You can try to loosen the sash by cleaning the tracks with a Q-tip and vinegar. Then lubricate the tracks with a silicone-based lubricant. Avoid using products like WD-40, as they can damage the tracks. You may also be running into paint buildup; in which case you must take a putty knife and a hammer and gently chisel away the paint between the sash and the track. If this does not work, you may need to replace the hardware or adjust the frame.
Damaged parts: If any part of your window is broken or missing, such as a lock, handle, hinge, or screen, you need to replace it as soon as possible. You can find replacement parts at your local hardware store or online. Make sure you get the right size and type for your window model. Then follow the instructions on how to install the new part.
Windows are an important feature of any home, but they also need regular care and maintenance to keep them in top condition. By following these tips on how to clean, inspect, and repair your windows, you can ensure that they look great and perform well for years to come.