Posts Tagged ‘windows’
Before the weather grows colder it’s important to prepare for the winter months to prevent costly damage. Below are the fall preventative home maintenance steps that every homeowner should follow.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent build up of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters.
- Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
- Ensure that water drains properly and doesn’t pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.
Windows and Doors
- Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors.
- Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.
- Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and to lower heating bills.
- Replace the filter in your furnace.
- Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs.
- Clean your ducts to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems.
- To prevent pipes freezing and bursting, ensure that the pipes are well insulated.
- Know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in case pipes do freeze.
Chimney and Fireplace
- Call a professional in to inspect and clean your chimney. Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires.
- Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed.
- Be sure attic insulation doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent winter ice dams on the roof.
- Be sure ridge vents and vents at eaves are free of plants and debris.
- Check bird and rodent screens for attic vents to prevent any unwanted guests.
Landscape and Yardwork
- Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn.
- Prune your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth.
- Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house. Heavy snow and ice can cause damage in the winter.
Use these easy-to-follow tips to get streak-free windows all around!
- Don’t clean your windows on a bright sunny day. Direct light causes the cleaning solution to dry before you can wipe it away. For best results, save window cleaning for a cloudy day.
- Clean, cool water is actually the best cleaning solution for windows, but for tough jobs, try adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon.
- Use horizontal strokes on the inside and vertical on the outside – or vice versa. This just makes it easier to see which side the streaks are on if you notice any at all.
For best results, use crumpled newspaper for streak-free drying results.(c) AHS, 2011
Keep the windows clean and you have a well lit room. Allow the windows to get dirty means that not only will the light be prevented from coming in but the outside world will not be able to be viewed with clarity.
How often this needs doing will depend on the local environment. I live in a country town away from the main roads and so there is not much dust and dirt thrown up by passing traffic. This means that once a month is sufficient to keep the sparkle. However, I was brought up in a city alongside a busy trunk road which carried lorries and buses as well as cars. The windows there needed tending each and every week. So that is the first decision that has to be made.
Cleaning the Frames
Dust and polish to keep looking fresh. Wood frames will need a polish which stop them from drying out and will also give a silken sheen. The outside will also need a preserving polish to stop the rain entering the grain. Painted frames tend to collect the dust in the corners and angles. Again polish up and remove all dust. On the outside polish will encourage the rain to run off . The modern uPVC frames are cleaned with a polish/cleaner which has been specifically produced for the job.
Cleaning the Glass
Clean the glass AFTER the frames. You don’t want to mess up your work at the edges by doing it in the wrong order. Use a specially prepared window cleaner for ease and speed. Have a non-linting cloth to apply and polish the glass. If you use a cleaning solution in water you may wish to use a squeegee just like the experts.
Washing the Units
Apart from this regular cleaning the windows and window frames will need a good washing. Again the frequency will depend on where you live. We are all so busy these days that it is a job that is likely put off and forgotten. Schedule this for at least twice a year.
Use a good soapy solution to wash the whole units. Be prepared to keep changing the water as it gets dirty – there’s no use washing with dirty water – you will only swirl around the muck.
If you are cleaning the outside and are using ladders, make sure that you take all safety precautions. Maybe the only way you can do it is to reach the outside from within each room. This also needs great care. Should you be worried about any of this then hire a professional rather than put yourself at risk.