8 Window Maintenance Tips You Need to Know About

8 Window Maintenance Tips You Need to Know About

November 25, 2017
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
window maintenance

Like cars, ships, and planes, you need to perform regular window maintenance if they are to function correctly. Being regularly exposed to the elements, they can degrade over time, which will lead to more significant problems later on.

Why not invest in a little window maintenance and take care of that problem before it grows out of hand?

Your home’s windows are just as important as the paint on your house or the grass in your front yard. They are what people see when they look at your house; more importantly, they are what you see out of when you look at the rest of the world.

With a little know-how and regular window maintenance, you can extend the life of your windows by years and ensure that your home remains beautiful and inviting. Here are eight window maintenance tips that will allow you to do just that.

1. Clean Inside and Out

When performing window maintenance, check your windows inside and out. Windows are one of the few pieces of your home exposed to both the inside and outside environments. Over time, this exposure takes a toll on your window. You can use a squeegee, rag, cloth, or sponge for cleaning, whichever is your preference.

window maintenance

However, try to use separate tools for inside and outside so that you don’t risk bringing in pollen or pollutants. Additionally, avoid rougher cleaners, like steel scouring pads, that may scratch your windows.

Any window cleaner will work just fine. But if you’re looking for something less hazardous, dish soap or a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar are great alternatives and won’t streak. These will come in handy if there are children or pets that may be at risk of interacting with chemicals. However, you may want to use a harsher commercial cleaner for any harder mineral deposits on the outside.

Window Screens

Don’t neglect window screens either during window maintenance. These are important considering they act as a kind of barrier between your window and the rest of the world. You can also clean window screens with a mixture of water and vinegar.

First, Take the screens out of the windows and lay them out on the sidewalk or a tarp. Give them a good rinsing before applying the water and vinegar. Finally, give them a final rinsing and look over before returning them to their homes in the windows. As with general window cleaning, always check to see if there are any holes in the screens.

This part goes without saying: Safety first when climbing a ladder. There’s no need to break your back for a clean window. And, if certain windows remain out of reach, you may want to hire a professional for your window maintenance.

2. Check Your Window Frames

Window maintenance goes beyond just regular cleaning. And depending on the type of window frame you have, you may need to clean more often and put a little more elbow grease into it.

Vinyl, Aluminum, and Fiber Glass Frames

These frames are going to be a more robust and will require less regular maintenance. Use non-abrasive cleaners, like warm water and soap, when cleaning and avoid solvents and stripping compounds. Be sure to buff vinyl frames for optimal care.

3. Have a Schedule for Window Maintenance

window maintenance

Window maintenance is something that you need to do regularly. Don’t worry; this isn’t as demanding as it might sound.

You can get away with cleaning your windows once every couple of months. If you live in a beach-front area, the salt in the air may cause additional wear and tear on your windows, and you’ll want to bump that cleaning number up to once a month.

Giving your windows a full rundown and checking for any leaks should happen yearly; but if you’re already cleaning them once a month, why not just check for any air seepage while you’re at it? There’s no harm in being thorough.

Hire a Professional

For when there seems to be no spare time, there’s always a professional out there to help. With just a quick internet search, you can find a window cleaning service that will work on your schedule. If window maintenance sounds like too much trouble, don’t be afraid to hire professionals.

At the end of the day, your goal is to have clean, pristine windows. And that includes the window tracks.

4. Maintain the Tracks

Window tracks seem to be a magnet for dirt and grime, and it often looks like a battlefield filled with bug corpses. Clean your window tracks regularly with a dry brush or soap and water. You may want to make this a part of your regular window maintenance regimen.

It is also important for window maintenance to lubricate your window tracks. Try to do this in the spring and fall. Use silicone lubricant, and be sure not to get any on your skin or burn yourself.

5. Check for Air Seepage

Always be on the lookout for air seepage. You’ll see this in the form of a draft, crack in the framing, or light coming in through a gap between the window and frame.

Leaks can lead to a two-fold problem. First, they allow for moisture to get in, which leads to mold, mildew, and rot. Secondly, it’s letting air get out, which ends up raising utility costs if it’s bad enough.

It’s easy to overlook and can be costly in the long run. Fortunately, there are a couple of solutions for dealing with it.

6. Caulking

You can quickly repair smaller cracks and holes with the application of caulk. Caulk is excellent for areas that are less than 1/4 inch wide and don’t move. It’s cheap, easy to apply, and easy to clean.

Weatherstripping is recommended for areas where there is movement. Caulking is found in disposable tubes, and you will need about half a tube per window. When applying caulk, clean the area first before applying.

Milgard Ultra Windows - Picture Windows with Grids

Remove any debris and dirt and make sure the area is dry. Try to apply it in one motion and clean up any excess. Use a water-based caulk so that you don’t need any solvents for clean-up in the future.

7. Weatherstripping

If you do find any drafts coming from a window, weatherstripping may be the solution for you. Weatherstripping is an easy application of various materials to weatherproof a window and reduce drafts and energy loss. Look out for rattling windows, drafts, and light coming from between the moving parts of a window.

There are a few options for weatherstripping. Self-stick weatherstripping is excellent for warped areas and areas where nailing isn’t an option. Foam weatherstripping is longer lasting, while compressible felt weatherstripping is again good for warped areas but is the least durable.

Like any other part of a window, be sure to replace the weatherstripping if it becomes damaged or loose. If you find that weatherstripping and caulk haven’t solved all your problems, it may be time for a replacement.

8. Replacing Windows and Screens

Cracked windows are no joke, and can be dangerous if left unrepaired. Additionally, broken glass allows for air seepage which, as we’ve discussed, is a drain on your wallet anyway. Why not just nip the problem in the bud and get that window replaced.

Putting new windows into your home can do many things for improving your living conditions. Here are a few examples:

  • Lessen pollen and dust amounts
  • Raise property value (not exactly improved living conditions, but a positive)
  • Increase safety and security
  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Make your home look good
  • Easier to clean

Ripped screens can also let in debris, bugs, and dirt, and it’s important to replace those as needed.

Keep up With Your Windows!

Regular window maintenance can help your windows appear like new. Afterall, your windows are like the eyes of your house, and you need to be able to see out of them. By cleaning, caulking, and weatherstripping your windows, you can extend their life by several years and save yourself money in the long run.

However, if you find that your windows are beyond repair, and there is a need to replace them, US Window & Door has been faithfully servicing the San Diego area for years and offers expert service for any window replacement, including being the top seller of Milgard Windows. Our free, no-obligation initial consultation and estimates will ensure you that you are being taken care of.

Don’t let your windows become rotten and warped while being exposed to the elements. Invest in window maintenance and ensure that you and your family will are looking out of crystal clear windows for years to come.