How to Maintain Your Windows Through Every Season

Your windows play an important role in keeping your home safe and energy-efficient. Unfortunately, windows aren’t immortal and rely on cleaning and maintenance steps to extend their lifespan. Homeowners often put a significant investment into their windows but fall behind on taking care of them. Don’t be that person.

Your windows add not only functionality but incredible curb appeal and value to your home. So, it’s up to you or your trusted window experts to take care of them and make any repairs right away.

Defending your home against the elements can be a challenge, and maintaining your windows through every season (especially winter) requires some crucial actions.

Fall & Winter Maintenance

Your windows will go through their toughest test during the wintertime. Poorly sealed or damaged windows can cost you a fortune on your energy bill. So, it’s important that you prep for the cold and take the necessary precautions to keep your windows in tip-top shape.

Seal Your Windows

Sealing your windows for winter is perhaps the best way to reduce your heating bill and keep the cold out of your home. So, where should you start?

Conduct an inspection of your windows to locate any leaks or problem areas that may cause issues. On a cold and windy day, take a visit to every room in your home, being especially mindful of drafts or drops in temperature. A temperature sensor around windows is always a great way to find leaks or windows that need some love.

You can also get an energy audit done on your home too. They’ll conduct tests and suggest methods for how you should seal your windows to protect your home from the elements.

Seal up your windows with a reliable caulking solution. It’s one of the quickest and most affordable ways to defend against cold air and will last all winter if installed correctly. Leaky windows require a layer of caulk around the exterior perimeter — along with the space between the interior trim and wall.

There are other options for sealing up your windows as well.

  • Removable caulk allows you to seal the entire window, but it won’t be operational until the caulk is removed.
  • A heat-shrink film is a super-cheap and easy way to seal up your windows for winter.

Replacing your windows with higher quality and more efficient solutions can often save you a lot of money in minor repairs and maintenance. As we said, windows are an investment — hiring the right installation experts, and window specialists can be your best defense against the cold winter months.

Spring Window Cleaning

Once the groundhog decides what it’s going to do with its shadow and the wintertime is behind us, it’s time for a good old fashion spring cleaning.

One of the best ways to keep your windows from wear and tear is a regular cleaning schedule. Dirt, debris, and overall use can take a toll on your windows, leaving them vulnerable to damage that can increase your energy bills and require costly repairs. So, being proactive is often the best strategy for window maintenance.

So, here are some helpful window cleaning and overall care tips that will help your windows last through every season.

  1. Grab a high-quality window cleaner or create your own DIY solution with 2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon dish soap, and 1/4 cup vinegar and some paper towels.
  2. Leave the paper towels behind; they’ll leave streaks and unwanted lint spots on your windows. Opt for a squeegee or microfiber cloth.
  3. Use a sponge brush to tackle the window tracks.
  4. A wooden window frame can rot, which means you’ll need to scrape out the rotted areas and fill with epoxy putty.

Note: Vinyl window frames are an incredible alternative to traditional wooden frames. They’re extremely easy to maintain and clean — plus, you won’t have to worry about warping, cracking, rotting, or painting!

Summer Window Checklist

Summertime is by far your most relaxed window maintenance season, but that doesn’t mean you get to sit around and do nothing at all. During the summer, it’s good to go through a little checklist and ensure that your windows are ready for harsher seasons.

  • Check your weather stripping for wear and deterioration that could cause leakage or increases in energy bills. Cracking or dry stripping should be replaced right away so that you don’t run the risk of letting unwanted air into your home.
  • Inspect your window caulking for any deterioration as well. While caulking has a fairly long lifespan, unwanted wear in this area can increase your home’s energy bills as well.
  • Make sure your windows operate to their fullest — and are able to open and close without issues. This is especially important for fire safety.
  • Take a close look at your window panes to ensure that there is no damage that may require replacement before the weather gets cold.

Energy Efficiency Starts With Window Care

As with any part of a home, storm and weather damage can take a toll on your windows. Residential properties in the Midwest are especially susceptible to the elements, as constant fluctuations in temperature and moisture levels can wreak havoc on your window systems.

Maintaining your windows through every season should be a proactive measure, one that works to prevent problems before they ever start. The more diligent and attentive you are as a homeowner to the condition of your windows — the quicker you’ll be able to identify problem areas and take care of them. Here’s something to remember: The faster the fix, the cheaper the solution.

That being said, window replacement can be an inevitable symptom of your home, and having a trusted window partner to help with installation and high-quality window solutions can be a lifesaver.

We work with a handful of reliable and premier window brands that will help upgrade your home, boost curb appeal, and save you money on your energy bill.

