The small details at home, just like the windows make a big impact on the overall outlook and comfort. It is a good measure to keep them looking clean and maintain longevity. If the window is in an area which is exposed to strong winds, dust, and is also closer to the ground level, then the frequency of cleaning them and the cost of maintenance will be higher.
When we plan to get a certain design or material for having a window, we generally want to keep the same for a long duration. Windows and doors of a house are not changed frequently and are made to last until it starts ripping off. Cleaning and lubricating the nuts and bolts are important to avoid any creaking sound or rust.
The more importance you give to keeping the windows well maintained the better will be the appearance of your home as well as the security. Wanting a good looking house and getting it is simple, but maintaining is the tricky part.
So, let’s delve into some simple DIY project tips that are inexpensive, fun and simple to keep the windows working just fine!
Basic Window Maintenance Tasks
Table of Contents
- Basic Window Maintenance Tasks
1. Cleaning the Windows
If you have wooden windows then wipe them with some dry clothing. Avoid using any wet material to wipe them as moisture from the material will lead to rotting of the windows and the wooden finishing is likely to get destroyed.
In the case of vinyl or fiberglass windows, you can just simply wipe them with a soft brush, some mild cleanser, and warm water. Their maintenance is pretty simple in comparison to wooden windows. A glass cleaner is always a good option to add in some glossy finish to the fiberglass windows.
While you can find special cleaners in the market for windows with aluminum frames, always remember to wipe from top to bottom to prevent dirt digging into the cleaner portions. After wiping the frame with a damp cloth, follow it up with a dry cloth to ensure that there are no water stains
Do not use any abrasive cleanser or any type of chemical solvents to clean your windows, as they tend to damage and scratch the surface material. It will eventually result in the loss of shine and luster of the window.
2. Ensure that the Rubber Sealing is in Place
The different weather conditions, especially rain and sunlight take a toll on the window frames. Similarly, in areas where the temperature drops below the freezing point; ice is formed behind the rubber sealing resulting in some great amount of damage.
If gaps are formed around the window, then it will lead to the air from outside coming in and vice versa. Caulk or rubber-foam insulation can be used to fix the gaps. As it will temporarily fix any sort of leakage whether it is water or air.
The heating or cooling equipment will end up being of no use with an increase in energy costs, if there are gaps between the rubber sealing and the window rims.
3. Re-painting or Stain
It is advisable to re-paint the wooden windows and frames quite frequently, as the paint or stain begins to peel or chip away. If you’re living closer to the beach or any place that is exposed to strong winds and direct sunlight, then the paint will degrade faster. Painting them helps to protect it from different elements and improve their appearance.
Painting wooden windows ensure that the wood will last for a longer duration as the paint will seal out the moisture. Avoid painting the moving components like the ridges or the pivot bars,and keep the windows open till the paint has dried. Ensure that you clean the surface of the material well before you begin to paint.
4. Install Storm Windows
These are generally installed on top of the primary house windows. It provides protection from strong winds and acts as an insulator for harsh weather conditions. Storm windows help to make the house warmer, by reducing airflow with better insulation.
A substantial amount of energy costs can be saved, and it also comes with excellent durability.
Installing storm windows is a good option if you are on a tight budget and you cannot replace your old windows. However, you can also improve the efficiency of energy at home by getting the old windows replaced with new ones. You can select either of the options depending on your situation in hand. In the end, both will help in protecting your home which is essential.
5. Maintain the Moving Components
Wooden windows commonly have the moving parts and lubricating and cleaning occasionally will definitely make them last longer. It is important to lubricate the contact point of the windows before the onset of summer and winter. This helps to protect them from the harsh weather conditions. You can also use a silicone spray on the tracks whenever they are getting difficult to operate.
Depending on the area of your home, the cleaning frequency can be determined. For homes that are prevalent to strong winds, dust, or sand will require more care and cleaning.
Do not try to loosen any of the screws or disassemble the window parts in the process of cleaning or lubricating them. It can hamper the warranty period.
Always ensure that silicone lubricant is being used and wear gloves while using these products. It helps to prevent any type of burns or rashes that might occur when your skin comes in direct contact with the lubricant.
6. Attend to the Damaged Parts
As you notice the occurrence of any damage on your windows, try fixing them immediately before the problem gets severe. It can reduce your energy costs to a great extent. To prevent any cuts you need to either replace or repair the cracked or broken windowpane.
