Typically, double hung windows demand more maintenance than other types of windows. However, they come with several advantages over other types of windows.
For instance, these windows blend with most home designs. They’re available in different colors, sizes, and materials.
Additionally, you can easily clean them. They last longer when properly maintained. Additionally, they’re energy-efficient such that they reduce the energy needed to cool and heat a home.
Best Routine for Cleaning a Double-Hung Window
Cleaning the windows every fall and spring will allow for clear views of the outdoor space and give you a chance to thoroughly inspect the windows for any problems.
Since vinyl and wood are among the most commonly used materials for making these windows, you’ll find that some cleaning tips below apply to the two materials.
If the frame material isn’t specified in some of the tips below, apply the cleaning method to any other window material.
How to Clean Wooden Windows
Clad-wood and all-wood windows require regular cleaning with detergent (mild option) mixed with warm water. Damp a soft, lint-free cloth with the mixture and clean the window.
Avoid using a lot of water since excessive moisture may encourage rot. Also, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive chemicals when cleaning wooden windows.
How to Clean Vinyl Windows
Mix water and detergent (mild option) and dampen a soft piece of cloth with the mixture. Clean the window carefully and only apply light pressure while cleaning.
Excessive pressure may compromise the sealants or caulking. Also, avoid cleaning the windows with a highly pressurized washer. Use a household cleaner to remove stubborn stains and dirt.
However, avoid using liquid-based grease removers, detergents and strong soaps that contain organic solvents, adhesive removers, furniture polish removers, nail polish removers, or cleaners that contain chlorine bleach. Such cleaners may alter the look of vinyl windows.
Cleaning the Glass
There are several cleaners that clean glass effortlessly. Some are ready-made while others can be made at home.
You can mix the ingredients in an empty but clean spray bottle. Preferably, use a new spray bottle. That way, you’ll avoid mixing the cleaner with any chemical residue that may have been left in an old spray bottle.
Label the spray bottle as a window cleaner. You can make a glass cleaner at home by mixing one tablespoon of white vinegar, one cup of water, and one cup of rubbing alcohol. Avoid using vinegar on materials that may react with it such as stone.
Overcast days offer the best weather conditions for cleaning glass. Cleaning glass panes during a sunny day may encourage streaking. To clean the glass, spray the cleaner over the glass surface.
Wipe the glass with a lint-free microfiber cloth or paper towels. Rub the glass surface in different directions to minimize streaking.
Don’t clean the glass windows with a highly-pressurized washer. Extreme pressure can damage the seal set between the glass panes.
A great feature of the double-hung style windows is the fact that you can clean both the exterior and interior glass surfaces from within your home.
Cleaning the Screen
First, remove the screen from the window frame. Mix warm water with dish detergent (mild option). Take a sponge and soak it in the mixture. Scrub the insect screen gently with the sponge.
Support the insect screen material while cleaning it to avoid damaging it. Rinse it with some warm water. Give it time to dry. Once dry, install it back into place.
Cleaning the Casing
You should clean the casing regularly to get rid of debris and dirt buildup that makes the windows get stuck.
You can vacuum any dirt and debris that may have collected in the sill and track to allow the sash to move smoothly. Use water and a mild detergent to wash any vinyl window parts.
You can read more about cleaning double hung windows here.
Maintaining Your Double Hung Windows
It’s advisable to deal with any problems with your windows before they become serious. That way, you’ll keep the windows functioning optimally for several years.
Here are some tips that will assist you to maintain both vinyl and wooden double-hung style of windows.
How to Maintaining Wooden Windows
Wooden frames are one of the most popular window materials. They’ve been used for centuries.
They are preferred for their high energy efficiency, warm look that blends with any architectural design, and their paintable nature.
Regardless of their numerous advantages, they require proper care and maintenance. If you neglect them, they might shrink, swell, or rot and even rattle during high winds.
