Vinyl window frames are a common choice for keeping your home or business cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Vinyl windows are great because they provide energy efficiency, durability, and privacy protection. They also require less maintenance than other window types.
However, when not maintained and cleaned properly, vinyl window frames can be dirty and stained, making them look worn out and dingy with time. But with the right cleaning solutions and lubrication, your vinyl window frames will look sparkling new. Here are some general vinyl window maintenance tips to keep your windows efficient, looking beautiful, and operating smoothly.
How Do You Maintain Vinyl Windows?
Vinyl windows are among the most prominent window materials in the market today. Many homeowners prefer them due to their affordability, ease of installation, durability, and low maintenance requirements. Many brands market vinyl windows as low-maintenance or maintenance-free, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave them unattended for years.
It’s essential to keep your vinyl windows well-maintained so they remain attractive and functional. Follow these tips to ensure that your windows continue to look good and work well years to come.
12 Vinyl Window Maintenance Tips
While vinyl windows are practically low-maintenance, it doesn’t mean you don’t need maintenance. Proper maintenance will keep your vinyl windows in great shape.
1. Show Everyone How to Use the Windows
You’d be surprised at how many people damage their vinyl windows by not using or taking care of them in the right way. Most don’t even recognize if they’re causing harm to their windows because the misuse often puts added stress on the windows gradually.
Once you have your vinyl window frames installed, it’s crucial that you inquire from the installer about the dos and don’ts of operating the windows. You can also do your research on how to operate and take care of the specific window type. When you’re aware of how the windows should be operated, show the rest of the household or office to ensure they know how to use or operate them properly.
2. Regularly Perform Window Inspections
You should inspect your windows at least once a year to look for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If you find any cracks, chips, or other damage, repair or replace the window as soon as possible. Regular inspection will also help you spot potential problems before they become serious issues. Keep in mind, however, that some damage may not be visible to the naked eye. So if you have any concerns, it’s always best to consult with a professional.
In cold and wet climates like Portland or Vancouver, avoid moisture and mold problems with proper maintenance to keep your windows in good condition. Most often than not, leaks occur due to poor installation. Be sure to check your caulking and weather-stripping regularly. Also, pay close attention to where your windows meet the wall.
3. Repair Any Damage Immediately
As soon as you notice any damage to your vinyl window frames, you need to repair them immediately. You might think that it is just a small crack or chip, but if left untreated, it can quickly become worse. Not to mention, damaged windows are also more likely to leak. So if you want to avoid any further damage or costly repairs, it’s best to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.
4. Clean the Glass Regularly
If you want your vinyl frames to look great, you’ll need to avoid the accumulation of dirt and stain, as well as moisture – and that’s why regular cleaning of the glass is essential. Keeping your window pane glass clean will help in preventing moisture from becoming trapped between it and theframe, which could give them a cloudy look, cause mold and mildew, or even damage your windows over time.
While some homeowners prefer to hire professional window cleaners to reach all those difficult spots, others can easily clean vinyl windows frames themselves. Cleaning with water is often sufficient, but if any residue remains after washing, use a mild soap solution and warm water to clean again. Always thoroughly dry your windows after cleaning to prevent streaks, smudges, and mold growth.
5. Clean the Interior of Your Vinyl Frame on a Regular Basis
Your interior vinyl frames will look great when cleaned and dusted. Neglected vinyl frames tend to be discolored with dust over time, or they might start peeling if you use the wrong cleaning products or detergents.
To clean your interior vinyl frames, consider a gentle solution of soapy water and a soft cloth, and ensure that you rinse off the soap residue at the end. Wipe it dry to prevent moisture buildup and mold and mildew. Stay away from abrasive materials, strong solvents, and acidic cleaners that can damage and discolor vinyl.
6. Clean the Exterior of Your Vinyl Frame Occasionally
Besides cleaning the interior vinyl frame, you should also clean your exterior vinyl window frames. Cleaning your exterior vinyl frames might not be a weekly job, but it’s great to clean them several times a year.
Just like the interior vinyl frames, use gentle soap and water solution and a soft cloth. Once you’re done cleaning your vinyl window frame, rinse off the soap because the remaining soap residues can dry in the harsh sun to create an unattractive coating. Wipe dry to prevent streaks, smudges, clouding, moisture, and mold.
7. Maintain Clean Window Tracks
An easy way to keep your vinyl windows in good condition and working perfectly is by keeping your tracks clean and free of dirt and debris. Dirt, debris, dead bugs, dust, moisture, and other things can build up inside the tracks over time, causing additional stress on the window hardware which could affect how energy efficient your windows are. It can also cause window hinges, weatherstripping, rollers, and locks to wear down much sooner.
If the window tracks don’t work properly due to dirt, dust, and grime accumulation, they can let water into your home, causing serious damage over time like mold and mildew. Consider cleaning the tracks every time you clean the window pane, or clean the tracks first. When the cleaning solution drips into dirty tracks, it will create a muddy paste, which could make it even harder to clean.
To clean your vinyl window tracks, use soapy water and a microfiber cloth to wipe them until they’re clean. Once you’re done, wipe them again using a wet cloth to ensure all the soap residue is removed, and wipe dry to prevent moisture build up.
8. Clean Your Window Screens
Your window screens require cleaning, too. You might think cleaning your window screens isn’t necessary, but it’s one of the easiest ways to keep your home looking great. Even though the window screens are not part of your vinyl frame, cleaning them is also vital to your home or property, maintaining the window’s overall function and look. A little bit of maintenance goes a long way. You should clean your window screens a few times a year or when they look dirty.
Remove your window screens from the window carefully. Put them flat and vacuum or blow off any bits of debris.
Then apply a small amount of a quality window cleaner to a soft sponge or rag, and clean the screens. When the screens are clean, rinse off the window cleaner and let dry. Afterward, replace the screen and enjoy the view.
9. Don’t Use Abrasive Cleaning Solutions
Be sure to avoid harsh chemicals, abrasives, pressure-washing, and acid cleaners; they can discolor or damage the seal on the vinyl. Abrasive solutions might contain harmful chemicals capable of corroding your window surface. Avoid using products like ammonia, organic solvents, citrus cleaner, and chlorine bleach on vinyl windows.
10. Don’t Use Abrasive Cleaning Tools
You might be tempted to use mechanical cleaning with abrasive materials to clean window frames. Keep off them! Abrasive materials can cause damage to your vinyl frames. Some of the abrasive tools you must avoid include steel wool, razor blades, wire brushes, scrapers, and knives.
11. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Avoid extreme temperatures when cleaning your vinyl windows. Instead, clean them when temperatures are moderate. Extremely hot temperatures can dry your vinyl window frames leaving behind a soapy residue, while extreme cold temperatures can dry your windows slowly and leave behind streaks.
12. Lubricate the Hardware
Another crucial step to maintaining your vinyl windows is lubricating the window’s hardware. However, before lubricating, ensure that you wipe down the window’s hardware with mild soap and water solution and rinse off any soap residue.
Consider using silicone-based lubricants for metal tilt latches, hinges, and rollers. Keep off petroleum-based lubricants. Don’t overuse the lubricant; wipe off any excess lubricant that can stain or damage the patio door or other window parts.
Proper Maintenance Can Help Your Vinyl Windows Last Longer
Cleaning and lubricating are great maintenance steps to ensure that your vinyl windows have an extended lifespan, and keep them looking and working great. Such window care basics are quite easy for anyone. If you want to restore your windows, contact PDXPro Wash for help. We’ll help you maintain your vinyl windows.