If you have just gotten new windows, you are probably wondering what you need to do to take care of them. Window maintenance is essential for keeping your windows efficient, safe, and beautiful, and it will ensure that your windows last as long as possible, so you get the most out of your investment. Here are some essential window care tips that every homeowner needs to know.
1. Inspect your windows annually
An annual home check-up is a crucial part of preventative home maintenance. Minor problems can turn into major problems if not addressed, so you should examine your windows closely and identify any imperfections. Be sure to regularly check for leaks and improper drainage above or around vents and sprinkler systems that may subject your windows and patio doors to prolonged water exposure.
2. Pay close attention to caulking
The sealant or caulking of your windows or patio doors ensures that the windows and doors are water tight. If any of the sealant is cracked, broken, or missing, it needs to be fixed immediately. Small cracks can let in water, and even minor leaks cause permanent damage. Pay close attention to the sealant at the bottom corners of windows and in between windows.
3. Take note of imperfections in the wood finish
Carefully inspect both the interior and exterior finish for corrosion, peeling and/or cracking. The wood finish or paint does not just keep the windows looking nice, it also protects the windows from getting damaged by the elements. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage the finish and compromise this protection. If a wood refresh is needed, contact a window professional for advice.
4. Clean and lubricate tracks regularly
To keep your windows opening and closing smoothly, you should regularly clean the tracks with a dry brush. If there is any grime that cannot be cleaned with a dry brush, you can use soap and water. The same goes for sliding glass doors. You don't want dirt and debris to build up in your window or sliding door tracks. It will make the windows and doors more prone to getting stuck, and it will make them look dirty and unattractive. Regularly cleaning away dirt and debris can prevent these problems.
Another way you can keep your windows opening and closing smoothly is to apply some oil-free lubricant to the weatherstripping. Teflon® Dry Lubricant or Gulf Wax® works well, and it's available at most home improvement stores. Do not try to use an oily lubricant because it will attract dust and grime, which make the window more difficult to open and close.
5. If you live near the ocean, take extra precautions
If you live near the ocean, you will need to inspect your windows more frequently. Salt spray is extremely corrosive to many materials, including the materials that make up windows and doors. You are more likely to see greater wear and tear on your windows and doors if you live in close proximity to the ocean. In addition to inspecting your windows more regularly, you should use mild detergent and water to clean away salt build-up at least four times a year. If you allow salt spray to build up on your windows, they could be more prone to damage.
Cleaning and lubricating your windows are things that you can and should do yourself. But if there is damage to the caulking, the wood needs to be refinished, or any other part of the window needs to be repaired, you should call a window professional, as trying to execute the repair yourself could result in further damage to the windows.