Ah, the smell of new windows.

Well, maybe that’s actually the fragrance of spring flowers drifting in through your open windows, but that’s one of the reasons you made this investment in the first place. New windows bring the world to life inside your home.

So, naturally, you want to preserve that fresh excitement as long as possible. Hall’s supports that goal, of course, but we also understand that few homeowners have time on their hands for mundane things like cleaning.

The good news is, maintaining your new windows in Sacramento can be a snap, no matter which material you settled on.

Wood measures

California’s coastal areas wage a battle against salt, rain and wind that will dry out wood window structures more quickly than inland residents. So beach lovers might want to set aside a few hours every month to give their window frames some loving care. The rest of Californians can probably get by with once a season.

Start by combining one tablespoon of mild liquid detergent with one quart of warm water. Simply soak a sponge in the solution, wring it out and wipe down the wood, then rinse with a wet cloth.  Don’t give in to the temptation to use a dry towel, as a stray particle can scratch the surface that way .

While you’re there, check for mildew or peeling paint—signals that you need to refinish the surface before problems escalate. Don’t panic if you do; it’s a DIY project that requires a bit of fine-grit sandpaper and mild elbow grease to remove the mildew; be sure to fill in any cracks with a wood filler. A thin coat of a latex or oil-based paint or outdoor wood stain—whichever matches your appearance—finishes the job.

Aluminum and vinyl care

The list of what not to do is longer than the maintenance suggestions for this type of window—perfect for those with time constraints. You want to avoid petroleum-based, abrasive and caustic cleaners, for starters; the one tablespoon of mild soap and one quart of warm water is perfect for these windows, too. And you only need to wipe them down with a soft cloth and rinse the same way—blasting them with a high-pressure spray nozzle might be fun for the young-at-heart, but it’s not especially good for the frames themselves.

The glass factor

It’s another job for mild soap and water and a clear water rinse. You’ll want to remove screens and perhaps take a soft brush to them if dirt has collected in the filter, as well. Again, gentle is the watchword on this activity. You can use a regular household vacuum, or a power vac if you have one handy, to remove dirt from the sill and track areas.

And definitely take this opportunity to make certain that drainage or weep holes are not clogged. (Weep holes are located outside the window or door in the bottom of the frame. Ask Hall’s representative to show you exactly where to look.) You can use a soft bottlebrush to clear these holes. Among the things you can ditch:

  • Don’t wash glass in direct sunlight. Which means you can use the premium hours of the day at he beach, in your pool, enjoying iced tea with a neighbor.
  • Avoid petroleum-based cleaners or caustic chemicals on your glass.
  • Put away razor blades, putty knives and abrasive pads. None of these old-fashioned ways of cleaning glass apply to today’s surfaces.
  • Sorry, no high-pressure spray nozzles to rinse the panes, either. But there’s probably a deck somewhere that you can sandblast into next week.

Periodic maintenance

Along with cleaning, you’ll want to regularly lubricate the moving parts to your windows—in salty locations, “regularly” can be as often as once a month. That’s a great time to check the seal on your weather stripping as well. And to keep your window pains in tip-top condition by the shore, apply a light car wax to the panes and exterior once a year after you clean these surfaces. Otherwise, you will end up sealing in a corrosive element, inviting it to damage your windows further.

For more advice, drop in to visit our representatives at Hall’s Window Center. It’s possible you could even talk us into a cleaning demonstration, but fair warning: We read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, too.