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Tips for Regular Window Maintenance
By Doityourself Staff
February 13, 2020
As you go about your house-care routine, do not overlook window maintenance. It is an important measure that will keep your windows in good condition and extend their longevity. Well-maintained windows enhance the security and appearance of your home. Temperature fluctuations, rain, dust, and debris all take their shots at windows. This contributes to a high amount of wear and tear. Below are some maintenance tips for windows.
Wipe down wooden windows regularly with a damp cloth. This helps to remove dust and dirt. Avoid using too much water, as it is likely to encourage rot due to contact with moisture.
Wash vinyl and aluminum-framed windows with a mild detergent and soft scrubbing brush. A glass cleaner helps leave your windows sparkling clean.
Be sure to clean the window casing and the adjacent wall area as well. This helps to reduce build-up of dirt and debris in the window components, which often contributes to window jams.
Undertake a thorough inspection of your windows every season. Check the condition of the window frame and sash. Use a metal probe to look for signs of rot, which could indicate moisture infiltration.
Check for signs of moisture in double or triple-paned windows. This indicates that the seal has failed and has to be replaced. A failed seal reduces the insulation capacity of your windows.
The sun can cause certain areas of the frame to become brittle and warp. Paint may have peeled off in certain areas.
If you have weather stripping on your windows, check the condition during inspection. Make arrangements for replacement if the stripping has worn out.
Check for any gaps between the window casing and wall. These can be filled with a latex caulk.
Gaps around your window allow air to come in and encourage loss of warm air from within. This reduces the energy efficiency of your home, leading to higher energy costs for you.
Replace all worn out rubber seals. This helps to reduce air and water leaks. It also helps to secure the window in place.
Use spray-form insulation or caulk to help you seal your windows.
Re-paint wooden and metal window frames every three to four years. It helps protect them from the elements and maintains their appearance. Always apply paint onto windows that have been well cleaned. Be careful not to paint over moving parts or a shut window, as the window will get stuck.
Attend to any cracks, holes, and splinters in the window promptly. The longer you to take to address damaged areas, the more the window will deteriorate. Once you identify the rotted sections in wooden windows, use a screwdriver to clean out the bad wood and then fill the cracks and holes with epoxy putty. Use several layers for the best results. Once the putty dries, smooth the area with sandpaper and then apply primer and paint.
Like damaged frames, cracked or broken glass requires your immediate attention. Repair or replace your windowpane quickly to secure your home and prevents accidental cuts by the broken glass.
Regular window maintenance will keep your home looking good. Not only that, but it will help you save on energy costs!
March 10, 2020
The Best Way to Clean Windows, According to Our Cleaning Lab
That squeegee just might make a bigger mess.
BY LAUREN SMITH MCDONOUGH AND CAROLINE PICARD
DANIELLE OCCHIOGROSSO DALY
Washing your windows is a tedious chore — so you want to make sure you get it right the first time. To avoid having to redo your work, we tapped from Carolyn Forte, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab to get her expert advice.
1. Choose a dry, cloudy day.
"Do this job in the blazing sun and the cleaner will dry onto the hot windows before you get to wipe it off, leaving hard-to-remove streaks," Forte says. If the weather won't cooperate, start on the shady side of the house.
2. Remove dirt and dust first.
Before you get started, sweep dirt from the window frame with a brush or vacuum it up with your machine's dusting attachment. This will prevent dirt from turning into a muddy mess when mixed with a cleaner. If your window screen looks especially grimy, pop it out and wash with hot, sudsy water and a soft brush, then rinse and let dry before putting it back.
For quickly dusting shades and blinds, Forte recommends going over both sides with a microfiber duster or opening the slats and going over each one with a damp cloth and followed by a dry one.
You can also refresh your curtains at the same time by putting them in the dryer for 15 minutes on an "air-only" cycle and rehanging quickly to prevent wrinkles.
3. Pick the right cleaner — and spritz generously.
Don't hold back on the spray, especially if your windows look extra dirty. "You need plenty of cleaner to dissolve and suspend the dirt so it can be completely wiped away — skimp and you'll be seeing streaks," Forte says.
If you rather go the DIY route, try whipping up this homemade vinegar cleaner:
Homemade Glass Cleaner
What you'll need:
2 cups water
1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol 70% concentration
Combine the ingredients and pour them in a spray bottle. If you have kids or pets, write the ingredients on the outside of the bottle for safety.
4. Use a microfiber cloth.
[Casabella Microfiber Glass Cloths]
Some folks like drying panes with newspaper, but you're better off reusable microfiber cloths. "They are super absorbent, washable, and leave the glass shiny and streak-free," Forte says.
Try Casabella Microfiber Glass Cloths, which have a special honeycomb texture to nab water spots, smudges, and dirt from mirrors and glass without scratching.
If you rather use paper towels, choose a brand that's up to the task. Weak paper towels can shred and leave lint behind. In our last paper towel test, GH Seal Holder Bounty Regular held up the best when wet.
5. Skip the squeegee.
"Professional window cleaners swear by them, but you have to know how to use them right," Forte says. "You squeegee down and where does the water go? On the floor."
Because of the potential mess and drip factor, she avoids using squeegees, especially for small panes, but they can be more helpful on bigger, picture windows.
6. Break it down.
You only need to clean your windows once or twice a year, Forte says, but it's even easier if you divide the job up and do it room by room. When you're cleaning, wipe one side of the window horizontally and the other vertically. If any streaks do form, you'll easily know whether they're on the outside or the inside.