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With a Little Care, Your Windows and Doors Can Last Longer and Look Better!
Keeping your windows and doors clean means more than just the glass. Here are some helpful tips for cleaning your window and door frames effectively without damaging them.
*Ivory is an example of a mild dish soap. Always test cleaners in an inconspicuous area first.
Note: If the window is "stacked," there may be weep holes between units.
Vacuum dirt from sill and track areas before washing
Clean window and door frames with a mixture of mild dish soap* and water
Abrasive or caustic cleaners or solvents are never recommended because they might cause permanent damage to the frame finish.
Mild, nonabrasive soaps* are usually safest for most dirt and stain removal.
Check to make certain that drainage or "weep" holes are always clear of dirt or obstructions - both inside and outs the window or door in the bottom of the frame.
Glass care today is more important than ever. Insulating, low-e or heat reflective glass requires proper maintenance to ensure their complete effectiveness.
Never use any petroleum-based cleaners, or caustic chemicals on your glass
Never use a razor blade, putty knife or abrasive pad to clean the glass
Do not use a high-pressure spray nozzle when rinsing your windows after washing
All of these practices may damage the glass surface, the insulating glass seal, or component parts
Clean glass with a mixture of mild dish soap* and water. Rinse completely with clear water, then wipe dry with a soft cloth to avoid water spots
Avoid washing glass in direct sunlight
Abrasive or caustic cleaners are never recommended because they might cause permanent damage to the finish or the glass
Clean screens by first removing, then washing on a flat, clean surface with midl soap and water and a soft brush. Rinse, wipe dry and reinstall.
Vinyl frames or vinyl cladding may be affected by solar radiation or chemicals that can cause color change.
Chemicals can cause PVC discoloration. All fuels, solvents, bleaches or corrosive chemicals must be avoided
In dry climates with high levels of solar energy, a color change can be expected with PVC, like most any finish
A color change has no effect on the strength or structural integrity of the PVC
Over time and with exposure to normal humidity, this yellowing most often returns to a white color
Color Retentation Standard
Aging and weathering factors can affect the color of all window frame and hardware materials. AAMA has established an industry color standard for what is and isn't acceptable.
Some degree of color change is built in to industry standards
Color change tolerances are covered by AAMA standards for painted aluminum, PVC and other finishes
These standards take into account natural aging and weathering factors and describe the allowable change in ways that can be scientifically measured
As an example, in the caret below, the potential color change along one spectrum shows the point at which the AAMA standard for white PVC is set
PVC that passes the AAMA standard for window profiles meets this color change standard
To ensure that your windows and doors open, close, lock and unlock easily for years to come, follow these helpful maintenance tips to keep your windows and door operating smoothly.
Moving parts in hardware components and tracks and rollers should be lubricated periodically in accordance with the manufacturer's maintenance instructions. In salt-air environments this can mean at least monthly
Check weather stripping around operable window and door panels and be sure it seals evenly
On sliding doors and windows, make certain track area is kept clean. Vacuum as needed to clear dirt or any debris
Adjust sliding door rollers for proper height clearances. Most door rollers can be adjusted with a screwdriver through access holes in either the end or side of the sliding panel at the bottom
Rolling screen doors may be adjusted to run smooth. Use a screwdriver - often in all four corners - to make adjustment
After making door roller adjustments it may be necessary to make adjustments in the lock strike placement. Most strikes may be adjusted by loosening screw fasteners, moving strike plate and tightening. Check for proper lock operation
Condensation & Mold
Window condensation can be a natural occurrence. It can be a warning that excessive moisture is present and may cause structural deterioration and the possibility of mold growth.
Condensation on the inside of a window is a result of a higher air moisture content contacting lower temperatures on the glass. The higher the interior humidity and the lower the outside window temperature, the more condensation can occur
Excessive interior humidity can lead to structural damage and health concerns if high moisture levels are sustained inside wall cavities. Wood rot, midl and mildew can result
Check all sash for smooth adequate operation. Add integrated window ventilators and air exchange devices if necessary
Regularly use exhaust fans especially when showering
Install and use a dehumidifier. Use ceiling fans to circulate air
Open windows and doors whenever practical or possible to allow interior moisture to escape
Windows and doors often have a simple drainage system or "weep" system designed right into the product. These water drainage pathways must be kept clear and clean for the window or door to operate correctly.
It's normal for water to accumulate in the sill or track area with wind driven rain. The water is intended to drain to the outside as water builds up or outside pressures subsides
Keep sill or track areas clean of dirt or debris
Make sure that outside and inside "weep" holes and sill area are kept clear of any dirt, stucco, sand, or building materials
Use a small, soft bottlebrush to clear openings
Windows can be vulnerable to water leakage at the corners if not properly maintained. If a crack appears, it should be sealed with a good grade of sealant according to the manufacturer's instructions
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, some windows and last up to 50 years. Some of the factors that go into the determination include:
- Frame material
- Quality construction practices and building style
- Product quality
- Climate and exposure
- Routine care and maintenance
- Replacement of parts that wear with use
With an AAMA Certified product that's cared for, you can expect to increase the service life. To use the program developed by NIST go to PATHnet.org. you'll find durability estimates for windows, doors and most other major building materials - customized by ZIP code.
DON'T: Use a razor blade, putty knife or abrasive pad
DO: Use a glass cleaner or mild detergent
DON'T: Use any petroleum-based cleaners or solvents
DO: Clean tracks and weepholes
DON'T: Use oil-based lubriancts or damage weephole covers/baffles
DO: Check weather stripping and hardware
DON'T: Live with poor performing components
DO: Clean your insulating glass with proper cleaning agents
DON'T: Add attachments to window or glass without approval from the window manufacturer
DO: Choose certified windows and exterior glass doors
DON'T: Settle for products that do not meet important air, water, structural, forced entry and thermal performance standards
DO: Read and understand your manufacturer's warranty and install per the manufacturer's instructions
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