Maintenance is the not-so-secret sauce to ensuring you get the most value from your newly installed replacement windows in your Del Mar, CA home. In the case of double-hung windows, maintenance comes with a lot of work, but short- and long-term advantages are worth it.
Plus, it’s much easier when you apply the following tips.
Clean the windows twice a year
It may never be something you look forward to, but you should always endeavor to clean your double-hung windows twice a year—specifically, every spring and fall.
Regularly cleaning will allow you to inspect and spot potential problems in time. Doing it in spring and fall helps you gather the most accurate picture of your windows’ health.
One, the weather is clear and more comfortable, and two, windows suffer the most wear and tear during winter. Inspecting and cleaning before and after the season tell you how the windows fared under harsh weather.
Stay away from toxic cleaning chemicals
Regardless of the material, mild dish detergent, water, and a soft cloth or soft-bristle burhs are all you need to keep your double-hung windows clean. For wood, you should use as little water as possible.
But most importantly, you should avoid toxic cleaning chemicals, even if they are excellent at keeping other objects clean. It means avoiding tools like –
- Liquid grease removers
- Nail polish removers, furniture polish, or cleaners with chlorine bleach
- Adhesive removers, etc.
Ammonia-free cleaners like Windex are acceptable, and if you want something homemade, make a solution with 30% vinegar and 70% water. Both options are safe and healthy for your new double-hung windows.
In a double-hung window, both sashes slide up and down. Over time, without proper care, this can be difficult, as dust and dirt lodge between the tracks, causing them to stick.
The appropriate cleaning routine will remove dust and dirt, but the tracks also require regular lubrication. For this, you need a silicone-based lubricant. Do not use WD-40. It will gum up the tracks and cause the window to stick.
Spray the silicone-based lubricant on a dry cloth and wipe the inside and outside tracks of both ashes, jamb liner, and weatherstripping. Then slide both sashes up and down several times to distribute the lubricant evenly.
Follow the relevant routine for the frame material
While there are occasional overlaps in the cleaning routine, ensure you’re using the right one for your double-hung window material. Most times, this is either the vinyl or wood routine.
The damage can be significant in areas where the same cleaning practice does not apply. For instance, vinyl windows can handle a lot of water, but wooden frames can’t. Too much exposure to water can cause moisture to permeate the material, resulting in decay.
Pressure washing should also be avoided for either material. Not only can it damage the glass and create dangerous shards, but the high pressure can also damage the sealants, especially on vinyl windows.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to fix defects on your windows. A tiny compromise in your windows’ structure can create a bigger problem that may force you to replace the entire window.