5 Tips for Maintaining Windows & Doors, Longer Life & Energy Efficiency

5 Tips for Maintaining Windows & Doors, Longer Life & Energy Efficiency

December 21, 2020
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
longevity of home doors

When it comes to windows and sliding glass door maintenance, what are the dos and the don’ts to prevent frequent and unnecessary replacements? Not only do well-maintained doors and windows offer a lasting impression to your visitors, but they also ensure peace of mind as you sleep at night knowing that the security of your loved ones is not compromised. Let’s not forget the confidence of knowing that your premium windows will last a lifetime.

Learning some standard cleaning techniques and methods will go a long way in lengthening your doors and windows’ lifespan. At US Window & Door, we have over three decades of door installation and replacement under our belt, providing only the very best quality products to our esteemed clients. In this article, we’ll cover five crucial tips for maintaining your windows and doors so that you can enjoy them for a long time.

Regular Inspection of Frame

You should ensure to inspect your door and window frames every season. Each different season brings with it various weather conditions that can affect your doors and windows, both inside and out. The additional expansion and contraction of doors and windows make them highly susceptible during seasonal weather changes. A compromised frame’s signs may be intangible, such as an increased energy bill with no other logical explanation.

Is window repair worth your money

In such a case, you should compare your current statement with bills of the same season but from previous years. If you see an apparent disparity, the best thing is to seek advice from a trained door and window specialist to confirm your suspicion. Although the damage could be too small for the untrained eye to see, your wallet will certainly feel it.

For triple and double-paned windows and glass wall systems, signs of moisture in between the glass panes are a sure indicator of deterioration. The most likely cause for the trapped moisture is chipped caulk or seams in the frame. Caulk can chip if the installer failed to apply it consistently or worked on a dirty surface. Another reason is that the sealant may not have had enough time to set, therefore clumping up and becoming ineffective.

Paint that has peeled off around the frame is yet another piece of evidence to look out for when inspecting your windows and doors. Harsh sun rays may have caused some parts of the structure, primarily if wooden, to become brittle and warp, thus damaging the frame. While still on wooden frames, you should also check on the weather stripping condition to ensure that your frames are not already rotting. A tip to keeping wooden windows and doors rot-free is to replace caulk or weather stripping as soon as you identify even the slightest signs of defects before the damage gets too advanced.

Checking Seals

Window and door seals are an essential part of the whole window as they hold together vital elements like weather stripping, ensuring your windows stay weatherproof. When inspecting your window seals, be sure to check for holes or seams as they are typically the primary source of drafts and air seepage.

installing new windows

Energy efficiency can only be assured when the window is completely sealed without any holes when the window is closed. Low or inadequate energy efficiency equates to high energy bills. This is because warm air escapes through the seams during winter, forcing your heater to use more energy to warm your house. On the other hand, the holes will likely draw in hot air during the summer, leading to higher energy consumption to further cool the indoor air.

Aside from the loss of energy, water can easily find its way into your home if a gaping hole is not sealed. This moisture may lead to the rotting of furniture located around the window. Let’s not forget how unnecessarily dirty your house could get. Caulk is a building material used to seal joints against leakage in various structures. Caulk is cheap, easy to apply and clean, and can fill holes found on windows and doors. Water-based caulk is highly recommended over other corrosive sealants that could destroy any metallic components.

Weather-stripping is a term used for sealants applied to the movable parts of doors and windows. It would be best if you regularly inspect them for optimum performance against the elements. Foam weather-stripping is preferred over felt weather-stripping because it is more durable. For warped areas such as along arches, where nailing is not an option, self-stick weather-stripping is preferred.

Inspect Locks

Having proper working locks, whether on doors or windows, maximizes a home’s security. They protect a home from burglars and harsh weather conditions. It is even more crucial to have locks working efficiently to prevent accidents and be prepared for emergencies.

When it comes to locks, some door and window maintenance tips include regular lock cleaning and lubrication. It’s probably safe to assume very few homeowners regularly clean or lubricate their door and window locks despite it being a crucial part of their maintenance. Using a mild cleanser or damp cloth to clean the locks’ external parts is enough when done monthly. When it comes to maintaining your door locks, avoid using oil-based cleaners or any other coarse varieties as they may end up causing damage to them.

It’s also best to avoid using unnecessary force when opening and closing doors and windows as you could easily damage the smaller yet vital parts that make up the whole lock. Eventually, these components might break off and slowly start deteriorating the door.

window locks

Another tip for door maintenance is always duplicating keys from the original set rather than another copied set.

