Whether you recently installed new windows and are thinking of all the ways you can keep them looking “good as new” forever, or you want to optimize the performance of your old windows — regular window maintenance is a great place to start.
Follow these cleaning, care, and maintenance tips to keep your windows at the top of their game for as long as possible.
Window Cleaning Tips for Optimal Performance
1. Clean Windows Regularly
Your windows and frames should be cleaned at least twice a year, during the fall and spring, to remove dirt, dust, and grime. Usually, a gentle scrub with warm water, dish soap, and a microfiber cloth should do the trick on both the glass and frames.
If needed, you can use a vinegar-based solution to remove tough stains on the glass (but not the frames, because vinegar could damage the finish).
2. Look Closely for Damage
While cleaning your windows, look closely for chipped or cracked glass, loose frames, or broken seals. Any cracks, gaps, or chips can cause costly issues, so it is important to address them as soon as possible by calling a professional contractor.
Your window contractor will be able to repair and extend the lifespan of your windows. If your windows are damaged beyond repair, this may be the perfect opportunity to invest in beautiful, energy-efficient replacement windows.
3. Fill in Window Caulking
When looking for window damage, pay extra attention to your caulking — the “rubbery” seal between the joints in the frame and the joint between the frame and the wall.
Caulking is crucial to protect your window from air and water leaks, keeping unwanted drafts and moisture out of your home. When the caulk is cracked, chipped, or missing, your home becomes more vulnerable to high energy bills and moisture damage.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to touch up caulking when needed. If you like, you can always contact a professional contractor to ensure the job is done right.
4. Maintain Window Tracks
Many homeowners clean their windows regularly, but they totally neglect the window tracks. However, this is a big mistake!
Window tracks — just like glass panes — accumulate dirt and dust, but the grime inhibits the window from working correctly and causes it to become jammed.
When you clean your windows, use a dry brush to remove the dirt, dust bunnies, and dead bugs accumulated in the tracks. If your windows are still challenging to open and close, use a silicone-based lubricant to ensure they can easily slide up, down, left, and right.
5. Invest in Storm Windows
Storm windows offer several unique benefits for homeowners — they cut down on energy costs, reduce outdoor noise, and can increase a home’s value. However, most importantly, they can protect existing windows from damage!
If you live in an area prone to violent storms, from blizzards to hurricanes, exterior storm windows can protect your windows from fluctuating temperatures, wind-driven rain, and flying debris. This protective barrier keeps your windows in great shape for longer — and can also reduce regular maintenance costs.
6. Open and Close Windows Carefully
As a cautious and proactive homeowner, you likely already operate your windows with care. However, if you live with young children, teenagers, or others who may be handling your windows with neglect — remind them to open and close windows gently.
Extreme force can cause your windows to chip or crack, which may require the entire pane of glass to be replaced. If something feels jammed or “off,” instead of using force, look for what may be causing the issue. If you cannot identify the problem, call a professional contractor to look at the window in question.
7. Keep Hardware in Great Shape
Window hardware is for more than just looks. These small handles, locks, and hinges have a direct impact on the performance and safety of your window system.
Of course, you’ll want to keep your hardware polished. But you should also check for pieces of hardware that are sticking, jamming, or inhibiting your windows from opening or closing. Usually, some lubricant will do the trick to get your hardware working again, but replacement hardware may be necessary if it becomes a frequent problem.
Start Fresh with New Pella Windows from JD Hostetter & Associates
Hopefully, if you keep up with these maintenance and care tasks for your windows, they will perform well for decades to come! However, if you have neglected your windows for a while and they are too “far gone” to salvage, it may be time to start fresh with replacement windows.
JD Hostetter & Associates installs beautiful, energy-efficient, high-quality Pella Windows® for Indianapolis homeowners. These low-maintenance windows offer stress-free performance and gorgeous curb appeal — what more could you ask for?
Learn more about our window replacement services, and reach out for a free estimate if you are interested in new windows for your home!