Your Atlanta home’s curb appeal is one of its biggest attributes, and the windows contribute a great deal to its charm. Windows, however, aren’t just a component of your home’s aesthetics. They are a functional part of the way you heat, cool, and enjoy your environment. If you want to keep your home more comfortable throughout the winter, save on energy efficiency, ensure proper ventilation, and protect your beautiful views of the great outdoors, it is essential to include window maintenance on your fall task list.
However, window maintenance is more than just a way to beautify your home – though it helps with that, too. When you maintain and repair damaged windows, you extend their overall lifespan and provide a better barrier between your household and the elements. Your windows are one of the biggest investments in your home, and as you want to protect your investment, there are a few tips you can follow to ensure that you are getting the best performance.
Be sure to include these fall window maintenance tips in your pre-winter checklist, or call a professional to help.
Get the Best Energy Efficiency by Weatherproofing Your Windows
Many people know that they should weatherproof their windows, but they don’t always know where to start. The best way to approach weatherproofing is to conduct a visual inspection of every window in your house. Of course, the newer your windows are, the less likely it is that they are suffering from wear and tear on their weatherproofing. However, it is still a good idea to check them out and see if any need a little TLC. Look for cracks and leaks in or around the glass. You will also want to check that the windows are completely sealed where the pane fits into the frame. Be sure to inspect the frame as well, and make sure there are no cracks, rotting, or damage that allows drafts into your home.
Cooler, windy days are a great time to check for drafts, as it is easier to tell if you are getting cold air coming through or around your windows. If you have a rainy day, that is an ideal time to check for leaks, but another option is to hose the windows down and check for leaks inside if you’re having a dry fall.
If you detect any water leaks or drafts coming in around the window frame, you may need to replace the caulk. Use a putty knife to gently remove old, cracked caulk and reseal with a reliable caulk from your local home improvement center. Start with caulk on the exterior perimeter of the window, then move to the space between the window and the wall. Unless you have experience, you may need to call a professional to help with this step.
If your windows are the older, single-pane type, chances are they are not going to do much to help your winter heating bill. Replacing these windows with new energy-efficient ones is well worth the investment, but if that is not in your budget this year, you can get a little help by using a heat-shrink film to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Though a nice stopgap, it still won’t fully protect you against the worst winter has to offer.
Give Your Windows a Proper Cleaning, Using Manufacturer’s Instructions
Keeping your windows clean improves the overall look of your Georgia home and helps protect them from additional wear and tear. Debris and dirt that collect on your windows can increase their vulnerability to damage that will affect your energy efficiency and may cost a lot to repair. Whenever possible, you should clean the windows according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as windows are made from an array of materials, and you don’t want to do anything that will damage them. If you don’t have any instructions available, it is best to use a mild detergent with hot water (liquid dish soap and vinegar are good choices), or a good-quality window cleaner. Wash the windows with a sponge, rinse with a garden hose, and dry with a microfiber cloth or squeegee.
Fill in Areas That Cause Drafts to Improve Energy Savings
If you have wooden windows, one of the things you should be looking for during your visual inspection is rotted areas or cracks on the wooden frames. To fix these issues, you will want to scrape the area out and fill it in with epoxy putty. You can find these products at home improvement stores, so this is a viable DIY project. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the product. You should also look for any gaps around the window frames that may be causing drafts and heat loss. You can fill these gaps with insulating foam to keep your home warmer over the winter.
Repair Any Damaged Parts of Your Windows to Improve Look and Functionality
When you inspect your windows, you should look for any broken parts that may affect the way your window works. If locking mechanisms are broken, your home may be vulnerable to intruders who may burglarize your Atlanta home or harm your family. Be sure to replace broken locks and mechanisms that affect the way your windows open and close. You should also look for condensation inside the glass and any cracks or breaks in the glass panes.
If your glass even has a small crack, it is likely to crack further or break with changes in temperature. You should always have the pane replaced, or replace the entire window, if necessary. If you are worried about the glass breaking more before you can have it replaced, you can place a strip of masking tape or another heavy-duty tape over the crack for the time being. This is no guarantee, and it is not a permanent fix, but it may help prevent further cracking until your window is repaired.
If you need any help performing your fall window maintenance or repairs, you should reach out to an experienced window contractor.