Wooden windows require staining or painting regularly to keep them sealed and to keep away moisture. You should repaint them every 3-4 years. That way, you’ll keep them protected from weather elements.
Repainting them will also allow them to maintain an attractive look. If your windows have painted metallic frames, they also require repainting every 3-4 years.
Any spots that are showing signs of chipping or peeling require touching up. Remember to clean the windows before painting them.
Avoid painting the moving parts. Also, avoid painting the window while it’s shut as it might get stuck once the new paint dries up.
While inspecting wooden windows, it’s important to assess the state of the sashes and the frame. Check for any signs of rotting with the help of a metallic probe. If the wood is rotting, it’s a sign that moisture is permeating the wood.
Also, the sun can cause some parts of a wooden frame to warp. Thus, fix any splinters, holes, and cracks in wood as soon as you notice them before the windows deteriorate.
Remove rotten wood with a screwdriver or by grinding it out until you reach solid wood. Get some epoxy putty to fill the holes and cracks.
Apply several layers of epoxy putty for lasting results. Give the putty enough time to dry. Once dry, smoothen the surface with sandpaper. Next, apply a top-quality primer. Then paint the surface.
A major benefit of applying epoxy putty instead of other types of putty when repairing wood is because wood tends to expand and contract naturally.
Epoxy flexes effortlessly with the wood and doesn’t separate. Remember to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions that came with the epoxy when applying it.
Tips for Maintaining Vinyl Windows
Windows made of vinyl frames less maintenance and care than wooden frames. However, they’re not maintenance-free.
You need to lubricate contact points on vinyl frames annually to make them operate smoothly. Lubrication should only be done after cleaning the window. Only apply a silicone lubricant.
Avoid using a petroleum-based lubricant. The best way to apply the lubricant is by spraying it on a dry, clean cloth. Then rub it on the jambs. Open and close the window repeatedly to distribute the applied lubricant evenly.
If your windows have multiple panes, be it double glazing or triple glazing, check between the glass panes for moisture. You can tell that there’s moisture if you notice fogginess or liquid beads between the glass panes.
If there’s moisture, it’s likely that the sealant has failed, thereby making affecting the insulation efficiency of the windows. In this case, you may have to replace the panes.
Also, repair any broken or cracked glass soonest possible to keep away elements and to prevent accidental injury resulting from broken glass.
If you notice condensation on the interior surface of the windows and you can touch it, then it’s a form of interior condensation.
This form of condensation results from excessive moisture content within a room. It mostly occurs during winter since warm air within a room condenses on cold glass windows.
If you fail to deal with the condensation, it may cause wooden frames to rot or even damage the walls.
You can get rid of interior condensation by turning on your humidifier, running the bathroom or kitchen fan for approximately half an hour after taking a shower or cooking, using products that eliminate moisture, or running the ceiling fan clockwise during winter to force warm air downward.
Fixing Stuck Shut Windows
Your windows can get stuck shut for several reasons. Reasons related to settling of a house or bowed window frames due to aging are quite serious and may demand complete window replacement.
However, stuck windows are often as a result of problems that you can easily fix. Here’re some tips for fixing stuck wooden and vinyl windows.
Fixing stuck wooden windows
It’s quite common for painters or homeowners to paint wooden windows when shut such that they get stuck upon the paint drying.
If this problem occurs when you don’t want to keep the window open, especially during winter, you’ll enjoy a tight seal that will keep weather elements away.
However, if you’d like to open a stuck window, then run a sharp putty knife, utility knife, paint zipper, or sash saw between the channel and the frame to break up the paint seal. A single pass of the tool will likely do the job.
If a sash is stuck as a result of other reasons and not dried paint, rub some wax (any ordinary wax such as white candle wax) on the sides and bottom of the stuck sash to make it slide smoothly along the channel.
You only need to a ply a light wax coating to do the job. Lubricate the stuck surfaces further by opening and closing the sash severally as doing so distributes the wax evenly. Apply wax annually to keep the windows functioning smoothly.
