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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Get Ready for National Home Improvement Month!

Turn the page on your calendar and we’re in May --- which is National Home Improvement Month. Remember your windows during this special month … whether you’re installing screens, cleaning glass or adding replacement windows to your home, now is the time to think about vinyl home windows!

The experts at Simonton Windows recommend a thorough “check-up” and cleaning of windows and screens each May as part of National Home Improvement Month.

Tips on Caring for Windows

Tip #1 – Never wash your windows or doors with a high pressure spray. The extreme pressure could crack or destroy caulking around the units. Instead, take time to individually clean the windows. If you have vinyl windows, a soft cloth or ordinary long-handled soft bristle brush and some mild detergent may be all that’s necessary to maintain your windows. Do not use abrasive cleaners that may scratch the frame or glass. Tilt-in vinyl home windows from Simonton make it easy to do cleaning from the inside of the home!

Tip #2 – To clean unexpected stains on vinyl windows and door frames (such as bubble gum, felt-tip pens, lipstick, motor oil or top soil), try using Fantastik® cleaner. For tougher stains (such as tar, pencil or oil marks) use Soft Scrub®. And, if children decide to draw on the windows with crayon, Lestoil® can often remove their creative efforts.

Tip #3 – Vacuum around the edges of your weather stripping to remove any dirt build-up. Carefully vacuum your window screens regularly instead of removing them and cleaning with soap and water.

Tip #4 – Recycle old, white cotton hole-ridden socks and use them for cleaning window sills and frames. Slip the socks on your hands and you can “feel your way” toward a cleaner window. Try using a light combination of vinegar and water to gain sparkling glass on your windows.

Tip #5 – Thoroughly wash the exterior frames of your windows (including the sill that is exposed within your home closest to the screens) regularly. Remove any bugs or dirt that may have accumulated.  Over time, dirt may accumulate on window edges and corners. To remove the build-up, use Q-tips dipped in vinegar. Make sure to thoroughly rinse with water afterwards.

Tips on Caring for Window Screens

Oftentimes overlooked during yearly maintenance, window screens also need regular cleaning and care. The experts at Simonton Windows recommend removing and cleaning window screens every year for maximum performance in the home.

“Window screens are generally made of fiberglass or aluminum mesh,” says Gary Pember, vice president of marketing for Simonton Windows. “Properly maintained screens allow for maximum airflow into the home and prevent insects from getting in the house.”

Tip #1 - To clean window screens, remove them from the window frame, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the screens on a flat surface (such as the driveway) and use mild soap and water with a soft bristle brush to remove dirt and grime. Clean both sides of the screen and around the interior and exterior of the frame. Rinse off the unit with lukewarm water. Allow the screen to dry completely before replacing in the window.

Tip #2 – Just as with windows, never pressure wash screens because the force of the water can damage the units. Also, use extreme care when cleaning aluminum mesh, since it can be dented or creased if too much pressure is placed on the screen.

Tip #3 - If you discover a small hole or tear in your screen, purchase a patch kit from a hardware store or home center. Homeowners unhappy with the look of a patch (or who have a large gash in their screen) may choose to get the screen mesh replaced on the entire unit. Many cities have screen repair services where you can take your screen frame and have new mesh added to replace torn mesh.

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