When the weather starts to cool down, homeowners everywhere begin preparing for the coming fall season: fixing the heater, digging out the duvet, stocking up on the liquor, and cleaning out the gutters (you know – just in case). But did you ever stop to consider the condition of your windows?
Why Does Window Cleaning Matter?
Don’t underestimate the role windows play in keeping the elements out, or keeping your home’s temperature as warm as it should be. Did you know that neglecting your window maintenance could result in higher energy bills and many other problems for your home? Windows are exposed to the elements all year long, often receiving more damage than some other areas of your home. So it’s essential to keep your windows spic and span before fall so the weather can stay outside where it belongs!
In this article, we’ll show you how to do that by giving you a list of issues with your windows you need to address and parts that need cleaning, maintenance, or replacement before the leaves turn golden and the winds start to blow.
What should you look out for before you clean?
Before you begin sweeping, you usually turn off the fan, right? Cleaning is no different. Before you begin, there are some issues with your windows you need to inspect them for and resolve. Otherwise, they might render your work useless.
You don’t want air getting in (it’ll be too cold out for that), and you don’t want it getting out, either. You can prevent that from happening by searching for the usual draft suspects: gaps, holes, and cracks in the window seal. If your inspection pays off and lets you find a culprit for the possible drafts, weatherstripping the window is something you can do yourself with some caulk.
- Sloping exterior window sill
Water has a deteriorating effect on materials, and window sills are especially susceptible to this form of damage (they spend their entire life out in the four seasons). But that doesn’t mean you can’t help slow down the rot.
Carefully inspect your sill’s alignment. If it’s tilted even slightly upwards, it might as well be a gutter collecting and storing small amounts of water from rainfall every month. Inspect regularly (as often as every few seasons) to catch it early and prevent guaranteed escalation.
- Possible leaks from window AC apertures
The weather’s getting cold. Reckon it’s time to put the ACs back in winter storage. But now you’re left with a hole in your wall that anything smaller than a 150-pound man can crawl through, so you board it up. But when you do this, take special care to seal any possible openings between the boards. You can use caulk for that.
- Storm window damage
It’s time for you to temporarily retire your screens and put up storm windows. They’re bulky and heavy enough that they don’t even need to be nailed in place (reduces but doesn’t eliminate the risk of damage). But after installation, check for damage to the frame or seal.
What window parts need cleaning before fall?
Below, we have made a list of window parts that need cleaning during your window cleaning sessions.
- The window pane
This is probably the most vital part to be cleaned. To let in the most amount of natural light, it’s essential you keep your panes clean and happy.
To avoid streaks, it’s advisable to use small quantities of dish soap and white vinegar in a bucket of water. Also, begin cleaning only when the sun isn’t up. Be thorough in your cleaning and try to get at the dirt in the hard-to-get corners. To dry the glass, use a lint-free rag (glass microfiber). A page from a newspaper is a reasonable candidate.
- Storm windows or window screen
Before you install your storm windows, you should wash them. Always keep in mind that the outside of your window is one of the first places visitors see. So it should be kept spotless and clean. Before you install your storm windows, wash them to clear away the summer dirt.
To clean your windows screen, spray it with warm water and wipe it down with a glass microfiber cloth. Once the dirt is gone, rinse it with water and wipe it down again with the glass cloth. Remember that if you don’t clean your screens often, they will accumulate dirt, choking off your room’s ventilation, and probably obtain permanent discoloration.
- Window tracks
These are the paths your window uses to close and open, like a train, and are sometimes overlooked during cleaning because dirt in them isn’t as obvious. Unfortunately, it’s easy for the dirt to prevent free window movement, especially when they accumulate enough to pile up in the corner of a sliding window. They’re the main culprit behind windows not closing fully and leading to draft.
A simple cleaning technique to clear away dirt from your window tracks this by first using a soft brush to brush away loose dirt, then rinsing away with water before you use a cloth to mop away the moisture.
Or you can remove the dirt with a vacuum cleaner and use an old or repurposed toothbrush to take care of the stubborn bits.
- The window frame
Window frames are the wooden or metal casings that enclose the window, as well as the sashes that hold the glass in place. They also help to protect the house and windows from inclement weather. Maintaining their cleanliness and structural integrity is key to their effective functioning.
A simple way to do this is using a small quantity of dish soap in water and a rag to clean the frame. After washing, use another rag to dry the frame.
- The latches or locks
A stiff latch will spoil soon. This is because the force you apply daily to get it open or closed will eventually be too much for the lock. That’s why it’s a good idea to lubricate them often. For a longer performance, you should clean them first. Use a soft brush to do so.
There are Professionals Around the Corner
If you don’t want to do all this work by yourself, you can always hire professional window cleaners to handle it for you. To that end, you will find no company or agency more capable of the job than Arizona Window Washers. Our experience and professional technicians are experts in window cleaning and we guarantee unparalleled service to every client.
You can call us whenever you’re ready for an appointment.