Fall Has Arrived! With leaves, cooler weather, and pumpkin spice lattes in the air–there is no time like the present to begin your home maintenance projects. Not sure where to start? How about your windows? Even though spring is traditionally the best time for cleaning your home, fall cleaning can be just as impactful for your windows. In a few months, your windows will go through the most brutal season ever, especially in New York–Winter. They will be tested against snowy days, hail, and cold winds.
A window that is poorly maintained or damaged can cost you a fortune in energy costs. So, it’s important that you get your windows ready for the cold and ensure they stay as good as new. Here are some suggestions to help you out this season.
1) Gently Clean Your Windows
Take a look at your windows. What do you see? Grime? Dirt? Streaks? Fingerprints? If so, grab a gentle window cleaner to show your windows some love. If you’re thinking of picking up the latest issue of the New York Times to get a streak-free shine–put it down. The ink from the newspaper can potentially stain your precious glass windows. Paper towels are also not the best to clean your windows as they can end up leaving minor scratches to the glass and you’ll end up doing double the work by having to remove the residue the paper towels leave behind. Opt for a microfiber cloth or squeegee, these are the best tools to use for cleaning your windows.
The glass is not the only part of the window that you should be cleaning. You should also clean the window tracks and frames. The tracks can collect grime and dirt if left unattended, and they will become harder to open and close. Forgetting to clean your window tracks, or maintaining any other part of them, for a long time may lead to needing replacement windows. After all, improperly maintained windows are often the cause of leaks.
2) Check for Inside & Outside For Damaged Components.
As you’re cleaning your windows thoroughly, be sure to inspect them. These are the most important things to ask yourself during your inspection.
- Are there any stains or rust on the window finishing?
- Does the finishing seem to be peeling or flaking?
- Does everything look in good shape?
- Are there any small cracks or scratches in the glass?
Take note of any broken glass or damaged frames and repeat the process inside your home. If you notice discolorations on the wall, sill, floor, or ceiling, this is likely caused by moisture. Severe damage or signs of moisture should be addressed as soon as possible by repairing or replacing the affected window(s).
You should also test your window locks and latches to ensure they are functioning correctly. If a lock doesn’t work correctly, you could be at risk, especially if you need to use a window as an escape point in an emergency. If you have stuck locks or locks that do not function properly, you might want to consider getting them repaired or replaced by a qualified window contractor in New York.
3) Seal Any Gaps Around the Frames
An air leak can be prevented or fixed with proper caulking and weather stripping. With this method, you’re able to keep heat or cold air inside your home, resulting in a comfortable environment. Different types of caulk include rope caulk or removable caulk (paired with a caulk gun.)
Pro Tip: Avoid The Weep Holes!
Most windows are equipped with weep holes. You can find them on wooden, vinyl, and metal frames. Caulking over weep holes is a big mistake. When weep holes are clogged, your windows can rot, collect mold, rust, and often cause leaks inside your home. The weep holes allow moisture behind the window to escape, so if you do not want costly repairs in the future, keep caulk away from them.
4) Keep Tree Limbs & Shrubs Away
Having beautiful trees outside your windows is excellent, but it’s important to keep branches and tree limbs a safe distance away. Now look outside your window; are there any branches too close to your windows? Would a heavy branch hit your window if a sudden wind gust blew through at this moment? Could a large branch break and fall into your window, causing it to break and potentially injure those nearby? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s time to cut back some tree limbs.
What about the rest of your yard? Make sure any hedges or bushes close to your windows are trimmed back. When branches and thorns become too close to windows, they may scratch the glass. You can prevent this by paying attention to your landscaping and trimming any shrubs that might rub against the glass.
Regular inspections and maintenance during the fall can help keep your home warm and ensure your family is comfortable until spring. These tips should help you stay on top of your window maintenance and keep you aware of any issues. Windows are a very important element of your home and should always be kept in the best shape possible.
Call a Professional Window Replacement Contractor in New York.
If it’s been a while since you last replaced your windows, or you’re just ready for a fresh start–call Unified Home Remodeling. Since 1989, we have been installing and repairing windows in Long Island and other parts of New York. Not only are we excellent at what we do–with the customer reviews to match–but we also offer a lifetime warranty.
Each of Unified’s replacement windows is made to fit the unique opening in your home, ensuring that they work properly and are not leaking air into the house. We are a preferred window contractor for manufacturers, including Andersen, Pella, and Ideal. Our local team is ready to help whether you are installing new windows in your home or replacing those that are already there. Call us today at 888.631.2131 or schedule a free estimate for your next window replacement.