Now that you have new windows (or are considering a window replacement soon), knowing how to care for them can directly impact how long they will last. Even if you have older windows, regular maintenance and care are imperative. You want to protect your investment and get the most out of your new windows – here’s how!
Don’t Neglect Window Care
If your windows are hiding behind drapes and/ or blinds, it’s easy to overlook window maintenance. The first step in caring for your new window installation is to pay attention to their condition and check in on them regularly for maintenance and cleaning. The habit of giving your windows a frequent once-over also helps to get ahead of problems you may encounter down the road, like scratches, cracks, or drafts (should they occur).
- Wooden windows. If your windows have wooden frames, wipe them down regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust particles and dirt. It’s important to not over-do it with water. Your rag should be damp all over, but not dripping, so as not to damage the wood. Too much moisture makes wooden window frames more susceptible to rot.
- Vinyl and aluminum windows. Wash with mild detergent and a scrubbing brush that is abrasive enough to clean dirt, but soft and flexible enough not to create fine scratches in the window glass.
- Follow up any window cleaning with glass cleaner, but make sure to avoid wood areas. Clean window casings and surrounding walls to reduce dirt build-up within the windows. Over time, this will reduce the risk of window jams and hard-to-clean crevices.
Every change of season is a good reminder to inspect and take stock of the condition of your windows. Examine the frame, pane, and sash. It’s recommended you buy a metal probe for wooden areas to gently inspect for soft spots, which could mean window rot. Also, check for moisture build-up in double-paned and triple-paned windows. If you can see condensation between the layers, it means a seal broke and needs replacement or repairs. Not only can this lead to visibility issues, it can also impact energy efficiency.
Next, inspect for sun damage that could cause peeling on the window frame. Wood that is exposed beneath peeling paint is more susceptible to rot. If your new windows have weather stripping, make sure that it’s sealing properly. If your older windows have weather stripping that is pulling away or drying out and crumbling, be sure to replace it. This can also impact energy efficiency. Last, check for any gaps between the window and the frame and the frame and the wall. In many cases, you can fill in the gaps with caulk.
If you find gaps around your window when you inspect the area, you need to address them, because they are likely negatively impacting your energy bill. Check to see which rubber seals need replacing. If you want to get ahead of future problems, replace all rubber seals. This secures the window when it’s open and keeps out air and moisture when it’s closed. Sealing around your windows or anywhere gaps are visible is simple with spray caulk or caulk in a squeeze tube. A latex product that matches your windows as closely as possible is the best option.
Painting or Re-painting
It’s wise to paint or repaint window frames made of wood or metal every four years. This not only helps them look brand-new, but it also protects vulnerable wood from exposure to more moisture than necessary. Always paint freshly cleaned windows, and paint carefully with painters’ tape over mechanical parts so that you don’t paint your window shut.
If any holes, scratches, cracks, or splinters are discovered, it’s imperative to attend to them as quickly as possible. Typically, the longer you put off taking care of window issues, the more the problem spreads – draining your energy bill all the while. For certain issues like small gaps or paint touch-ups, you can address them DIY at home. For other issues, such as cracks, mechanical malfunctions, and significant rot – it’s wise to call a professional.
Whether your windows are new or old, regular maintenance serves as a preventive measure to keep them looking good as new. If you need a window service, inspection, quote, or replacement, contact us today at Erie Construction. We serve the Midwest and Northeast with pride and are happy to provide you with quality window services.