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The Ultimate Guide to Extending the Lifespan of Your Windows and Doors

Caring for Windows and Doors
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Like any other aspect of your living space, your windows and doors need annual routine maintenance to ensure they perform optimally and last for years to come. These vital elements protect your home from external elements and enhance its security. By sticking to a consistent maintenance schedule, you can ensure the longevity of your windows and doors and catch any potential issues before they become significant problems. In addition, regular inspections, cleaning, and lubrication are crucial to maintaining their optimal condition.

This guide covers everything you need to know about window and door maintenance, including essential tips and tricks and expert advice. Let's embark on this journey together to ensure that your windows and doors are well taken care of and operate efficiently.

Cleaning windows, frames, and glass can be easy with the proper tools and techniques. Here's a step-by-step guide to effectively clean both:

Tools and Materials Needed:

  1. Mild dish soap or window cleaner
  2. White vinegar (optional)
  3. Water
  4. Microfiber cloth or sponge
  5. Squeegee
  6. Lint-free cloth
  7. Bucket or spray bottle

Cleaning Window and Patio Door Glass and Frames:

Gather Supplies: Keeping your window and door cleaning supplies in one easily accessible place is an efficient way to clean. Investing in a wearable cleaning caddy or one with a handle for easy transportation makes cleaning a breeze and less stressful. It's also important to keep a supply list so that when it's time to clean your windows or doors, you have everything you need to begin without running to the store in the middle of cleaning.

Glass and Frame Cleaning:

  1. Maintain the pristine beauty of your window and patio door glass with a gentle cleaning approach.
  2. Avoid using abrasive or acidic cleaners when cleaning the frame, as they may cause permanent damage to the finish. Always test any cleaning products in an inconspicuous area before using them on the whole frame. Once finished, make sure to wipe the frame dry.
  3. Use a soft cloth or sponge with a mild soap and water solution to effortlessly banish dirt and grime from the glass and the frames.
  4. Avoid harsh chemicals and ammonia, which can leave huge streaks across the glass. Harsh chemicals like ammonia can harm the cleanliness and appearance of your windows and patio door glass. When used, they often leave behind noticeable streaks that not only compromise the visual appeal of your windows but also make them look unclean despite your best efforts.
  5. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down the frames, tracks, and other areas where the cleaning solution may have dripped.
  6. Inspect windows and doors from different angles to ensure they're clean and streak-free. Touch up any missed spots.

Caring for your Windows and Doors:

Remove Dust and Debris: Once a month or so, vacuum the tracks on all sliding patio doors and windows with a dry microfiber cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove any loose dust, dirt, or cobwebs from the window frame and surrounding areas.

Regular Inspections: During inspections, it is important to check the windows and doors for cracks, gaps, or rotting wood in their frames and jambs. Additionally, inspect the hardware, such as hinges, handles, and locks, for any damages or looseness. It's crucial to address any minor issues as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming costly problems.

Lubricate Moving Parts: Regular lubrication is essential for maintaining the smooth operation of windows and doors with moving parts such as hinges, tracks, and rollers. Silicone-based lubricants are recommended to prevent stiffness or sticking and reduce friction. Avoid petroleum-based products as they tend to attract dirt. It is advisable to lubricate the hardware once a year, but in areas with high salt air, biannual maintenance is vital for optimal performance.

Check Seals and Weatherstripping: Proper sealing is essential for energy efficiency and weather protection. Inspect the seals and weatherstripping around windows and doors for any signs of wear or damage. Replace worn-out or damaged seals to prevent drafts, moisture intrusion, and energy loss. Proper sealing also helps reduce noise transmission from the outdoors.

Protect from Harsh Weather: Extreme weather conditions have the potential to cause damage to windows and doors. It is crucial to take proactive measures to protect them during severe weather events such as heavy rainfall, wind storms, or extreme temperatures. You can install storm shutters or impact-resistant glass to safeguard against wind and debris. Additionally, weatherproofing treatments can be applied to enhance durability and resistance to moisture damage. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your windows and doors remain safe and functional during extreme weather conditions.

Trim Surrounding Vegetation: Trim back vegetation and foliage around windows and doors to prevent them from obstructing the openings or causing damage. Overgrown bushes or trees can impede proper ventilation and access and allow pests and insects to enter your home.

Maintain Proper Operation:

  1. Ensure all windows and doors open, close, and lock correctly.
  2. Tighten loose screws or hinges, and adjust any misaligned components to maintain proper alignment.
  3. Replace any damaged or malfunctioning hardware to ensure smooth operation and security.

Periodically Inspect Weep System: Maintaining the weep system in your windows and patio doors is crucial for preventing water damage and ensuring optimal performance. Start by regularly inspecting the weep holes and drainage channels on the exterior bottom rails. Clear any blockages using a soft brush or tool to remove dirt, debris, or other obstructions. Keep the surrounding areas clean and free from materials that could impede drainage. The best time to inspect and clean weep holes is before a big storm.

Maintaining the windows and doors of your home is essential not only for aesthetic reasons but also for their longevity and functionality. By following the proper maintenance steps outlined in this blog, including regular cleaning, lubrication, and inspection, you can ensure that your windows and doors continue to enhance the beauty and comfort of your living space for years to come. Remember, a little effort invested in maintenance now can save you time and money on costly repairs or replacements in the future.

If you need replacement windows, doors, or for a new construction home, contact Chriswell Home Improvements today for a free in-home estimate.

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