Window Wisdom: Basic Maintenance

Your home’s windows don’t just offer you views of the outdoors. They’re an important part of your home and deserve the same level of care and attention you probably give other parts of your home. Here, we cover basic maintenance that will help keep your windows operating as they should.

Maintenance starts with regular inspections

Take a walk around your home on a regular basis and look closely at the windows, inside and out. Make note of the following:

Window frame paint or stain — Signs of flaking and peeling may mean that it’s time to refinish or replace the window.

Dirt and debris — Check windowsills and the window tracks for dirt, sand, leaves, insects, pine needles and other debris that can hamper the airtight effectiveness and overall performance of windows. Open the windows and clean out affected areas with a soft brush.

Broken seals, balky locks and sticky parts — Feel for uneven sliding and sticking when you open and close a window. Correct problems with a nonoily lubricant such as paraffin wax. Reattach loose weatherstripping and replace ripped or torn pieces. Locks hold windows in place to help keep out rain, wind, snow and insects, so replace or repair any locks that aren’t working properly.

Clogged holes — Weep holes allow excess moisture to escape, and breather holes allow air exchange. If your windows have either of these and they’re blocked, clear them with a wire, toothpick or similar device.

Failing caulk — Check exterior sealants. Pay particular attention to areas susceptible to punishment from rain, water and extreme sunlight. Remove damaged material and reapply.

Exposed metal in coastal regions — Rinse exterior metal surfaces at least quarterly to minimize the corrosive effects of salt spray and fog. Look for rot, mold and other signs of water damage.


Source: “Add Windows to Home Maintenance Checklist,” Angie’s List, angieslist.com/articles/home-maintenance-checklist-dont-forget-windows.htm (original post April 14, 2014).

The information used to create this article was obtained from sources believed to be reliable to help users address their own risk management and insurance needs. It does not and is not intended to provide legal advice. Nationwide, its affiliates and employees do not guarantee improved results based upon the information contained herein and assume no liability in connection with the information or the provided suggestions. The recommendations provided are general in nature; unique circumstances may not warrant or require implementation of some or all of the suggestions. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle and Nationwide Private Client are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

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