Considerations to Maximize the Effectiveness of Solar Panels, and Preserving the Value of your Windows through Maintenance Procedures and Cleaning.
Last month we looked at some maintenance steps a homeowner can take to maximize the effectiveness of their solar panels, if they have them, and that boiled down to properly cleaning them. If you didn’t see that article and it’s germane read my 1/26/18 blog post and see what’s helpful to you in that article
This follow up piece is about protecting the investment you have in your windows. You may say, “I didn’t invest any money in ‘my windows!’” Well, if you bought a house you bought windows and they require maintenance just like your roof, carpeting, and fixtures. Windows are easily forgotten because they’re kinda’ just there, for the most part you can see through them pretty well, and they may seldom be opened to reveal the rusty cranking mechanisms, the eroded seals, the insects that have made the area home. (Sometimes I feel like I’m a part time pest control person. Those closed windows are perfect for raising a little bug/spider family.) So, because the windows are “out of sight, out of mind” we simply don’t notice the dullness that has crept in because of the salt, jet fuel, dust, bird splatter, and we don’t think about the deleterious effects of the sun beating on that window day after day with that garbage on your windows.
At the time of the sale of the house…
I want to suggest to you too that the condition of your windows will be of significant importance if and when you get ready to sell, especially if you have a view. I know too that the condition of your windows has an unconscious impact on how you feel about being in those rooms, and believe it or not, how you feel about life. If I could put in a spray bottle what people experience after the windows are cleaned and spritz them, I’d make a fortune.
People love the “feeling” of crystal clear clean glass.
Cleaning of your exterior window surfaces preserves them just like cleaning your car preserves its surface. The dirt, moisture, salts (in our area) and the sun erode the surfaces of both your car and your windows, especially in coastal areas where the salt eats away the surface of the glass and collects on the inner workings of the hinging, cranking and locking mechanisms. The window frames are also slowly damaged by these same elements. I have lots of Realtors who order up window cleaning before showing a home.
On screen cleaning…
The screens on your windows provide a measure of protection if they are on the outside but can also add to the corrosion problem if they are constructed of a metal mesh, typically aluminum. Aluminum screens become oxidized and cause the windows to be "screen burned” which is simply the pitting of the surface of the glass. Vinyl screens are advised and are usually what is used today. Screen frames sit in damaging mixtures of dirt/salt and water and over time the corners frequently break up creating a challenge to get them out or back in. Screens can be removed and stored during the cooler times of the year. Doing this lengthens the life of the screen, opens up the view when the windows aren’t normally opened and reduces the time the screen will be present to breakdown and impact the window.
Mineral deposit damage…
Hard water damage to windows is common and repairable if not left too long. Professional cleaners are available along with tools to clean up glass that has had a steady spray of water on it over time and is now water spotted and damaged. If you have mineral deposits showing up on your windows, like you might notice on your shower doors, check the irrigation (sprinkler) system near those windows. Irrigation heads can usually be adjusted away from windows and their frames.
Mechanical parts…final thoughts…
You’ll preserve the life (value) of your windows if the mechanical parts that open and close them are kept in good working order. Three things you can do to accomplish “good working order” are to clean those mechanisms, lubricate them and repair them.
So, give some consideration to the investment you’ve made in your windows, frames and screens. Many people say, “I don’t do windows” but a few tools from the home improvement store and a bit of elbow grease can go a long way toward preserving your investment and giving you a place that’s delightful to be in because it’s “fresh and clean.” Lastly, as a rule of thumb, homes in our coastal areas need an exterior cleaning about every 6 months minimum and inside cleaning annually. Most standard 2 story homes in this area can be cleaned by a professional, inside and out, for about $275.00-$320.00 and that includes the cleaning of the tracks, sills, framing, and screens. So, protect that investment and clean or arrange to have your windows cleaned on occasion. Get them “detailed” like you have the car detailed at times and they will last longer and allow delightful light into those rooms and with that light a sense of cleanliness that you’ll enjoy. Blue Ocean details windows!