Replacing or upgrading your windows is almost always a sound investment strategy. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to improve your home’s value. Once those new windows are installed, keep them in tip-top shape with our expert advice on how to care for your windows.
- Keep ‘em clean: Wash your windows with a soft, lint-free cloth a few times per year or whenever they look grimy or dirty. Wipe your windows first with a soft, clean, dry cloth to remove excess debris. Then, using a cleaner specially formulated for windows (or a vinegar-water mixture if prefer an all-natural solution), spray the windows and wipe in a circular motion until clean. Don’t overdo it on the solution and be sure to wipe up any excess right away: cleaner that settles into the window seals can weaken them over time. Always clean your windows on a cloudy day, and never in direct sunlight, which can cause streaks. Many double-hung windows can be tilted in so that you can easily (and safely) clean the exterior surfaces from the inside of your home. Check your windows’ manual or manufacturer for specific instructions on how to access your windows for cleaning. Got grilles? If they aren’t sandwiched between the panes, you’ll want to remove them prior to cleaning. Again, refer to your manufacturer’s instructions for how to properly remove them. If the grilles themselves are dirty, you can clean them with a mild detergent solution and a soft cloth. If you can’t access your windows from inside your home and you’re not sure how to clean the windows safely, contact a professional window cleaner.
- Maintain those screens: To keep insect screens in good shape, be sure to remove and store them indoors when they aren’t in use (typically in the colder months). Not only will you extend your screens’ useful life, your home will also benefit from increased solar heat gain during the winter, when every little bit helps! You can clear them of dirt and debris using your vacuum’s upholstery attachment or, if your screens are extra-grimy or greasy, you can scrub them using hot, soapy water and a sponge. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly with a gentle spray from your garden hose thoroughly once they are clean. Need to replace or repair your screens? Many home-improvement stores offer a variety of tools and supplies for repairing small holes or even replacing entire screens. Need entirely new screens? Depending on window type and brand, you may be able to buy them off the shelf or you may need to purchase screens from the manufacturer that specifically made for your windows.
- Tackle tracks and sills: Once you remove your screens, this is a perfect time to clean the sills and tracks. In many homes, these are the dirtiest window parts—and the toughest to clean. So, how do you care for your windows’ filthiest components properly? Fortunately, if you maintain these areas regularly (at least once a month!), it’s much easier to keep ‘em looking good. First, vacuum up any loose dirt and debris, then pair a soft cloth or soft, old toothbrush with mild cleaner and scrub in all the nooks and crannies. Be sure to rinse the surfaces with a clean, water-dampened cloth afterward. As always, if you aren’t sure how to clean window parts safely or properly, contact a professional window cleaner and/or consult your windows’ manufacturer.
- Weatherproofing your windows: your windows can only do their best if their components are all intact and working properly. Every fall, take the time to carefully inspect your windows for any damage, taking note of any visible issues. Run your hand over the frame to detect any drafts, which usually means that cold air is seeping through. If you find any areas of concern, contact your window installer or manufacturer to determine whether the issue is covered under warranty. Want to upgrade the weatherproofing on your windows with caulk, spray insulation, or window film? Consult your manufacturer for the most appropriate weatherproofing products for your windows.
When maintaining and cleaning your windows, always avoid abrasive cleaners and aggressive tools such as razor blades or stiff brushes. Never clean your windows or their components with a power-washer. These products may damage your windows, compromise their seals, and even void your product warranties. And remember, when in doubt, always consult the manufacturer on how to clean and care for your windows.
Tired of maintaining your old, drafty windows? Ready to give your home’s value a boost? Give George J Keller and Sons, LLC a call today at 973-927-0963 and we’ll give you a free quote on state-of-the-art replacement windows from leading manufacturers like Andersen!