Windows are an integral, but also somewhat fragile part of our homes. If left in disrepair, they can pose many problems to home security, efficiency and safety. On the surface windows do not seem very complicated, but there are actually quite a few details to know about taking care of them.
Window Cleaning Tips
Proper care helps preserve your windows from becoming difficult to operate, and allows you to catch issues before they become irreparable problems. In particular, wood, vinyl and casement windows have moving parts that need upkeep in order to operate well. Regular cleaning of the sill, frame, glass and track area helps your windows work the way they’re meant to: easy to see out of, open, close and lock.
- First vacuum the sill, tracks and screen of all debris and soil. Use a small brush to clean out niches, corners and holes. The purpose of this stage of cleaning is to discourage mold growth and insects, and to keep the tracks clear for smooth opening and closing. It is also easier to see damage to your windows if there is no soil or dust covering it up.
- Wash the glass with a mix of mild soap and water. Never use petroleum-based solvents, chemicals, or high-pressure spray to wash your windows as these can damage the insulating glass seal or other parts of the window. Wash your windows on a cloudy day—otherwise, direct sunlight can dry the glass before you’re done, leaving residue behind. After washing, rinse the glass thoroughly and dry.
- If it needs it, wash your screen and sill with the same mild soap and water mixture. Dry immediately.
Many problems arise when windows cannot be easily shut, opened or locked. A window that is hard to open can be a safety threat if the house catches fire, and a broken lock may mean someone can easily get in from the outside. Most of the time, dysfunctional windows are merely annoying or frustrating, but there are some tricks to follow to prevent these issues.
Lubrication: Windows that open via sliding along a track or roller need to have their moving parts lubricated once in a while. Window experts recommend using furniture polish, as silicone spray can damage plastic components. You can lubricate whenever you find your windows getting stuck or harder to open, though if it doesn’t work, cleaning the tracks may also help. If you have just installed new wood windows, opening and closing them may be difficult because the wood is getting used to new humidity levels, expanding and contracting. New wood windows will stabilize in about a year.
Weather Stripping: The weatherstrip is designed to create an airtight seal between the sash and frame of your window, keeping out water and keeping in air. Inspect it to make sure the seal hasn’t deteriorated. If the strip is peeling, missing large chunks, or coming off the frame, it needs to be replaced. Drafty windows can indicate a broken seal.
Condensation: There are quite a few instances where condensation or frost can appear on your window glass, but when it forms along the bottom or corners it usually means the room is improperly ventilated, or your house has a high moisture level. Though the problem is not with the window itself, too much moisture can damage their wood frames, let alone other parts of your house, cultivating a perfect environment for mold and mildew. Condensation on the glass is a very telling sign that you need to reduce the amount of water in your home’s air. Opening windows and doors when it’s nice and dry outside, using exhaust fans and ceiling fans, installing a dehumidifier, and venting the clothes dryer and all gas burners outside helps humidity escape.
Do you need your windows inspected and cleaned? Reach out to Brian Paxson, A Better View Window Cleaning.