Many people never give the longevity of their home windows a moment’s thought. Some simply wipe them down occasionally, while others don’t pay much attention to them at all. There are, however, some best practices that should be followed when it comes to regular window maintenance. In order to extend the life of your home windows, save money, and keep them in the best shape for the long term, our team suggests the following:
Inspect Your Windows Regularly
Take a closer look at your windows at least four times a year, preferably at least once each season. When looking closely at their condition, check for signs of mold and rot by probing hidden areas with a metal wire. Look for signs of moisture retention in double hung windows. Mist or condensation between the panes means the sealing has been compromised, which reduces insulation capacity. Look for gaps and sun damage in the lining, weather stripping, and other soft components. Any of these symptoms are signs that the window needs to be repaired as soon as possible.
Routine Cleaning for Your Windows
Wipe down your wooden windows with a damp cloth to remove dirt, dust, and debris. Be careful not to use too much water, otherwise mold may develop. Vinyl, aluminum, and new windows should be cleaned using a mild detergent and a low-abrasive scrubbing brush. All casings and nearby sections of wall should be cleaned as well, to minimize the amount of dirt buildup on the glass.
Keep up With the Paint
It’s a good idea to repaint any metal or wooden window frames every three or four years depending on the weather in your area. This will help to protect them from water, temperatures, wind, and debris while adding to the curb appeal of your home at the same time. Take care not to paint over any moving components, as this can seal your windows shut or compromise your view. Over-painted parts can be very hard to restore, so it’s important to tape off anything you don’t want painted before you start.
Tightly Seal Your Home Windows
Any gaps between your windows and the wall will allow outside air to seep into your home. This will only cost you money. Be sure to replace any rubber seals that are worn out to reduce moisture and the loss of air conditioning and heat from inside the home. Replacing rubber seals also helps to secure your windows and keep unwanted pests from finding their way indoors. Both spray foam and caulk insulation are great tools for sealing any gaps or leaks instantly and inexpensively.
Replace Broken or Damaged Parts
Any holes, cracks, or gaps should be fixed as soon as possible. The more you put off repair and maintenance, the worse the damage will become as the elements continue to wear away at exposed surfaces. This is especially true of sliding windows, which can have the biggest gaps when things start to go awry. If you identify a rotten spot of wood around your window, be sure to remove it and replace it as soon as possible. Be sure to seal any gaps and paint over the area with a weather sealant or a weatherproof paint. Several layers are recommended to obtain the best results. Let everything dry, then smooth it out, apply primer and paint the affected area.
Home Windows That Last a Lifetime
If you want home windows that last, it’s important to pay close attention and maintain them faithfully. This will improve the value of your home and offer great energy savings. With so many types—each with their own life expectancies and maintenance needs— be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations if you’re unsure how to proceed and use the expertise of our team at The Window Depot.