Window Maintenance

Proper window maintenance can save you a significant amount of time and money over the years. Routine maintenance can add years of use to their windows and can make more energy efficient. Up to 25% of a home’s heat can be lost through its windows, so making sure your windows are operating well and efficiently is important for your family’s comfort, as well as reduced energy bills. Come along as we explore routine cleaning, maintenance and repair tips.

“The key to proper window maintenance is to clean, inspect and repair problems before they get too serious. A little effort twice a year can keep them looking good for years to come and prevent costly issues from occurring in the first place.”

Window Maintenance Cleaning

Clean Twice A Year
You’ll want to clean the glass surface of the windows twice a year. This should be done with a window cleaning or ammonia solution and a soft lint-free cloth or squeegee. You can even use print-less newspaper for a streak free shine. You should also wipe down your frames and window sills with a general cleaner like an all-purpose Windex to keep them dirt and dust free. Finally, clean the window tracks of sliders to make sure there is no debris or excessive dirt which can impair the smooth sliding motion and cause them to not properly seal when shut.

Never use an abrasive such as a putty knife or razor blade that can mar or scratch the glass or frame surface. Avoid cleaners and solvents with a petroleum base, which can harm your panes of glass and components. For window tracks, use the soft bristled hand held attachment of the vaccum to get at debris. If you don’t have one of these, use a clean, dry paintbrush to brush out any dirt.

Window Maintenance Inspection

Inspect The Seals
Check the seals to make sure that they are still holding up and keeping the doors and windows as airtight as possible. Be sure to check that weepholes are not obstructed and that the weephole covers are not damaged. These are tiny holes within the frame, covered by baffles, which stop water from collecting within the window track. Click for additional terms related to your replacements.

Inspecting the seals on cold mornings can help you uncover whether there are any breaches in the sills. If it feels like there is excessive cold entering where the glass meets frame, you probably need to have them checked out. In warmer climates, check in the afternoon when there is more wind blowing on the windows.

Inspect The Weatherstripping
In order to ensure that the weatherstripping is doing what it is intended to do – keeping air and moisture out by creating a tight seal along the edge of the windows – it needs to be kept clean and in good shape. Eventually, weatherstripping starts to deteriorate and needs replacement to create the most efficient seal. A window repair specialist can do this for you, or you can pick up some replacement weatherstripping at a home improvement or hardware store and do it yourself.

Inspect The Hardware
Sometimes hardware starts to falter and requires repair or replacement. Things like sash locks, handles, rollers and glides should be checked to maek sure they are not loose, cracking or broken. Once a year, it is a good idea to lubricate the tracks, rollers and other hardware to keep it moving smoothly and efficiently.

Check The Screen
Window screens also often require minor repair. If there are holes in the screens, it is relatively easy to patch the holes or replace the screening within the frame yourself. There are products and kits that make this a relatively simple DIY project.

Window Maintenance Repair

Broken Or Cracked Windows
For example, if the glass is cracked or broken on any window, you should have an experienced glazier replace the glass. For more information, see our article on replacement windows installation.

Improper Alignment
Make sure that the windows don’t shift out of place when they move. If your windows aren’t properly aligned, eventually you will damage the frame, tracks or glass. Lubricating can take care of the problem. Warped frames are much more serious and you will probably have to bring in an installer to take a look.

Excessive Condensation
If you find occassional light condensation on your windows, it is an indication that there is excessive humidity levels in your home, which could be caused by a number of factors (boiling water in the kitchen, taking a shower, washers and dryers, etc). However, if significant condensation occurs often, it may be due to poor or leaky seals. This is a good indication that your window seals need to be replaced or more probably that it may be time to replace your windows with more energy efficient models. Replacing window seals is typically best left to a professional installer or handyman.

Related Topics

Window Cost Estimator
Replacement Windows Cost
Installation Cost