The windows in your home are your view of the outside world. Take a minute to look out of the windows closest to you right now. Do you see water spots, streaks, smears, or anything else that impairs your view? If so, a good cleaning will make your view a lot clearer and brighter. A better view isn’t the only reason to clean your windows, however. There are other benefits you may not even realize.
Reasons Why Window Cleaning Is Important
Washing windows used to be a daunting task. “I don’t do windows” was a phrase many people used to avoid this laborious job. But with today’s technology, it’s rarely necessary to risk climbing ladders and maneuvering around landscaping to get the exterior side of windows clean. Most new windows now tilt in or have other features that allow you to wash both sides from the inside of your home.
If you still don’t want to tackle this chore, hire a professional to do the window cleaning for you. The prices are not exorbitant and the benefits of clean windows justify the expense. Let’s look at some of the advantages of regularly washing windows.
Dirty windows detract from the aesthetics of your home. The curb appeal of your home from the outside makes the first impression on visitors. It’s also obvious from the inside when windows are not clean. Even if the rest of your home is sparkling clean, dirty windows can make the interior look drearier.
2. Window Efficiency
During the cleaning process, you should check the seals around the windows for air leaks and broken seals. These issues can lead to rising utility bills and an uncomfortable temperature inside. Identifying vulnerable areas and repairing them quickly can preclude unnecessary expenses.
The excess dirt can block out some of the sun’s rays, which produce free heat. You’ll need to crank up the thermostat in the cold weather to compensate for the lack of solar heat in order to maintain a comfortable temperature.
3. Extended Window Lifespan
Dirt and debris get into window tracks, impeding the window operation. Regular cleaning will ensure that the windows function properly. It offers the opportunity to check them for small issues that can be fixed before they grow into big problems.
4. Prevent Glass Degradation
Debris can build up on windows, sills, and frames from acid rain and hard water. This not only affects the aesthetic of the windows, but it can also damage them if left unattended. The dirt gets absorbed into the glasses’ pores and slowly corrodes them.
If you’re located near a high-traffic area or construction site, the salted roads and construction debris can increase the extent of the damage. The damage first appears as light scratches which can spread and possibly alter the structure of the window. Keeping the windows cleaned regularly can extend their life.
5. Let the Sunshine In
Let’s face it; sunny days are much better at boosting your mood than dreary ones. Take advantage of those sunny days by maximizing the amount of sunshine that enters your home. Clean windows will brighten up the inside and cheer you up even on the coldest winter days. And if you’re unfortunate enough to have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), you know that the more sunlight you can get, the less you’re affected by the malady.
6. Better Air Quality
Dirt left on any surface indoors can diminish the air quality inside your home. Debris on windows and inside tracks and on screens is no different. Particles will build up and float into and around the interior of your home, making the air you breathe stagnant and contaminated.
If your windows have leaks or condensation, there could be mold growing in cracks and crevices. Moisture is a breeding ground for mold growth. When mold particles are allowed to remain untreated, they can cause breathing problems and other allergic reactions for those who live there.
7. Prevent Accidents
If your home is an older one, the windows could have degraded over the years. Cleaning them gives you a chance to inspect them for vulnerabilities that can lead to falls and injuries. Getting them repaired can prevent tragic accidents, especially from upper story windows.
The Right Way to Clean Windows
DIY or Hire a Professional?
If you want clean windows but not the work, there are plenty of companies available in the St. Louis area that can do it for you. The average cost of window cleaning varies, depending on:
the types of windows, sills, and tracks
if screens need to be cleaned
where your windows are located in your home
the number of windows
Some window cleaning companies charge by the number of windows to be cleaned, while others by the square footage of the window. The cost for cleaning all of the windows in a house can range from $200 - $450.
If you choose to DIY the window cleaning, there are some tips to getting the best results.
1. Cleaning Solution
Don’t waste your money on commercial winder cleaners. You should also avoid window glass cleaners that are ammonia- or alcohol-based because they may leave streaks or produce a film that attracts moisture or dust.
You can make your own solution that works just as well as store-bought, if not better and is much less expensive. (By the way, this applies to every glass surface in your home as well.) One part distilled vinegar mixed with 10 parts warm water works great. Pour into a spray bottle for easy application.
Some may prefer to substitute dishwashing liquid instead of vinegar. If so, mix two gallons of water and about a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid together in your bucket.
There is not much equipment needed to clean the glass on windows. A spray bottle, bucket, squeegee, lint-free rags or small towels (the best type of cloth for the job is a chamois or a microfiber towel) should be sufficient for cleaning the glass. To clean the tracks, a vacuum with a soft brush and drapery attachments can help remove the loose dirt and debris. A toothbrush is handy for scrubbing tracks. If you have tall windows, you’ll and a ladder and a ladder stabilizer (if needed).
Clean the frame and tracks before the glass. If not, the grime on them mixes with the window cleaner, turning it into sludge that will run onto the glass. Use the vacuum cleaner attachment to suck out loose debris from the tracks. Clean the stubborn debris by sprinkling baking soda and a small amount of vinegar into the tracks and scrubbing with a toothbrush. Wipe away any remaining residue with a wet rag.
Get rid of the accumulated loose dirt on the windows by wiping them with a dry, clean, lint-free microfiber cloth. Spray the entire surface generously with the cleaning solution, then rub in with another lint-free cloth. Avoid getting the solution on wood, vinyl, or fiberglass frames to avoid discoloration.
Using another dry, clean cloth, dry the window thoroughly. Drying them completely and quickly is necessary to get the most streak-free finish. That’s why it’s better to wash and dry one window at a time. If streaks still remain, rinse again with clear water and wipe dry again.
A squeegee is very handy in cleaning exterior or larger interior windows. You can purchase them in all sizes, including some with extensions for taller windows. Make sure the rubber blade is sharp and clean. Using nicked or torn blades will miss spots and make your job that much harder. Follow these steps for getting a streak-free window pane with a squeegee.
Wet the glass surface thoroughly with the cleaning solution. Scrub the surface well to loosen all dirt, making sure to get the corners and edges.
Run the edge of the squeegee vertically along one side of the glass to clear a narrow strip.
Starting at the top of the window in the clear strip, rake the squeegee horizontally across the width of the window. Make sure to have the blade of the squeegee in contact with the window. Wipe the blade clean after every horizontal swipe.
Work your way down the window by repeating the horizontal swipe of the squeegee, overlapping the last swipe by a couple of inches.
Use a dry lint-free cloth to remove any remaining water and moisture. Don’t forget the corners and edges.
4. Don’t Forget the Screens
If you have screens on your windows, they may need occasional cleaning as well. If not, they will detract from your sparkling, streak-free windows. If the screens are removable, take them off to do the cleaning You can remove the dust and dirt by vacuuming with an upholstery brush attachment. If there is greasy residue on the screen, hot water and mild detergent applied with a sponge will do the trick. Avoid using brushes, as aluminum screens can bend easily.
Banner Construction Specializes in Premium Window Replacement
Keeping your windows clean is important in extending their life and improving the aesthetics of your home. If you clean your windows and you see warping, condensation inside, scratching, or other signs of deterioration, it may be time for a complete window replacement.
Call on the experts at Banner Construction when you’re looking for the best windows for your home. We specialize in Pella and Simonton windows because they are superior, look great, and last for many years. Contact Banner today for a free consultation.