While cleaning your home's windows has obvious aesthetic benefits, there are many practical reasons why you should keep windows free of grime throughout the year. You may be surprised to learn how dirty windows can affect your health as well as shorten the lifespan of glass surfaces and fixtures. The following guide provides a primer on the effects of excessively soiled windows on your household and provides tips on keeping your windows in excellent condition.
Protecting Your Health
Over time the interior surface of windows will accumulate dust and pollen. When you open your windows on warm days these substances enter your home and settle on panes.
Unsightly black mold can also develop on panes, blinds, seals, frames and tracks. These contaminants contribute negatively to indoor air quality. In addition, they can trigger allergy symptoms including nasal secretions, itchy eyes, incessant coughing and more.
If you or other members of your family suffer from allergies, asthma or autoimmune disorders, it is imperative to keep windows clean to prevent the accumulation of harmful substances. The tiny spores from mold can also spread to other parts of your home and grow in hidden places like HVAC vents.
Contaminants on window panes and fixtures can cause discolorations and other structural problems. Bird droppings, algae, tree sap and lichens also mar the appearance of exterior window surfaces.
The first line of defense in protecting your windows is proper cleaning. Effective window maintenance is a labor intensive task that involves more than just spraying cleansing solutions on panes and wiping glass down with a cloth or paper towel. You do not want to leave streaks, get cleaning solution on precious woodwork or damage glass surfaces with harsh cleaners.
The best way to keep windows in good condition is to invest in a professional cleaning service, such as Clear View, Inc., at least twice a year. Professionals have the proper equipment to clean windows and fixtures effectively. Furthermore, if you have a multi-level house you will not have to worry about your personal safety when cleaning windows if you hire professionals to perform the chore.
Preserving Custom Windows
If your home has antique, leaded, stained-glass or beveled windows, it is even more imperative that you seek professional assistance in cleaning the structures.
Typical problems of custom windows include:
- Corrosion on stained glass
- Oxidation of metal frames that outline intricate beveled panes
- Mineral buildup that is hard to remove
- Chipping and deterioration wood frames
- Organic growth like lichens and mold on painted decorations
Vintage windows require gentle scrubbing, lint free cloths and pH balanced cleaning solutions. If you do not want to risk causing further damage, such as hairline cracks, to priceless antique windows, forego cleaning them on your own and hire professionals with experience handling vintage and custom-made glass.
If your standard windows get very dirty in between the visits from the professional cleaners, use all-natural cleaning products or homemade solutions. A common DIY recipe includes a tablespoon of vinegar, a cup water and a cup of rubbing alcohol. All-natural cleansers will not leave a waxy buildup on windows or smell like chemicals.
Other ways to protect windows include:
- Keeping burning candles away from glass so smoke residue does not build up on panes
- Making sure windows are not in the path of lawn sprinklers that can leave deposits of minerals from water
- Keeping screens clean so the dust that gets trapped in mesh does not get onto panes during rain storms
- Regularly cleaning curtains and shades instead of letting them accumulate dust that can contaminate panes
- Moving outdoor grills away from the house so grease does not splatter on windows
In addition, make sure that shrubs and trees that are close your house are regularly trimmed so branches do not scratch panes or get pollen on window surfaces.