The new year has begun. It won’t be long before spring is here and it will be time to enjoy the view of outdoors. But why wait when you can be enjoying a clearer view now? Warm or cold it is always nice to look outdoors and not have your view interrupted by a dirty view. Your windows are a central focus of the house, from the inside and out – it can have a huge impact on your attitude. Even the slightest layer or dirt or grime can have a huge impact. It can make the whole place seem dirty and neglected. Here are a couple of do’s and don’ts for maintaining your windows. These tips will help you keep your windows clean and in good shape today, tomorrow, and for many years to come.
Understand why window cleaning is important
The glass in your window frames is exposed to the elements 24/7; rain or shine, sleet or snow. Glass is porous and dirt and grime over time can leave stains and get embedded in the glass. Once this occurs, the remedy if more time consuming and costly. As you can see, there are many reasons for keeping those windows sparkling.
Do clean your windows regularly
With all this in mind, it’s important that you maintain your windows on a regular basis. Not only will it add to the look, feel and value of your home, but it will also save you significant money in the long-term. It’s a good idea to treat your windows as if you are always only a week away from selling your home. Suppose a potential buyer were to come by and see them all dirty, grimy and in need of replacement? They will think twice about the offer they make you.
Don’t forget the insides
Many households clean the insides of their windows and wait for their local window cleaner to do the outside. But if you want a professional job done – to really complete the look of a super clean and sparkling window – it might be wise to ask your local window washer to do the inside too. Or, alternatively, take in all these tips in this guide and learn how to do it properly yourself. The reality is that most households don’t have the proper tools to make a window really sparkle, and the DIY approach more often than not results in streaky finishes and missed areas – no matter how hard you might try. We’ll look at some of the specialist equipment you need for the perfect finish in a little bit, but first let’s discuss one of the biggest problems people have with cleaning the interior of their windows: the dust and dirt already in your home.
Do clean your windows after cleaning the house
Window cleaning is what we like to call in the industry a ‘finishing job.’ This means that if there is any cleaning to be done inside the home, or work to be completed outside, it’s always best to get it finished before considering cleaning your windows. Even the quickest of vacuums can kick up and spit out a huge volume of dust particles into the air, and the second it hits your glass windows it will stick – completely ruining your work. Unsurprisingly, this also applies if you are having any major renovation work done – inside or out – so make sure that you or your contractors are taping up the glass to prevent the bulk of the dust ending up on your frames. Once all the work has been completed and the tidying done, you can tackle your windows as the last job.
Don’t just pray for rain
We all know that California doesn’t get much rain, so don’t expect a huge amount of help from regular cloud bursts and showers. But even when we do get the random downpour, it doesn’t mean your windows are getting the equivalent of a shower or bath. In fact with all the wind and dust we get, the rain will just make the dirty look even worse, because it will wet the grime and smear it as it drips. If your windows are clean, however, the rain will simply roll off. Furthermore, if you live by the coast, some of your rain may have a reasonable amount of salt content, which can build up and smear your windows. Plus, of course, you could have a reasonable and regular amount of sand blowing in on the wind from the beach, dunes or coastal areas. Ultimately, coastal properties tend to need a lot more cleaning than inland homes – perhaps twice a week.
Do learn about your local water
If you live in a part of the country with hard water -where there are chalk river beds, for example – it can lead to hard water deposits. This is when the tiny traces of minerals collect on the glass of your windows and any other smooth surface – such as you shower door – and could leave white circles, discoloration and difficult to remove marks that look ugly and dirty. Before you try to scrape these away yourself, it’s important to understand that you need the right sort of tools for the job. Mineral deposits can be incredibly difficult to remove and you run the risk of damaging the glass in your windows. It’s best not to try to take these off on your own, so call your local professional.
Don’t use newspapers
Using newspapers to clean windows is an old school way of cleaning yet it doesn’t work well. What it does do is leave ink on the glass and newspapers aren’t all that great for wiping away cleaning solution and can leave significant smudges on your windows. Ultimately, this can mean having to clean your windows twice, so it’s best to get the right tools for the job and save a lot of time as a result.
Do use professional-standard tools
Cleaning windows is a much more serious business than you might think – there’s a reason why so many people do the job as a profession! So, if you want your windows super clean, it’s important to use a professional standard of equipment that can give you the perfect finish you are looking for. We’ve already discussed using microfiber cloths – they are essential – and you should consider having one for cleaning and one for drying at all times. The beauty of these microfiber cloths is that they won’t leave those irritating patches of fuzz on your windows that you often get with standard cloths and old fabric rags. Plus, of course, they are significantly more eco-friendly than using a constant supply of paper towels. However, if you want the ultimate in a professional-looking clean, there is only one tool for the job: a squeegee. A big squeegee will pretty much guarantee that your windows will have zero streaks or smudges on them once you have finished, and once you get the hang of using them, it will get the job done in double quick time. As long as your squeegee rubber is in good condition, cleaning with it will be a breeze. However, once it starts to wear down, seek out a replacement, as you could scratch the glass if you aren’t too careful.
Don’t clean windows in the sun
This one’s really simple – the sun makes your windows more susceptible to streaking while you are cleaning them. It’s always best to clean your windows on cloudy day, or before the sun hits it high temperatures in the early morning or evening.
Do clean all of your windows
Earlier, we discussed the critical importance of window maintenance in keeping your glass in good shape and your windows in working order. If you don‘t clean the entirety of the glass area – including around the sill, track and screens – dirt and debris will build up. If it gets into your window tracks, it can make operating your window difficult, so make sure to clean all of the parts, inside and out.
Don’t try to tackle all your windows at once
If your house has lots of windows or multiple floors, it can take a whole day to get the job done. To prevent the risk of tiredness causing accidents, it’s a good idea to do your windows in batches – perhaps spread over 2-3 days.
Do use the right cleaner
There are a million and one window cleaner solutions on the market, and the options can be overwhelming – but as long as you choose glass cleaner, you’ll be in the right ballpark. Plus, as we discussed above, you can make your own with a mixture of vinegar and water, glass cleaner, or even a mix of standard dish washing liquid and water. The most important thing to remember about cleaning glass windows is that streaking occurs when you haven’t wiped all the liquid off properly – so make sure each window is completely clear before you finish.
Don’t sweat the safety – get your windows professionally cleaned
Finally, there is one big, obvious reason for getting your windows cleaned professionally – it’s extremely dangerous! Sure, anyone tall enough to reach the top of a ground floor window will not be putting their life at risk by doing it DIY-style, but the second you have to get on a ladder, or perch on a window sill and stretch your arm outside on a first, second or even a third floor, it’s a different story. If you aren’t bothered about safety at all, consider that cleaning a whole house is massively time consuming and given the specialist tools and supplies you will need, it can all add up – meaning time away from work, family or leisure time for you. Ultimately, you can save a lot of time and effort by getting the right window cleaner in to come and do a professional job. And that’s what you can expect if you are in Ventura County, and call Brian’s Window Service – we look forward to hearing from you soon! (805) 495-8564