 

roof damage

The Usual Suspects (What Does the Most Damage to Your Roof)

Your home is a significant investment, one that needs constant protection from the elements. The best defense is a strong and reliable roofing system. Without it, homes can undergo substantial damage, which can lead to all sorts of unforeseen problems down the line.

If you’re not sure what your roof is up against or you ignore damages, far more significant issues can affect your home. While it’s possible to conduct your own routine checks to gauge the integrity of your roof, a proper inspection from a roofing specialist is typically needed to address problems.

That being said, there are some common problems your roofing may face throughout its lifespan that you should know about.

Extreme Weathering

Depending on where you live, certain weather conditions can put up a real fight against your roof. While strong and durable roofing systems can withstand the elements — over time, damage may occur that will need to be looked at.

For most roofs, you should be especially mindful of:

  • Heavy snowfall
  • Heavy rainfall
  • Strong winds
  • Ice
  • Hail
  • Constant humidity

Over time, these issues can beat down on your roofing system and create potential problems for your home. Hail storms are especially problematic because they can displace granules from a shingle’s surface, which leaves your roofing unprotected from the sun. UV rays can damage the asphalt layer of shingles and cause significant wear at a much faster rate.

Wind damage is also a popular adversary for your roofing system, as strong winds can loosen shingles, displace nails, or expose roofing materials to the elements. So, it’s important to be mindful of high winds and the lasting damage they may have caused your roofing system.

ice dam removal service maple groveIce Dams

While we mentioned ice in the previous section, ice dams are a result of ice buildup that deserves a deeper look. Ice dams form on the edge of your roof, which can prevent melting snow from properly draining off of your home.

Ice dam removal can be a careful process, as many techniques have the potential to damage your home. A professional ice dam removal service is often needed to safely eliminate ice ridges that form on your roof. Many companies implement more advanced methods that protect the integrity of your roof and home.

For example, we use an Ice Dam Steamer System that removes pesky ice dams that could lead to significant damages to your home’s structure. Not only does this help preserve your home in the long run, but it also saves you the potential cost of repairs down the road.

Hiring an Inexperienced Installation Team

Sometimes, the problem with your roof starts before you even know it’s there. An inexperienced roofer or trying a DIY route might save you money upfront, but it can be a disastrous situation if the installation isn’t done right.

So, from the get-go, your roof may be fraught with potential issues that can turn into major problems at the worst time possible. Installations aren’t the only time a trusted roofing partner is a necessity. Small leaks or repairs may seem like easy fixes you can handle yourself — but sometimes you may be doing more harm than good.

Whenever problems with a roofing system arise, we always recommend a full roofing inspection. This step not only helps with determining what areas need to be addressed but also underlying issues that could be causing damage elsewhere.

Improper Insulation

Sometimes, damages don’t appear as cracks or moisture problems. Energy efficiency may not damage your roof in and of itself; it can be a costly side effect of improper insulation.

The warm air that escapes through your home’s attic around piping, outlets, and wiring can start to show in your energy bill. For homes that experience temperant weather, we mentioned the issues that surround ice damming in an earlier section. Proper attic insulation can mitigate the problems surrounding ice dams — keeping your attic free of moisture and at an appropriate temperature to prevent ice buildup on your roof.

Skipping Maintenance Steps

No part of a home is without some sort of maintenance or upkeep — and a roofing system is no exception. Proper maintenance and diligence in regards to stains on ceilings or leaks can prevent costly repairs.

It’s also important to schedule regular roof inspections from a professional. Severe storms come and go, but the lasting effect they may have on your roofing system and home can lead to significant problems for you and your family. Whenever there are problems, it’s essential that you hire a reliable roofing team to conduct a full inspection and address any potential damages that may have occurred during or after a storm.

Unwanted Wildlife

Roofing systems are the roof over your family’s head, but they may also be home to birds and other animals. As you may guess, these unwanted critters can cause a lot of damage to your roofing structure.

Some common creatures to be on the lookout for are:

  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels
  • Woodpeckers
  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Bats
  • Nesting birds

Keep your eyes peeled for any unwanted wildlife that takes a trip up onto your roof. For all you know, they could be ripping away shingles or making their home in vent covers.

Defective Gutters

The last of our usual suspects are defective or faulty gutter systems. Gutters play a crucial role in properly draining water off and away from your roof and foundation. Damaged, clogged, or improperly installed gutter systems can lead to significant moisture damage.

If you want to avoid unwanted leaks and severe water damage to your home, it’s essential that your gutters are clear of any debris. Taking the time to inspect your gutter system and look for blockages like nests or other debris can save you a massive headache in the future.

A Final Word

Rounding up the usual suspects that could be harming your roofing system is an essential step in preserving your home. As we always say here at Advantage Construction: “A safe home starts at the top.”

Taking care of your roofing system and ensuring its integrity throughout its lifespan keeps your energy bill low and repairs on hold.