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How to Care for Different Types of Windows

Spring cleaning will be upon us in Des Moines before you know it.

How do you clean your windows? If you have high quality vinyl windows like Lotus vinyl, the panes practically take care of themselves, but will require an occasional windexing. But replacement windows come in many different shapes and sizes, and each of those different types of windows operates differently. Because of this, casement windows might require different maintenance than double-hung windows or picture windows. Here’s a guide to caring for your home’s windows to ensure they last as long as possible, no matter what the type.

Casement and Awning Windows

Casement windows are popular because of the extended views offered by their tall structure and the fact that they open outward with a hand crank. Most casement windows have smooth panes with no trim (although you can have casement windows with trim), so they’re easy to clean. Simply spray a mild detergent and wipe it with a cloth or paper towel. The main focus for these windows is in making sure the operable parts (upper and lower hinge, the hardware, and pins of the multi-point lock), the track, and the guide are lubricated. If the hand crank becomes rusted or stiff, the window may not be able to open. Dry silicone spray tends to work best when lubricating the hand crank, rather than abrasive lubricants or cleaners. Dry silicone tends to work best for lubricating because it doesn’t leave an oily film behind.

Awning windows are smaller and horizontal, but function in much the same way, opening outward with the use of a hand crank. Thus, the maintenance for these windows is essentially the same as with casement windows.

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows are some of the most commonly used windows, with two sashes, one of which opens upwards and one of which opens downwards. It is made up by a number of moving parts. There are the sashes, balance system, tilt latches, and locks. The good news about double hung windows is that they can be cleaned completely from inside, by tilting each sash at a time — first the lower, and then the upper — at a 90 degree angle toward you and wiping it down. The jambs should also be dusted and cleaned.

Garden Windows

Garden windows are angular convex windows that are often used as a place for potted plants or an indoor garden. If you use them as such, occasionally you will need to clean up bits of soil and fallen leaves. Clean all of the glass (garden windows are trapezoidal in shape, with five panes of glass), with warm soapy water. With any window maintenance, you should always ensure that the sealing caulk doesn’t have any cracks, particularly in tight corners, but as there are so many corners to garden windows, this is a priority.

Picture Windows

Picture windows are fixed windows that offer all the views of other windows in your home without ventilation. These windows require the least amount of care. Simply wiping down the glass a few times a year will suffice. However, if they have wood frames, make sure that the window cleaner you use is also wood friendly.

While occasional maintenance is necessary to ensure that your window lasts for as long as possible, the best way to promise a long life for your window by investing in a high quality replacement window. These windows are low-maintenance and long-lasting, offering high energy performance, insulation, and will improve the aesthetics of your home. At Zen Windows Des Moines, that’s what we offer with our Lotus, Nirvana, and Karma windows. Contact us today for more information or a free quote.