Easy Tips for Fixing and Cleaning Windows

Window Care

Solving window problems is easy if you know what to look for and a careful cleaning method makes them sparkle. These tips will help.

Easy Tips for Fixing and Cleaning Windows

Getting Rid of Drafts

Seasonal Care

Add removable rope-type caulking in the fall and remove it in the spring. Alternatively, fix plastic sheets to the inside window frame. There are kits available at hardware stores and home centres.

All-year Solution

If you prefer a more permanent draft removal method, tighten drafty old double-hung windows with weather-stripping. A good bet for this task is tubular, vinyl weather-stripping and the self-adhesive types are easiest to install. Place it along all the horizontal seams of the window and in the sash tracks. Keep checking that the sashes can move freely while you work.

Fixing Windows That Stick

First try the simple option as it may fix the problem: lubrication. Rub household soap or paraffin along the window channels. It may do the trick but if not, keep the following in mind.

Testing

Test with a square, or examine where the sashes meet the jamb. If the lines are not parallel, the window is crooked and you need to get in touch with a professional for repairs.

Home Age

In a new house, excess insulation in the wall can cause the channels to buckle and pinch the window. If your home is older, a sticky window could be down to it being out of square because of poor installation. The natural settling of the house could also cause a sticky window.

Paint

Years of built up paint also can cause a window to be too tight or even seal it. First, make sure that the previous owner hasn't nailed the window shut. If not, cut around the sash with a utility knife to break the paint seal evenly. Then carefully tap the sash (but not the glass) with a rubber mallet to loosen it.

Washing Windows

There’s a technique for getting sparkling windows and it doesn't take long.

Formula

Use either window-washing fluid or a home brew combining a capful of liquid dishwashing soap per four litres of water. Rubbing alcohol sprayed from a bottle also makes an excellent window cleaner. It removes greasy smudges, evaporates quickly, does not freeze in cold weather and leaves no residue.

Strokes

Wash the window from top to bottom so that the solution doesn't drip onto previously washed surfaces. Clean with vertical strokes outside and horizontal strokes inside; this will make it easier to find streaks and remove them.

Tools and Tips

A squeegee, the implement with a rubber-edged blade, and sponge are the best tools to use for washing windows. Professionals say the secret to spotless windows is to only use a little detergent and not too much water. Squeegee the glass immediately to prevent streaking.

Window Film Removal

During the 1980s, there was a trend for applying ultraviolet window film with heat to the interior glass surface to improve energy efficiency. The problem is when such film becomes discoloured, you have to remove it.

To make this task easier, mist the window with soapy water and allow it to soak into the film. Finish up by removing the film off with a paint scraper.

During the 1980s, there was a trend for applying ultraviolet window film with heat to the interior glass surface to improve energy efficiency.

The problem is when such film becomes discoloured, you have to remove it.

To make this task easier, mist the window with soapy water and allow it to soak into the film. Finish up by removing the film off with a paint scraper.

Easy Window Care

Follow these tips and you'll keep your windows working and looking great all year round.

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