How to Properly Maintain Your Windows

Regular home maintenance increases your home’s value and keeps your family safe. Unfortunately, windows are often overlooked during general home maintenance. Here, the window experts at Forbes Design Center explain best practices for maintaining your windows.

Keeping Windows Clean

Washing windows regularly allows for enhanced viewing, more natural lighting and a longer window lifespan. Generously apply glass cleaning solution to the pane, and scrub with a clean, lint-free towel or cloth. For an inexpensive, streak-free clean, try one part vinegar to ten parts water, combined in a spray bottle. Wipe until almost dry, and allow windows to dry fully with an even coat of moisture remaining to prevent streaks.

Windows that are Low-E coated can be cleaned like regular glass, but it is important to never use steel wool, a squeegee or razor blade on Low-E coated windows, as it will damage the protective film and leave potentially irremovable marks. For tougher stains, use acetone with a clean, lint-free towel.

Wooden window frames should be dusted and wiped down with a slightly damp cloth—too much moisture can cause mold, mildew and wood rot. Vinyl or aluminum window frames can handle more intense treatment, and a mild detergent with a scrubbing brush can be used.

Window tracks should be regularly cleaned as well, as dust, dirt, insects and spider webs can get caught there. Canned air can assist in removing buildup from tight corners, and a damp rag will remove heavier buildup.

Checking for Damage

There are many elements to a window that should be inspected at the turn of each season. These include the window frame, sash, panes, casing and weather stripping. Inspect each for cracks, gaps, warping and other damage. For wooden window frames, use a metal probe to inspect for signs of rot—rotting frames should be replaced immediately, or stripped of rot and repaired with epoxy putty.

Sealing Gaps

Gaps around your window lessen the energy efficiency of your home, costing you money. Any worn rubber seals should be replaced as needed. For gaps between the window casing and wall, a spray insulation or caulk can be used to close them up.

Painting Window Frames

Most wooden and metal window frames will need to be repainted every three to four years. This helps maintain their appearance and protect the frame from harsh weather. Always be sure to clean the frame thoroughly before painting, and take care to not paint over a shut window or moving parts—the window may become sealed shut.

Replacing Broken Parts

All the various parts of your windows work in tandem to create a functioning unit—when one piece is broken, the integrity of the entire window is at risk. Replacing broken parts as soon as they are damaged will not only improve the appearance and safety of the window, but help prevent air, moisture, debris and other things from causing more damage to it.

Contacting a Window Specialist

The window specialists at Forbes Design Center want your windows to stay beautiful, strong and secure for years to come. If your windows require repair, maintenance or replacement, we are here to help you—contact us for more information, or to schedule a free consultation.