10 Tips to Keep your Windows Working in top condition. From WindowFix.ca
As winter approaches, it is important to ensure that your windows are working properly in your home. Please call us or email by clicking here if you are having any issues. We can help.
When the windows in our home are not functioning properly, it can have adverse affects on many levels, whether it is air or water leaking, wood rot, mold, danger of broken glass, or other safety issues. When a lock stops working, or a window will not close due to broken hardware, our houses are no longer secure. Here are some tips to keep your windows in top condition so that you can have them for a very long time.
Keep your windows clean. The glass requires cleaning to keep it in the best shape, reduce scratching, and look nicer from inside and out. When cleaning your windows, don’t neglect the trim and inside channels of any operating windows. Use a vacuum to remove dust from the base and sides of windows that move up and down, or crank out. (Do NOT attempt to re-lubricate your cranking mechanism, it is factory lubricated with a special product to last its lifetime, other products can degrade this grease and have adverse affects on its operation). Remove your screens in the fall and inspect for any areas that require repair or rescreening. Wash the screens with water and a gentle brush, dry and store for the winter. Keeping all areas clean will reduce wear and tear on the hardware and give you many years of use.
Deal with foggy glass right away. If the window panes have fog in between them, this is an issue that has arisen because the thermal seal between the panes, on the perimeter, has failed. While this will not affect the use of the window on a large scale, it can affect your homes R-Value, or insulation value and increase heating and cooling costs. There is no way to “repair” this fog, as the only way to ensure that your thermal seal is secure on the whole window, is to have a new double paned thermal glass installed back into the window. If you have this condensation, email us today to get a free estimate to replace the glass.
Watch for winter ice buildup inside. If you are experiencing ice and moisture buildup on the inside of your windows on the extremely cold days in the winter, this is caused by lack of ventilation around the window, and high humidity in the home, or in the area around the window. Excessive moisture can cause mold on your windows and in your home, and should be avoided. The most common causes of this are:
California Shutters left closed on extremely cold days.
Curtains on the windows in question. These should be opened up to allow the air to flow in front of the window.
Humidity too high in the home. Reduce the humidity on your humidifier to 40% or less if you can for these extreme cold days. Placing a fan in the area near the windows will also help to clear up the moisture. Clean off the windows, gently chip away any ice, and dry off with a soft cloth.
Always lock windows in proper closed position every time you close them. Leaving an operating window slightly open for any length of time will encourage it to reshape into that position. In extreme hot or cold weather, this can result in improper functioning of the window, and sometimes will render them inoperable. Make sure that everything is lined up square when you close the window, and, if there is a lock, that it is fully engaged. Periodically, check the edges of the window to make sure they are all lined up.
Check the drainage. Check the outsides of your windows periodically after a rainfall to ensure that they are adequately draining. If you see evidence of water sitting on the ledge, or right up against the window, keep an eye on the area. If it is a porous area (like brick) some water sitting will typically seep into the brick, and run out the drainage holes underneath. If it is sitting for an excessive amount of time, you might have an issue with levelling of the lintel or window frame that will need to be repaired. Windows are designed and installed in such a way that water will drain away from them to ensure it does not penetrate into your home. Improper installation can occur and damage the inside of your home in some cases. It is important to see how yours behave after rain.
Open and close every season. Even if you don’t plan on using the windows, as part of your spring and fall cleanups, open and close each operating window to ensure that it is working properly. If not, check the perimeter of the window to ensure that it is clear, all parts are firmly attached, and retry. If it will not close or open properly, contact a window repair company.
Take extra special care of wood framed windows. Wood framed windows require extra care as they are exposed to the elements, and can rot over time, especially on south and west facing windows that receive the brunt of sun and weather. Check your wood frames on an annual basis and deal with any soft wood quickly. If caught early, wood rot can be scraped out, the area allowed to dry, and rot inhibitor put in the spot, followed by a wood filler. This can be sanded down and painted with the rest of the window. When the rot has reached a point that a pointed object can be pushed in more than half an inch, larger problems can occur and you might want to consider contacting someone to repair. There are companies that will replace portions of the framework of a window if you do not want to replace your windows at this time. Sanding, scraping and painting every few years will go a long way to ensure that your wood windows last you for many years.
A caution about installing additional films or coatings. Some people choose to install after market films on their windows to reduce glare or heat from a window that gets a lot of sun. While this might seem like a good idea, it causes heat to build up between the double paned glass, and breakage can (and often does) occur. A good quality sun screening blind might be a better (and safer) choice.
Keep the weatherstripping in good condition. As discussed, regular cleaning of your window and window perimeter will keep all parts in good working order. Over time, the weatherstripping can degrade. If you can purchase the same product from the manufacturer, you should replace if yours has degraded to the point of flaking or breaking away. If you cannot find the same product, be aware that other products can adversely affect the proper operation of your window, and can cause more problems if installed, such as warping the window frame and even breaking the glass.
Close windows on windy days. A common occurrence is a crank style window kept open on a windy day, and the wind picks up and pulls the window off its hinge, leaving it hanging precariously. If the day is windy, keep the windows closed or ensure that they are monitored to prevent this. You can have limiters installed in your window to ensure that they will not open too far. If your window does become unhinged, call us immediately at 289-242-8439. We can come out right away to ensure that your window does NOT fall and get it installed safely with new hardware.
Following these tips, your windows will give you many years of worry free use. Keep all areas clean, open up the blinds and curtains in the extreme cold weather, and let the sun shine in!