House window care and maintenance can do your whole house good. But what are some of the things you should do to keep your windows in good shape? Though a systems and appliances home warranty from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW) can’t cover window problems, we can give you some tips to help you maintain them!
Clean your window panes at least twice a year
One of the best and easiest steps to take to keep your house windows working well is cleaning the panes and frames. Dirty or grimy window panes can damage the glass and allow unwelcome particles and problems inside. They can also allow mold to develop, which is a health hazard. And of course, dirty windows can hurt your home’s curb appeal.
Cleaning your inside window panes is pretty easy. Simply take some store-bought cleaner (e.g., Windex) and spray the panes liberally. You can also use a combination of vinegar (10%) and distilled water (90%). Then, just use a squeegee or microfiber cloth to wipe the spray away. Avoid using paper towels or normal towels, since they usually leave streaks or residue behind.
Cleaning your outside window panes is a little more difficult, but not impossible. The same cleaning strategy as inside panes applies. However, there are a couple of things to note.
- Don’t use your hose to spray the windows. Though using your hose can make things easier, it likely won’t clean your windows well. Hose water typically has naturally occurring minerals in it. That can cause your window panes to wear out more quickly. It can also leave mineral residue on the pane, which means you have to wash it all over again.
- If you can’t reach it, don’t try cleaning it yourself. Safety first! If you can’t comfortably reach a dirty window, call a professional. Having clean windows isn’t worth falling off a roof or ladder.
Check the caulking for cracks
The caulk around your window frames prevents drafts and moisture from entering. If you notice cracks or leaks in the caulk, either on the inside or outside, consider re-caulking. Re-caulking can save you money on energy bills and help you regulate your home’s temperature better.
Make sure you remove any of the old caulk with a putty knife first. Then, load your caulk gun with the appropriate caulk and drop the bead. Once you’ve finished, smooth the caulk by getting your finger wet with water and lightly sliding your finger over it.
Lubricate locks, tracks, and hinges with silicone-based lubricant
As windows age, they and their components are more likely to stick. This can lead to unintended damage to your windows, along with jammed fingers as you try to get them unstuck! But lubricating your locks, tracks, and hinges is an easy way to avoid problems and extend the life of your windows.
The most important step when lubricating is to use a silicone-based lubricant. Typical WD-40 is NOT a silicone-based lubricant and can gum up your tracks. Silicone-based lubricants, on the other hand, don’t attract dust or grime.
After you purchase the proper lubricant, spray it onto a cloth and wipe your locks, tracks, and hinges. Avoid spraying directly onto the window, since that can cause hard-to-remove streaks.
Repair or replace cracked panes and ripped screens
Even small pane cracks or screen tears can allow unwelcome elements into your house. For small screen tears, your local hardware store likely sells easy-to-apply screen patches. Usually, all you need are a pair of scissors to cut the proper-sized patch, a hair dryer, and about two minutes. This will help you keep pests and allergens to minimal levels.
Though it’s possible to patch cracked glass with special epoxies, that’s usually just a temporary fix. If you notice a cracked pane, you should have a professional replace it as soon as possible.
Control your home’s humidity
If the inside of your house is too humid, it could cause your windows to fog up. This “fog” can then drip into your windowsill or frame, causing water damage or mold/mildew growth. If you notice window fog, there are a few ways to control your home’s humidity to get rid of it.
- Open the fogged-up window slightly.
- Run a fan in the room with fogged-up windows.
- Move any plants away from the window (plants expel water vapor, which can cause condensation).
Of course, if your windows constantly fog up even in temperate weather, it could be a sign of insulation issues. In that case, you may need to consider replacing your windows.
Although a Home Warranty Service Agreement from 2-10 HBW won’t cover these common window issues, we hope these tips were helpful.
A Home Warranty Service Agreement can help you reduce the costs when systems (e.g., air conditioner) and appliances (e.g., refrigerator) break down in your home. To protect your home and your budget from routine breakdowns, consider a Home Warranty Service Agreement from 2-10 HBW!
2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive home warranty coverage for homeowners. Let us help you protect your home.