Each part of your home requires maintenance, including the windows. If you want windows that are clean, functional, and energy-efficient, you must perform maintenance. While some window maintenance requires professional help, there are four window care projects you can do yourself.
Clean Inside and Outside Windows
Cleaning inside and outside windows may sound basic, but it’s essential. For the inside glass, use a microfiber cloth and a vinegar-and-water solution to get rid of any dirt, smudges, and grime. If you have a hard time reaching some spots, consider using a squeegee—or just call your tall neighbor over. Outdoor window cleaning involves extra steps, including:
- Brushing off excess dirt and debris with a soft-bristle brush
- Scrubbing the glass surface with a cleaning solution
- Rinsing the solution off with the garden hose
- Using a squeegee to remove the water
Caulk the Windows
Caulking windows is a simple process that involves sealing the gaps between the glass and the window frame with a caulk gun. It helps form an airtight seal that keeps out drafts and reduces your energy bills. While a professional can and should caulk windows during installation, you can touch up caulk yourself. Before caulking, clean the window area thoroughly and check the temperature. Caulk works best on a dry day with a temperature above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Paint the Windows
If you’re looking to give your windows a fresh look beyond caulk replacement, you can paint them. Thoroughly clean the window and remove any paint or residue. Then, apply a primer to ensure the paint can adhere to the window frame. Choose a high-quality paint suitable for windows and apply it evenly using a brush or roller. Allow sufficient drying time between coats, and voila! Your windows will have a new, vibrant color that enhances your space.
The last of the four window care projects you can do yourself is applying weatherstripping. The harsh winters around the northern US, especially Chicago, make it essential to add weatherstripping around windows. This is one of the best ways to prepare wood windows for cold winter months. You may need to call a professional for other winter preparations.
Weatherstripping helps seal air leaks and reduce the cold draft that comes in through gaps around your window frames. Self-adhesive strips are easy to apply and available at any hardware store. Check weatherstripping occasionally and replace any worn or damaged strips.
Some window care projects are easy to DIY. However, if a project ever feels overwhelming, know that it’s okay to call in professional or neighborly assistance.