Professional Care Tips For the Long-Awaited Winter Thaw
Following the long winter, your windows and doors can use some spring cleaning. This is also a good time to check for winter damage.
If any repairs or replacements are needed, you can get them out of the way early to ensure your windows and doors are in good shape for longer.
When cleaning and repairing windows and doors, always wear protective gear for your hands and face. And if you have to climb a ladder, make sure you have someone with you to hold the ladder steady at the bottom.
Consider the following tips to keep your windows and doors in great condition during spring cleaning.
Check the Exterior Materials
It all starts with the exterior! This is, of course, the side that takes the greatest beating. Here’s what you need to look for:
- Inspect the paint and caulking around the exterior of your windows and doors. Check for cracks and breaks.
- If the caulking is damaged or missing, remove and replace it so you can ensure a watertight seal and prevent future water damage to your home.
- If you notice scratches on the frames or peeling paint, use matching paint and paint pens to make your windows and doors look new again.
- For any other damage to the exterior, contact your local window and door manufacturers for repairs and replacements.
- Check the weep holes on both the inside and outside of your windows and doors. They must be clear of dirt and debris to allow for proper drainage.
Clean windows, doors, and frames with a soft cloth, mild soap and water, or a glass cleaner that isn’t caustic or abrasive. Rinse well with clear water and wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth. Do not clean glass when it is exposed to direct sunlight.
Check the Hardware
Warm weather is the best time to check window and door hardware.
- Inspect all the hardware and test to see if it operates well—by opening, closing, locking, and unlocking.
- Check that latches, locks, hinges, seals, tracks, rollers, operator arms, and handles are all working well and in good condition.
- Clean hardware with mild soap and water.
- Lubricate the hardware at least once a year to prevent wear on hardware gears.
- Use lithium grease, automotive grease, or petroleum jelly to lubricate the rotary drive hardware.
- Use silicon-based lubricants to lubricate the hinges and rollers.
- Check all hinges for damage and tightness of fasteners every six months.
Even though it’s protected from direct exposure to the elements, the interior needs some TLC, too:
- Vacuum the frames, sill, and track areas, and use a small, soft brush to loosen any dirt or dust.
- Open the windows to clean the inside of the frames with mild soap and warm water.
- Clean the edges of the sashes.
- Clean window glass with gentle glass cleaner, mild soap and water, and soft cloths. Abrasive cleaners, such as vinegar, alcohol-, or ammonia-based cleaners could damage the finish and glass.
Don’t skip the screens!
- If you stored your screens for the winter, take them out and get them ready for installation.
- Inspect screens for damage, and repair or replace before the summer insects start coming out.
- To clean screens, lay them on a flat surface and wash with mild soap, water, and a soft brush. Rinse well and wipe or air dry.
Enjoy the warmer weather with clean, functioning windows and doors that will let the breeze and sunshine in and keep the bugs out this spring.