Basics of Home Window Care

Basics of Home Window Care

Contributor article


Windows are one of the most important features of a home. They not only allow natural light inside and allow us to view the outside world, they also play a big part in the appearance of our home from the outside. Good windows will save on energy costs will providing us with beauty and comfort in the home.

However, those benefits only come to us once the windows are in place, so before we look into the work involved in maintaining windows, it’s important to have them installed correctly by a reputable contractor. One such firm in the Pacific Northwest that provides window installation Portland residents count on is Clear Choice Construction, which will get the new units properly placed, sealed, and finished.

After that, it can be largely up to you.  It’s been a long-running joke that window care is difficult, the cleaning in particular. That’s why people often say they “don’t do windows”. But is that accurate, or could window upkeep be easier than we think?

The answer is both. There are certainly parts of window maintenance that you can do yourself, but there will always be times when you will get better results by calling on a professional. As a homeowner, you need to be able to decide which is which.

The Easy Work: Cleaning

The window task we do most frequently is also the one that has probably improved the most over the years. The development of tilt-in windows has certainly made this chore a little less taxing, compared to the old (and very dangerous) way of climbing ladders. With modern windows, it only takes a few moments with a screwdriver and most windows are ready for your attention.

The notable exception here is the cathedral-style windows present in many vaulted foyers, and fixed windows that can’t be opened like the popular octagon-shaped units appearing in many homes. Given the height usually involved with these, it’s safest and best to get a cleaning contractor–and to let them go ahead and do all your windows while they’re at it.

A Little Tougher: Winterization

Windows are notorious for allowing your climate control to seep out of the house, so it’s essential for people who live in temperate areas with extremes in heat and cold to get their windows thoroughly buttoned down before those highs and lows arrive, as part of an overall weatherization plan.

A few basic steps are reasonably easy for you to do on your own, but often you’ll diagnose more than you actually do. Spend some time looking at windows inside and out, and use your hand to feel for drafts. This can be easier on a windy day with the heat and air turned off. Take the basic steps yourself, since these can be very costly for a contractor to do, but be prepared to call in an expert for bigger problems such as window gaps caused by settling or shifting walls.

Experts Only: Installation & Replacement

A very common step in renovation is the replacement of windows, and it’s also frequently done as a stand-alone project. With the passage of time, a harsh climate can really cause old-style windows to deteriorate, making them less secure, more difficult to operate, more drafty, and just plain unsightly. Replacing them can reverse all those problems, saving money and building value.

But those benefits are only real when the windows have been installed correctly, and given the skill level (and specialized tools) required for installing windows, it is just not a job for the novice. In the long run, almost every homeowner will find that it is better and cheaper to get a good contractor like Clear Choice Construction to do the installation for them, then to take over the daily maintenance from there.

Windows are an important part of every home, and they must be properly installed and maintained. As long as you know your windows and your own capabilities, it’s easy to know when you can do the work and when you should get a professional.