Surprisingly, this is a common, honest mistake made either out of convenience or lack of information. If the first duplicate set happens to have been slightly incorrect, then future copies made from that duplicate are likely to have even more errors. The cumulative errors will start to eat away at the gears required to turn the door lock. Ultimately the lock will go bad, rendering the key useless. If you have ever locked yourself in or out of your house, then you know this is not something to look forward to, especially if it happens in the wee hours of the night.

Regular Cleaning

Just like every other part of your home, doors and windows require regular and thorough cleaning. While it may not be possible to regularly clean your doors and windows as you clean your house, you can clean them once every month to prevent excess debris accumulation. If you live near a saltwater body such as a lake or the ocean, you will need to clean your windows and doors more frequently, say twice a month.

Doing so will ensure that your doors and windows’ integrity is maintained as clean surfaces are better equipped to face harsh elements from both inside and out compared to dirty surfaces.

When dealing with wooden frame windows, wipe them with a cotton cloth dipped in warm water. Be sure that the water content is not excessive to avoid rotting. For both vinyl and aluminum framed windows, use a mild detergent and a soft scrubbing brush. You should use a mixture of water and vinegar or dishwashing soap in a 50-50 ratio mixture to clean the window screens. It would be best to refrain from using scouring pads and other harsh detergents when cleaning the glass façade to avoid scratches.

If cleaning your windows and doors every month proves to be too demanding, seek out the services of a professional cleaner to assist you. They will not only make your work easier, but they will also guarantee the structural soundness of the doors and windows.

For windows, another good reason to regularly clean them is to ensure the proper functioning of Low E-coatings and Low-E insulations. When dirt or pollen particles build up on your window, your home’s energy efficiency will soon become compromised. Moreover, fewer sun rays can penetrate through the dirt layer and warm your house during winter, thus making it unnecessarily colder than it should be.

The same theory applies to light, as sun rays won’t pour into your home, leading to darker and duller rooms. Enjoying a good view is one of the coveted advantages of having new, high-quality windows. Why would anyone want to spoil that with dirty windows? By cleaning your windows regularly, you will keep them beautiful and functional for years to come.

Get Problems Fixed Early

Regular maintenance of both doors and windows allows a homeowner to become acquainted with their windows and doors. Therefore, should any problems occur, they are better equipped to identify them sooner rather than later. A window and door cleaning expert will also help you diagnose and solve problems early, perhaps even before they occur.

Issues such as holes found in seals or frames can lead to months of compounding high energy bills for homeowners. The cost of maintaining and fixing this problem is insignificant when compared to the exorbitantly high energy bills you pay. Once you identify a problem in your window or door, you should make it a priority to get in touch with a professional for repairs. You can also request them to inspect any other potential problems and educate you on better care for your windows and doors.

Getting an issue fixed early is always a wise decision, but more so when your window or door has been newly installed. The longer you stay with an ill fixed window or door, the worse the situation gets, and the probability that the installers will repair it for free decreases. At US Window & Door, we strive to ensure customer satisfaction during installation.

Replacing an Old Window

The longevity of warranties given by the window or door provider is often an issue of concern for most homeowners, especially when defects appear. This is because most window companies have insurances that are only valid for short periods. Upon expiry, the once valued customers are left to solve their problems out of pocket. Other companies have long and redundant procedures that prevent customers from accessing any assistance.

All these inconvenient procedures seem aimed at frustrating the customer into dealing with the repairs on their own, freeing suppliers and installers from the extra work. The quicker you report the matter, the better your chances are of resolving issues amicably. Moreover, this will also prevent things from becoming critical overnight. In this regard, if you end up footing your repair bills, it is best to know in advance how much it will cost to repair your door or window for the sake of financial planning.

Worse still, installers could take advantage of customers by hiking the repair prices once they establish that the situation is critical. Willingly putting yourself in such a precarious position is never a good idea, no matter how great your negotiating skills.


Window and door maintenance is much like the maintenance of other valuable possessions like cars or electronic devices. Although they are relatively low maintenance, you will only appreciate the reward of your hard-earned labor when your windows and doors still stand firm even decades after purchase. You have to be willing to put in the effort and time for a window or door to maintain its luster and appealing aesthetics. After all, popular belief states that windows are the eyes we use to see the rest of the world from inside our home; doors a welcome home.

styles of window replacement in San Diego

When you decide it is time for you to replace your windows or doors, US Window & Door offers free expert advice on window and door replacement with no financial obligation. This way, you can make sound decisions regarding what is best for you and your home. US Window & Door is definitely the right place to turn to. You will enjoy a professional and informative experience while resting easy, knowing that your home is in the right hands.