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Window maintenance keeps seals, insulation intact

You look out your windows every day. But how many times do you look at your windows to see what shape they’re in?
Take the time to inspect your windows and maintain them a couple of times a year. This will keep humidity, dust and allergens out, and keep heat or cool air inside.

Wood frame windows

Tips for maintaining windows

Frost on the window may be pretty, but it also may mean you have a problem with a window seal.

Check the glass for cracks and breaks. Also check the glazing – the putty that keeps the glass in place. If some is missing, re-glaze the window.

Make sure the paint on the window is smooth. Chips or cracks should be repaired. Open spots allow moisture to seep into the wood and expand it, which will only cause more damage to the paint.

Look at the joint where the window casing is connected to the wall. Fill open spaces between the window frame and siding or brick with a high-quality latex caulk that can be pained.

Close the window and make sure it’s tightly and completely sealed. If it’s not, add weather stripping around the window to block leaks.

Vinyl or metal frame windows

Windows with metal or vinyl frames have rubber seals that hold the glass in place. These seals can break down over time, leading to a water or air leak. If the seal needs to be repaired, or the glass is broken or cracked, remove the sash and take it to a glass repair shop.

Gaps between the casing and the wall or siding should be caulked. Use a paintable latex for interior cracks, and exterior caulk for cracks between the frame and siding or brick.

Examine the weather stripping to make sure it’s pliable and uncracked.

If your windows have double-pane or triple-pane glass, check for moisture between the panes. If moisture is present, this means the seal between the panes has broken and it won’t insulate as well. You can choose to replace the glass or find a professional who can restore the seal.

More information can be found on eHow.