Window treatments are a great way to accentuate your home’s aesthetics, increase natural light, and improve energy efficiency. While maintaining your windows isn’t too difficult, eventually they will need to be replaced. This is especially true for homeowners who live in harsh climates with freezing winters and sweltering summers. Luckily, replacing your windows allows you to completely reinvigorate your home and simplifies ongoing care for years. For the best results, here are seven ways to properly care for and maintain your replacement windows.
The Benefits of Proper Window Maintenance
Scheduling regular maintenance for your windows allows you to reap several different benefits. When you keep things clean and in good condition, your windows will last longer, and you’ll spend less money on unnecessary replacements. Clean windows also tend to function better, as they’re less likely to become stuck or breakdown due to accumulation of grime. Plus, when you regularly clean your windows, you’ll be better able to notice signs of small deterioration or damage that can be fixed quickly and easily. This helps you avoid larger, more expensive repairs down the line.
Regularly caring for your replacement windows benefits the interior of your home too. You’ll enjoy more natural light, which can boost productivity levels and overall mood. Healthy windows also improve your home’s overall energy efficiency, thus lowering the cost of your utility bills and providing you with a more stable temperature year-round.
The Best Maintenance Tips for Your Replacement Windows
When you replace your windows, you want to do everything you can to keep them in optimal condition. This means performing the proper care throughout the year. To help you get the most out of your effort, here are some of the best maintenance tips for your replacement windows.
1. Clean Strategically
How and when you clean your windows makes a difference. While many people think bright, sunny days are the best time for this, it’s often counterproductive. The heat from the sun can dry windows before you get a chance to wipe them down, which creates streaks and unsightly water drops. For ongoing home maintenance, clean your windows twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. These months tend to be milder with the added benefit of overcast weather.
If you want to clean your windows more often, that’s completely fine—it won’t cause any damage. To avoid streaks, aim to complete this task on days where there is at least some cloud coverage unless your windows are oriented away from the sun.
2. Use the Right Products
When you begin cleaning your new replacement windows, you’ll notice that it takes a lot less work than cleaning old windows. You can use a mild solution of warm water and detergent to softly scrub the glass before applying a cleaner. This will help you remove excess dirt or grime and reduce your risk of scratching or smudging in the process. A mixture of vinegar and water will help keep your glass clean and clear. A microfiber cloth can then be used to dry the windows without leaving behind unsightly streaks.
For tough stains, saturate a cloth or sponge with water and vinegar to target the area and gently remove the buildup. Hold it there for a moment before wiping away the grime. You can also use a soft brush to make this process easier.
To properly care for your replacement windows, never apply harsh chemicals or abrasive substances that could strip the finishing or scratch the glass. If you have any questions about the proper solutions for cleaning your window replacements, ask your professional installation company for recommendations.
3. Include Coating Care
Many replacement windows will have some type of coating to help protect the glass and reduce the amount of UV light that enters your home. Most often, this is Low-e window film. To properly care for the coating on your replacement windows, avoid using high-pressure washing mechanisms and always inspect the coating for signs of bubbling or discoloration. Damages to window coatings can affect their functionality, so it’s important to properly clean them for long-lasting benefits.
4. Don’t Neglect the Frames
Window frames are often overlooked during basic maintenance, but they’re one of the most important parts of keeping things functioning their best. This is especially true in regard to the window tracks. The tracks are the part of the system that the glass and frame slide against when you’re opening and closing the windows. They accumulate dirt and debris quickly and can contribute to problems. Homeowners who neglect window frames may experience problems opening and closing affected areas and their windows might get stuck in place. Due to the need for mild lubrication, tracks attract dirt, insects, dust, and debris. When not cleaned, these can accumulate and become harder to maintain.
Make sure that you include window frames in your ongoing care and maintenance. You can apply a non-abrasive cleaner to the tracks and use a toothbrush to scrub away dirt and grime. After cleaning and drying the area, apply lubricant to ensure that the window can be manipulated with ease. Oil-free lubricants are best, as they don’t promote the buildup of dust or grime as easily as oil-based products.
5. Clean the Window Screens
During your bi-annual window cleaning and maintenance checks, don’t forget to remove the window screens and clean them as well. Although difficult to notice at first, dirt and grime do, in fact, build up on the screens. This can cause expedited deterioration, allergen issues, and creates a foggy appearance for your windows. For the best option, remove your screens, place them on a flat surface, and inspect them prior to cleaning. Then, use a mixture of mild soap and water to clean the screens with a soft brush before rinsing and drying. To avoid mold or moisture damage, wait until the screens have dried completely to reinstall them.
6. Check Window Seals
Strong sealant or caulking around the base of your windows is important for reducing the risk of water damage and keeping your home stable. During your ongoing window care and maintenance, always check the condition of your seals. Look for any signs of cracks, holes, seams, or crevices that could be letting outside air in. While replacement windows should maintain a strong seal well after installation, even minor leaks can cause structural damages so it’s worth a quick look over. When left untreated, moisture can accumulate and cause rotting, which could lead to costly repairs.
While inspecting the seals, take note of the current state of your window fit. Older windows tend to warp and change in size or shape, causing the fit to be loose or drafty. Improper fits increase your energy bills and can make your home’s temperature difficult to regulate. If you notice your windows don’t fit well, it may be time to undergo a replacement.
7. Inspect for Damage
While you can clean your windows as often as you want, twice a year should be the minimum. During this time, conduct a thorough inspection for any signs of damage. This is one of the best ways to avoid costly repairs or further window replacements down the line. Small, easily fixable repairs can usually be done as a DIY project over the weekend, so tackle them as you notice them. If you’re not sure what to look for, or would rather outsource the cleaning altogether, hire a professional to clean and inspect your windows yearly.
Keeping your home in good condition requires ongoing maintenance and care, especially when it comes to your window treatments. If you notice your windows are deteriorating or you’re ready to improve the aesthetics of your home, contact the professionals at First Star Exteriors today. We work to replace, repair, and install any window needs by partnering with high-quality manufacturers and using premium products. With competitive rates and full transparency, we’ll help you find something that works best for your home. If you’re looking for an expert window company that you can trust, look no further than First Star Exteriors. With over 10 years of experience, we’re here to help you with all of your roofing, siding, window, and door needs. We offer fast turnarounds for quotes and services to make sure your needs are addressed in a timely manner. Contact us today and receive a free quote within 48 hours!