The view from my window today…A little laugh from mother nature as we begin our spring journey early this year. Thankfully the thawed ground and warmer temperatures will take care of this mess in a few days and we can get back to planning for this weekend’s Easter Egg hunts!
Speaking of windows…they are a pretty big selling feature in any home. Some seek that wavy original glass that creates a beautiful distortion between the outside world and inside world. Others adore the single pane windows that allow for more light. But due to our Northern Climate, most desire windows of the best and newest efficiency.
No matter your preference, the durability, longevity, efficiency and performance of a home’s windows lay in the hands of the home owner. Check out some of these tips below to keep the elements out and the view looking great!
Wooden Windows – Favored by many due to their originality to the home’s structure and ability to swell, shift and settle with the home preventing drafty gaps sometimes left by replacement windows. These unique gems are best maintained with sealant, paint and a little elbow grease. Though this process can be time consuming and redundant, it will save you many pennies in the long run!
First taking a putty knife around each pane, clear away any loose or deteriorating seal. Sand down any sun or water damage. Wipe clean and allow to dry if you have used water. Carefully fill around each pane with sealant. The sealant you use should reflect your desired outcome, if you plan to finish your window with varnish or stain, a clear seal is best whereas if you typically paint your windows, a sealant that paint will adhere to should be used. Once the individual panes have been taken care of the casings and glides should be sanded and cleared of any debris, take extra care to repair any sun or water damage and protect with a thin coat of paint or varnish. Some wooden windows will require greasing or waxing to make for ease of movement. Lastly, sills and trim are often first to go on a wooden window as they receive the brunt of the harsh weather. Yearly inspections for rot or drying are recommended to keep from damaging the window’s seal.
Metal Frame Windows – Though these are not as common, you sometimes see them used as storm windows, porch windows or garage windows. Usually easily accessed from either the inside or the outside, making sure all of the screws around the nailing fin are tightly secured will keep out bugs and critters, but adding a seal around the inside frame can keep out additional elements and drafts.
Vinyl Windows – Highly desired for their low maintenance, ease of cleaning and lack of storm window, the best defense to keeping these windows in tip top shape is proper professional installation! The shifting and swelling of most homes can cause gaps around the casing, hard to open windows, cracking and breaking of the pane seal. That is why it is important for a knowledgeable professional to make sure the window is properly leveled, insulated and has room for adjustment. Adding to this that a warranty is typically provided should the window fail. From this point forward, year to year maintenance is simple as cleaning windows, tracks, and hardware from debris by using warm soapy water and mild compressed air such as a computer key board cleaner for hard to clean sections.
With general maintenance any of these windows can last as long as you would like…but should you consider replacing windows, here is a guide to help you see the main factors affecting the cost and value of replacement windows.