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Spring Window Maintenance Checklist for New England Homeowners

Many homeowners are looking to step outside and fix up any damage that resulted from winter weather. Winter weather can take a toll on windows, especially old wood frames.

This window maintenance checklist will help you determine how your windows held up through the winter season.

1. Inspect the Window Frames

Window frames are one of the primary components that get damaged from the elements. This is especially the case for wood windows.

inspect your window frame

This inspection technique is reserved for wood, and the aim is to detect rot that will ultimately result in costly repairs.

One of the easiest methods to detect soft wood frames is to take a screwdriver and probe the wood. Rotting wood is quite soft, so the screwdriver will sink right into the wood if it’s rotting.

Other problems you might find with wood window frames is peeling or chipping of the wood and paint. This happens because moisture begins to destroy the untreated surface.

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Keep in mind that mold or mildew may also be present on wood windows. This is pricey to remove and replacing with vinyl windows can prevent future mold or mildew growth.

2. Make Sure the Windows Easily Open & Close

The basic function of a window is to close out the elements or allow fresh air inside.

For this window maintenance tip, you’ll want to make sure your windows are opening and closing properly.

Your windows should open relatively easy. This is true whether it’s a double hung, crank-out casement windows, or slider window.

If you are struggling to open the windows, or if they don’t want to stay open or closed, replacement might be in order.

3. Test the Window Locks

When was the last time you attempted to lock or unlock your windows?

Window locks serve several purposes. First, it serves as a security measure. Window locks must be in working order to properly defend against break-ins.

windows easy to open and close

The other reason is because window locks help enforce the seal of the window. If the windows don’t lock properly, they can lose energy both in the summertime and the winter.

4. Check the Windows for Drafts

Drafts and air infiltration [2] are serious problems for windows. Unfortunately, drafty windows can account for up to 30% of energy loss in your home [3].
guide to your drafty house

How do you know if your windows are drafty? A lot of times you can feel a breeze come through areas of the window including:

  1. The sash
  2. The sill
  3. Where the sash meets the sill

Meanwhile, you should check on the condition of your weatherstripping. Triple weatherstripping helps to create a tight seal and reduce drafts. Old weather stripping will appear dried out, cracked, or droopy.

5. Look Closely at Foggy Windows

Are any of your windows foggy? This is normal in some circumstances. Other times foggy windows serve as a warning sign.
condensation

How do you know if your foggy windows are a problem? There’s a simple test: make sure the fog wipes away!

When the fog wipes away, it means that you are dealing with normal condensation. It is a result of warm air outside touching the cool glass pane.

If the fog does not wipe away, this is an indication of seal failure. In fact, it is a surefire sign that your windows need to be replaced as soon as possible

How to Maintain Windows

Maintaining windows can be time-consuming or completely hassle-free. It all depends on the material.
how to maintain windows

Wood windows are problematic for maintenance because they’re:

  1. Prone to rot and expensive to repair. Old wood must be repaired or replaced.
  2. Wood windows require staining, sanding, and painting to keep the looking new
  3. In worst case scenarios, you’ll be faced with structural issues with wood windows such as wood rot.
  4. In terms of how to clean wooden windows, you’ll need warm water, a damp cloth and mild detergent [4].
  5. You’ll also have to be mindful of insects and termites looking to consume the wood on your window frames.

With vinyl windows, window maintenance includes:

  1. Almost nothing!
  2. You won’t pick up a single paintbrush for as long as you own a vinyl window, since the color won’t chip or peel away over time.
  3. You may choose to wipe down the frames if atmospheric dirt builds up. This can be achieved with a mixture of 70% water and 30% vinegar.
  4. You can wipe down the vinyl windows with a sponge, or you can use a long-handled bristle brush for stubborn dirt.

Say Goodbye to Window Maintenance

Take window maintenance off your to-do list once and for all. Make the most of your free time and enjoy the weekends without tending to your windows. Contact us today for quality replacement windows and professional installation. Get a quote now!

Sources:
https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/design/windows-doors-and-skylights/update-or-replace-windows [3]
https://www.hswindows.com/blog/windows/how-to-clean-and-maintain-wood-windows/#:~:text=All%20you%20need%20is%20a,water%20when%20it%20gets%20dirty. [4]