Your windows are the most misunderstood elements of your home.
We open and close them without much thought and occasionally spritz a cleaner on them to wipe off puppy breath or handprints from kids. The only time we truly realize our windows need care is when an issue arises, often being too late. By keeping up with a little routine maintenance, you can keep those windows functioning great for years to come and cut down on serious repair expenses. Here are a few things you can can look out for when it comes to home window care.
INSPECT – You should inspect your windows at least once a year. Look for leaks, wear or rot. Fixing these red flags early will prevent a more serious issue from arising.
CAULKING – Take special note of the caulking around your window. You want a tight seal around the frame of windows and doors to prevent moisture from getting in and causing problems with your structure. If sealant is cracked, broke or missing, it needs to be fixed right away. Not only does it stop moisture but a correctly sealed window will keep out drafts which makes your home more comfortable and saves you money by reducing your energy bills. Make sure to check the corners and in between windows.
DESTROY ROT – If you have wood windows you want to check for peeling, cracking or corrosion. The sun can damage the protective layer on your wood and cause it to be exposed to moisture and other elements. You can scrape out rotted bits and fix with epoxy putty or contact your local window repair company for a wood refresh.
TRACKS – While we may clean window glass regularly, we forget about the tracks that the window slides on. This should be cleaned fairly regularly so it’s more visually appealing and to allow the window to open and close easier. You can also put some oil-free lubricant on the weather stripping / tracks to help it slide better. Stay away from any lubricants that have oil because that draws dust and grime which cause your windows and doors to stick. A great way to clean your tracks is by using a sponge brush which can be purchased at nearly any store for next to nothing.
DIY CLEANER – A great, natural way to clean your windows is by concocting your own cleaner composed of 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap. You can even put it into an empty spray bottle for faster use. Paper towels are recommended for streak free cleaning but paper coffee filters will also work if you run out.
UPGRADE – There comes a point when every window reaches a “seen better days” phase and needs to be replaced. If simple maintenance no longer works to keep the effectiveness of your window, it’s time to upgrade. Contact your local window installation company and ask about the best options for your home. Many homeowners opt for vinyl windows because they don’t crack, warp or need to be painted and cleaning is extremely easy.
Make sure to incorporate these simple maintenance tasks into your regular cleaning routine and annual home inspection. Staying up on the state of your windows will not only prolong their life but save you money on energy costs and high repair costs due to serious issues. Your windows and wallet will thank you!