Check whether the tracks have dried paint. Most homeowners and painters make the mistake of painting window tracks. They shouldn’t be painted.
You can make the window slide smoothly by scraping off loose paint. Also, sand the tracks. Remove accumulated dirt and dust from the tracks with the help of a vacuum cleaner. Moisture a clean piece of cloth with any top quality furniture wax and wipe the tracks clean.
Fixing stuck vinyl windows
You can free a stuck vinyl window by removing the sash, cleaning the tracks, and applying silicone lubricant in the track. Do this maintenance procedure annually.
Remove accumulated dirt and dust from the tracks with the help of a vacuum cleaner. Apply a top-quality household cleaner on a piece of clean cloth and use it to clean the tracks.
Avoid using penetrating oils when lubricating tracks on both vinyl and wooden windows. Penetrating oils only work temporarily and eventually attract grime and dirt, thereby making the window stick further.
You can prevent air leaks by applying caulk to seal any stationary joints, gaps, or cracks that are not bigger than 0.25 inches in width. The best time to apply caulk is when there’s low humidity and when the surrounding temperature is at least 45⁰F.
On the exterior, caulk should be applied between the house and window molding. On the interior, caulk should be applied around the trim.
You can keep out insects and dust, block outside noise and drafts, and reduce energy bills by weatherstripping movable window components.
Double-hung windows have several areas where air may leak. This includes the area between the lower and upper sash, the area where the sill meets the lower sash, and along the edges of the window sash.
There are several options available for weatherstripping. Choose an option that can withstand weather, tear and wear, friction, and temperature changes in your area.
Only apply weatherstripping on clean and dry window surfaces. The best time to apply weatherstripping is when the surrounding temperature is at least 20⁰F. Also, the weatherstripping should compress upon shutting the window.
Maintaining Pulley and Weight Windows
If your home is quite old and still has the double-hung type of windows, it’s likely that they operate using pulleys and cords attached to metallic weights. Windows that use a pulley and weight system are also referred to as ballast windows.
The weights are typically made of lead, steel, or iron. They’re enclosed in pockets sitting on both sides of a window. The weights counterbalance the overall weight of a sash, thereby making it slide up or down effortlessly.
The durability of the components making up a pulley and weight window mechanism and their easy of repair makes these windows remain functional for many decades.
If the bottom sash is difficult to slide upward, or it doesn’t stay open such that it slams shut upon opening it, the pulley and weight mechanism is likely malfunctioning.
The main cause of failure in this window mechanism is broken cords. The cords connect the sash to the weights. If this is the case, you’ll need to remove the window and replace the broken cords. You can easily replace the cords so long as the frames aren’t painted.
In case they’re painted, you’ll need to hire a professional who has the much-needed expertise to work on windows painted with a paint containing lead. Older paints were lead-based and it’s not safe to work on windows with such paint.
Should I Fix My Double Hung Windows Or Simply Replace Them?
Replacing windows can be quite costly. Thus, most homeowners wonder whether to replace their windows or just repair them. Basically, windows assist in defining the attractiveness of a home.
They’re a crucial architectural element. If you reside in an older, historic home, then you understand the architectural importance of maintaining the original windows.
Before hiring a glazier, ensure they’re qualified and fully licensed to do window repairs. Also, consider the tips discussed above on enhancing the energy efficiency of your windows.
Remember that certain issues such as broken parts, jammed sashes, and rot may not be repairable and can only be fixed by replacing the damaged components.
If you notice signs of water penetration around the window frames or the windows are stuck due to a settled house, or the window frames are bowed as a result of age, the best option is to replace the affected windows.
Although it’ll cost you quite a lot to replace windows, you’ll eventually recoup the huge expense through reduced cooling and heating bills.
Aluminium Double Hung Windows Supplier in Sydney
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