Tasks you can perform to maintain your windows may not be as obvious as cleaning your gutters or changing the filters in your HVAC system or changing the batteries in your smoke detectors. But there are some things you can do that can extend the life of your windows, make your home more energy efficient, and reduce utility costs.
- Restore and paint wood framing. Remove moisture-damaged wood. Then restore the framing using wood epoxy and a wood protectant. Then paint the frames, preferably with a water-based acrylic paint.
- Maintain vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass. While these materials do not rot like wood, they should be buffed and cleaned with a mild detergent.
- Seal your windows. Sealing your windows with caulking will prevent water seeping through and rotting wood.
- Update weatherstripping. Cleaning it periodically is helpful, but it should occasionally be replaced.
In these trying economic times, people will defer spending money on simple maintenance. Unfortunately, what are small problems now can become big problems later. Here are a few things you can do now to avoid major expenses and headaches down the road.
- Check gutters and downspouts. Gutters should be kept clean to keep water from pooling and seeping into the house, and downspouts should allow water to drain away from the house.
- Check your windows. Cracked or leaky windows, loose putty around the glass panes, and holes in screens can bring in excess outside air, putting a strain on your heating and cooling systems and driving up costs.
- Check caulking. If the caulking around your sinks, bathtubs or showers is becoming brittle, they may allow water to seep through, causing potentially expensive damage.
- Check all your alarms monthly. Make sure your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, etc. all are in good working order and have fresh batteries.
- Check your appliance cords. A faulty appliance cord not only can short circuit your electric system, it is also a potential fire hazard.