How to Think Through Window and Door Maintenance

Jun 16, 2022

You know you want that new window or door. You’ve thought through its purpose as well as your budget and timeline. You’re ready to pull the trigger, but. . .

You’ve heard that the material you’re about to order can be a lot of work. Is it worth it to you? How do you feel about doing a fair bit of work to maintain your new window or door to keep it in excellent condition?

Avoid Buyer’s Remorse for New Window and Door Maintenance

It’s a lot to consider. At SoCo Wood & Windows, we understand how overwhelming it can be to think through each step of your new project. That’s why we’ve not only created a guide for you, “10 Things to Consider When You’re Thinking About New Windows and Doors,” but we’re also breaking some of those things down for you in this current blog series.

Today, we’re breaking down maintenance because we want you to love your new windows and doors. And no matter how much you may love the look of a certain product, if it requires more work than desired, you’ll end up regretting its purchase. We want to help you avoid buyer’s remorse at all costs, so here are a few things to consider about the future maintenance of your new windows and doors.

Not all materials are created equal when it comes to maintenance.

  • Not only are vinyl frames and doors typically far less expensive than wood frames, they are easier to maintain. Made of durable plastic, they never need to be scraped or painted; a simple spray and wipe every few months is more than enough to keep your vinyl frames in good condition. This is also true of fiberglass windows and doors—perhaps the easiest material to keep clean and maintain well.

    However, vinyl windows and doors can become discolored if allowed to remain dirty for extended periods of time. This is especially noticeable on the interior vinyl. It is ideal to wash your window frames or doors every few months with a gentle cleanser and microfiber cloth—avoid abrasive materials.
  • Care for aluminum window frames and doors is very similar to care for vinyl. The one notable exception is that about once a year after deep cleaning, you’ll want to seal the aluminum material with a silicone lubricant such as car wax to protect it from rust and corrosion.
  • Wood window frames and doors, on the other hand, do require more frequent maintenance. It is best to check your wood window frames or doors at least once a year, and maybe even twice. Frequent checks allow for quicker, simpler maintenance and extend the life of your wood.

    If your wood is painted, you’ll want to watch for peeling paint, and you can anticipate scraping and painting your wood frames or doors at least every few years.

    Additionally, wood as a material is far more susceptible to weather and climate than other materials. If you live in a dry climate, wood window frames and doors benefit greatly from regularly oiling or waxing the wood in order to keep the material nourished. If you live in a more humid climate, your wood will need regular sealing and re-caulking.

    While exterior wood needs this care more frequently than its interior counterparts—at least every two to three years—interior wood products also need care, and many people find it easiest to scrape, paint or oil, and re-seal and caulk both exterior and interior wood window frames at the same time.

    However, excellent maintenance pays off in the long run: well-maintained wood window frames and doors can last longer than vinyl and most other frame materials, and are arguably more unique and beautiful.

Even though maintenance for window frame and door materials can vary, there are a couple of things that remain the same no matter what product you choose:

Be gentle with your glass.

Many people either neglect to clean the glass in their windows and doors frequently enough—resulting in a cloudy look over time due to built-up moisture—or aggressively over-clean their glass with abrasive products like steel wool or razors. It’s important to wash the glass panes in your windows and doors with glass cleaner and gentle microfiber clothes regularly (ideally, twice a year).

Don’t forget the little pieces.

Often, people will clean the glass and perhaps the frames, but skip the little pieces like the window tracks, the hardware, and the screens. However, this can be detrimental to your windows and doors. Dirt and dust buildup in th tracks can lead to problems not only with opening and closing your windows, but with the insulation of the frames themselves. Neglecting your hardware can cause similar problems—it’s best to wipe down hardware when cleaning windows and doors and then lubricate them when you’re finished to ensure ideal working conditions.

Keep these maintenance requirements in mind when choosing your window and door products. If you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed, don’t worry. We’ve got several experts on hand who’d be happy to talk with you. Schedule a call today.