Taking a quick step to repair the holes or cracks in the windows, to avoid further deterioration. If you do identify a rotten section on your window then follow the steps given below:
- Use a screwdriver to remove the bad wood
- Fill in the gaps with epoxy putty, make sure to use several layers of it
- As the putty has completely dried then use sandpaper to smoothen the area.
- In the final step, apply your primer and paint to give it a good finish.
7. Maintaining Window Screens
Just like how we need to take care of our window panes, the same attention should be given to the window screens. You need to clean the screens on a regular basis, to remove the dirt and dust that usually build up over time.
The spline which is used to hold the screen should be checked for damage, while the screen should be inspected for holes or tears. Depending on the damage that is present, you should consider repairing or replacing them. For a better fitting window screen, you can opt for the screen frames with heavier gauge.
Window screens can be cleaned by either dusting, vacuuming or by using compressed air methods. With regular cleaning of these screens, the appearance of your room will also improve.
8. Replacing Windows
Wooden windows can last up to 20 years or more if they are maintained well and re-painted frequently to avoid contact with moisture.
The new designs and materials of PVCu windows tend to make the place more attractive, quieter and are less expensive, as compared to the timber windows. It is also an expensive option to consider, with plenty of beneficial features.
Windows with a good style and design can be an added benefit to the overall appearance of the home. For example; if you are planning to design a contemporary or a one-level building, vertical and narrow windows are a great option. While the same design will tend to appear odd in an old cottage with stone walls.
While you are trying to renovate an old house, there are many types of windows that you cannot put as it destroys the look of the house. There are designs that manufacturers can possibly replicate to a certain extent, but we cannot expect to have wooden grain replaced with PVCu and still look the same.
The common comparison done by shoppers these days are between a PVCu window and a timber window. A PVCu window also known as PVCu window is the cheapest of the lot and it can be easily maintained. But it does not look that good, while it reduces the value of old homes and can be difficult to repair when damaged.
In contrast to that, a timber window provides more warmth, improves the appearance of traditional homes. If there is any negative aspect then the dominant one is repainting that needs to be done to improve its tactility and beauty.
9. Maintaining the PVCu Windows
Profile painting is not even an option for these windows, and the only option you’re left with is profile wrapping if you want colored profiles. While, cleaning these windows, avoid using any products with ammonia, especially on the handle and the different metal filaments.
If you have a double glazed PVCu window, then dealing with problems of water being stored between the glass is common.
The drainage channels should be checked regularly for blockage. The problem that usually arises is higher water retention being caused due to improper drainage, resulting in high thermal pressure.
PVCu windows have small parts such as the hinge, liver, and spring which tend to move a lot. For making them last longer, you need to take proper care as they are easily prone to breakage. If the smaller parts of the window are not looked into, then you might have to deal with serious problems later.
10. Insulate Your Windows
Regular inspection of your windows for rot or any possibility of moisture infiltration is important. Use a metal rod for this process to check that the insulation capacity is maintained.
In double or triple-pane windows, the seam might need to be replaced when there are signs of moisture present. If there are gaps present between the wall and the window casing then fill it up with caulk.
About half the energy costs arise due to heating and cooling purposes, while poor insulation is a contributing factor.
Most of the heat at home is lost from the bottom of the windows that have gaps that cannot be fixed with caulk. However, the gaps and cracks around the windows should be checked, and you need to remove the old caulk if it does not help to fix the problem of the air passage. It should be replaced with a weather-proof silicone-based caulk, then use a scraper to smoothen it out.
A silicone-based caulk offers good flexibility, adhesion, and durability. It is a better option when compared to latex caulk, polyurethane caulk, and hybrid caulk. Areas that are highly exposed to sunlight and moisture should be fixed by using silicone caulk.
You can also solve this issue by getting a bottom window seal, that can be fixed into place. A stick and seal weatherstripping is also an option; run your hand along with the seal while you are placing them to ensure that it is secured just along the rims. If this is done carefully, then there will be no air passage from either side.
Taking these essential tips, will reduce your utility bills while improving the appearance of the windows to a great extent. Make a good plan of fixing and maintaining all the windows at home regularly. Taking these preventive measures can prevent you from getting overwhelmed when the problem arises in a bulk.
Use these tips in accordance with the problem faced by you. This project can start by taking care of one window at a time. Move at your own pace, but protect your windows, as you are now aware of the several benefits that it can yield.