Pro Spring Cleaning Tips for Windows & Signs It’s Time for Window Replacement
Warmer weather in spring means it’s time to give your home a good once-over and clean things up. And windows are no exception. Not only do clean windows look better, improving your view of the outdoors and your home’s curb appeal, but they also perform better.
Dirt and debris can reduce the function and insulating quality of your windows over time by causing damage to the inserts, sashes, and tracks while allowing unwanted moisture and drafts in.
So this spring, follow these spring cleaning tips for windows and keep your eye out for window repair issues that might need window replacement.
Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need
Have these window cleaning supplies on hand to make your spring cleaning go smoothly:
- Cleaning solution, such as glass cleaner, soap and water, or a homemade solution—avoid using harsh chemicals that can erode your window materials;
- Clean rags, cloth towels, or microfiber cloths;
- Strong brushes;
- A squeegee;
- A leaf blower; and,
- A Shop Vac.
A leaf blower is strong enough to blow dirt out of the tracks and frames. But be sure to blow the dirt away from the rest of the window.
If you don’t have a leaf blower, don’t worry. A brush or a small attachment on a vacuum should do the trick.
How To Clean Your Windows Like The Pros
The best time to clean your windows is on a cool, cloudy day. If it’s hot and the sun is out beaming on your windows, the heat will dry the cleaning solution too quickly, leaving plenty of annoying streaks on the glass.
Before cleaning the glass, be sure to:
- Sweep dirt from the screen and window frame with a small brush, such one that comes with a dustpan or a vacuum’s dusting attachment;
- Remove the screens and open the windows;
- Use a soapy cloth to clean around the inside of the frame and the tracks for operable sashes. Also, clean and lubricate any hinges; and,
- Remove any adhesives or dried leaves from the window using a safety scraper or scrub sponge.
Start with cleaning the outside panes first. Since they will likely be dirtier than the inside panes, you may need more than one cleaning cloth.
- Spray the glass with a professional-grade glass cleaner.
- Wipe with a microfiber cloth in an “S” motion, not back and forth. This motion will prevent you from redepositing dirt.
- Wipe in a horizontal motion on the inside pane and a vertical motion on the outside pane. These opposing directions will make it easier for you to find and wipe away any streaks.
- When cleaning the inside tracks, wrap the cloth over a thin stick to get in the tracks, or use a large cotton swab. Wipe away any excess dirt with a clean wet cloth and allow the frame to dry completely.
If cleaning large windows with a squeegee, use a rectangular bucket and apply the glass cleaner with a scrub sleeve. Then place your squeegee at the bottom of the window pane and pull upward, framing the window. Wipe the squeegee dry after each pass to prevent streaking.
For hard-to-reach windows, use less cleaning solution and a telescopic pole.
Common Window Repair Issues
Here are common window repair issues to keep an eye out for when cleaning your windows this spring:
- Broken hardware;
- Damaged or missing caulking;
- Damaged screens;
- Outdated weather stripping;
- Warped frames; and,
Dealing With Drafty Windows
If your windows are drafty, here are some tips to help you reduce drafts while waiting for window replacement.
- Replace weather-stripping if worn out;
- Replace caulking if cracked;
- Re-align sashes if misaligned;
- Use draft snakes; and,
- Hang cellular shades and thick curtains, keeping them closed on cold days to keep the draft out.
Is It Time to Replace?
Here are some of the top signs that it’s time for window replacement:
- Windows are warped, damaged, or broken;
- Windows fog up and are drafty;
- Windows refuse to stay open or closed;
- Windows stick when trying to open or close;
- There is rotten wood in the frame and leaks and streaks on your walls—the seal around the window is broken;
- You’re giving your home a makeover—replacing outdated windows will upgrade your home’s appearance. And the style of your replacement windows should be based on your home’s new design. Consider installing larger windows for more natural light and windows that open to improve airflow in your home;
- You’re renovating a historic home, and your windows don’t match the architectural style of your home. The wrong style of windows can take away from the appearance of any home, but especially of historic homes. So opt for custom-made architectural windows to match your home’s style;
- You want to lower your energy bills—replacement windows, especially Energy Star-rated windows, will be more energy-efficient than your old windows, saving you on heating and cooling your home year-round;
- You want to sell your home—new windows are a big selling point for homebuyers, boosting your home’s curb appeal and property value.
Cleaning your windows can make a noticeable difference in the appearance and function of your windows. So carve some time out of your spring cleaning schedule to clean your windows, inspect for damage, and make the necessary window repairs or window replacements in time to enjoy your windows this spring.