Windows are an investment for homeowners. When you purchase new or replacement windows it makes sense that you want them to last as long as possible and perform at their peak, too. Maintaining exceptional window performance isn’t only about the windows you choose. How you care for and maintain your windows after they are installed can play a major part in how your windows perform over time. Read on to discover the best window care and maintenance tips for increasing your windows’ performance and extending their lifespan.
Clean Windows and Frames Regularly
Cleaning windows and their frames may not be your favorite household chore, but if you want to ensure your windows perform at their peak for as long as possible, it is a necessary one. Not only does regular cleaning keep your windows looking their best, it also can help minimize condensation, eliminate dirt and dust buildup, and prevent premature erosion.
Proper Coating Care
For windows that have energy efficient coatings like Low-E, it’s important to clean with non-abrasive cleaners and inspect the integrity of the coating when you do your annual window inspection. Because Low-E and other coatings are responsible for reflecting UV rays, proper coating care is essential for window performance. Use warm water with soap and a damp sponge or, for particularly dirty windows, you can opt for a 20% vinegar solution to help loosen stuck-on grime. Once clean, wipe dry gently with a soft towel.
Coastal Homes Require Extra Care
Homeowners near the ocean have an additional level of care to consider. Salt spray can be extremely corrosive to many materials including the most common window frame choices: wood, fiberglass, and vinyl. If you live in an area where salt spray is common, you should amp up your cleaning routine, aiming to thoroughly clean your windows at least four times a year to remove salt buildup before it can cause damage.
Maintain Window Track Cleanliness for Better Performance
Cleaning your window tracks regularly is one of the most impactful choices you can make as a homeowner when it comes to maintaining exceptional window performance. If you’re having issues with your windows opening or closing, there’s a good chance you’ve been neglecting window track care. Window tracks can be magnets for dust, debris, and even dead insects, and because they are the main movement component of the window, a jammed or dirty window track can decrease window performance, fast.
Simply grab a few Q-Tips and use vinegar to clean out the tracks every three or so months and you should be good to go. However, if you still notice performance issues with your windows after this, it might be time to add lubricant. Avoid common lubricators like WD-40 as these can actually cause additional gumming and make the operational issues worse. Instead, opt for a silicone-based lubricant to get things moving smoothly again.
Window Screen Integrity Impacts Window Performance
Caring for your window screens can also impact the performance of your windows and your ability to utilize them to bring fresh air into your home as you wish. Whenever you complete routine window cleaning, take a look at your window screens as well. Look for any noticeable rusted spots, any cracks or tears in the screen material, or any warping of the screen’s frame. If you spot any of these, it may be time for a screen replacement.
With the proper technical knowledge and skills, you may be able to do minor repairs on the screen itself, but improper repairs can do more damage to your window performance in the long run, so we recommend calling up your local Pella pros to handle any obvious defects in your window’s screens.
Closely Inspect Windows Annually
Each year, homeowners should take the time to inspect every window in their home for structural integrity, fit, and dust and debris buildup. Ideally, if you’ve been on top of your routine cleanings, the dust and debris will be a non-issue. However, optimal window performance relies on all components of the window remaining in solid condition. Inspect hardware, operable elements, frames, and fit closely. Feel for any drafts and inspect the area around the window frame for any light coming through where it shouldn’t be.
Keep a Close Eye on Window Seals
Drafts and light filtering through where it shouldn’t are both indicators of a deteriorating or improper window seal. An improper window seal will quickly tank your window’s performance. A primary function of a window performing optimally is to keep the elements out of your home while still allowing natural light into it. However, when a seal is damaged, broken, or not properly cared for, the elements have a way of getting in.
If you notice any issues with your window’s seal (or any other window damage), get in touch with professionals sooner rather than later. Window damage only gets worse the longer it’s left unrepaired, and worsening window damage will only serve to further deteriorate performance over time.
Choose Pella Windows for Excellent Performance and Lifespan
Starting with a quality product goes a long way in making optimal window performance maintenance easier. That’s why the pros at Pella are so passionate about the quality that goes into the materials, construction, installation, and repair of your windows. Want to learn more about how Pella can help optimize your home’s window performance? Request a free consultation today.