Care & Maintenance
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Use an ordinary glass cleaner with a lint-free cloth, sponge or chamois to clean your window’s glass. The use of a rubber squeegee to remove excess cleaning solution will speed glass drying and provide a sparkling finish. Glass cleaners or a mild dishwashing detergent may be used on vinyl sash and frame.
Sash tracks and windowsills should be kept clean and free of debris. The use of a vacuum to remove leaves and cleaning with a mild dishwashing detergent solution diluted in warm water will maintain the window appearance and operation characteristics. For maximum weather seal and security, windows that are not in use should remain closed and locked.
All our windows and doors are thermally efficient, so the insulated glass and chambered vinyl frame should be virtually free of condensation. If you are experiencing condensation, it could be a sign that your home’s interior humidity level exceeds the maximum recommended by building authorities (like the National Warm Air Heating Association).
Screens should be washed as needed. Our special fiberglass screening material requires no preservative. CAUTION: Window screens are designed to prevent insect infiltration . . . they will not prevent people or pet infiltration. Exercise care and common sense if you have children.
Double Hung Windows
Double Hung sash tracks should be cleaned periodically to prevent dirt buildup. Again a warm dilution of mild dishwashing detergent is recommended. The bottom sash of our double-hung window tilts in for easy cleaning. To tilt the bottom sash, raise it 4″-5″ from the sill. Release the tilt latches on the top of the sash corners and tilt in. Always support the sash while cleaning. The upper sash of our double hung window also tilts in. While the bottom sash is tilted in, lower the upper sash 4″-5″ from the top of the window frame. Next, release the tilt latches at the upper sash corners and tilt in. Again, support the sash while cleaning. When you are done, snap the upper sash back into place first and then the bottom sash.
Sliding window tracks should be kept clean so the sashes slide easily and seal tightly. A warm dilution of mild dishwashing detergent is recommended. For cleaning the sash of a sliding window, simply slide the window open. Whether you have half screens or full screens they are spring-loaded and can be moved to either side for easy lift-out.
Casement window cleaning varies depending on whether or not the window has egress hardware. Regular casement windows have hardware which allows cleaning of both the interior and exterior surfaces from the inside once the sash is opened 90 degrees. If your casement has egress hardware then the exterior pane must be cleaned from the outside. Casement screens can be removed by turning the four clips that hold them in.
Awning windows are best cleaned from the inside and outside separately.
Bay and Bow Windows
For bay and bow windows, the inside and outside of the glass is best cleaned separately. To protect and seal the wooden seatboard and surrounding wooden frame components, apply a high-quality primer, paint, or stain. Mask and protect all vinyl surfaces during application. Make certain there is plenty of ventilation in your working area. A wood oil soap is recommended for cleaning the wooden components.
Patio door roller tracks should be kept clean and free of debris in order to ensure smooth operation of the patio door. Additionally, moving parts of the patio door lock should be lubricated once a year to ensure optimal performance. Patio door screen-fit is adjusted with the left and right screws located on the bottom edge of the screen. Frame and glass door panels should be cleaned with an ordinary glass cleaner or mild dishwashing detergent solution.
IT IS EASY TO MAINTAIN THE BEAUTY OF VINYL WINDOWS
Vinyl windows and doors are virtually maintenance-free. However, as with any product exposed to atmospheric conditions, they will become dirty and require cleaning.
In most cases, exterior dirt and grime will wash away during the next heavy rain storm. However, with very little effort your vinyl windows and doors will retain their “just new” look for years to come. These tips will help you keep them that way.
BE CAREFUL! Use all common safety methods to minimize the risk of hazard.
DO NOT lean out the windows to clean exterior glass surface.
DO NOT depend on screen for support or retention. Screens will not prevent someone from falling out the window.
CAUTION! Most severe window accidents occur on the first floor.
IF IN DOUBT of precautions and dangers, hire a licensed, insured professional window cleaning service.
- Always wash the frames and sashes with a soft cloth or ordinary long-handled soft bristle brush.
- For removal of most common dirt and grime, use a solution of mild dish washing detergent and warm water.
- Rinse the window.
- Do not wash windows with high pressure sprays, guns, and hoses.
To tilt-in the bottom sash:
- Be sure the window locking mechanism is in the unlock position.
- Raise the window sash approximately 3 inches.
- Grasp each side of the sash and use your index finger to disengage tilt latches.
- Slowly lower the sash to a convenient cleaning level.
- Clean the exterior surface (using a popular glass cleaner and soft cloth or paper towel) by supporting the sash with one hand and cleaning with the other or have someone else hold it while you clean.
- Return the sash to the original position and be sure both title latches click into place.
To tilt-in the top sash:
- Tilt-in lower sash by following the previous instructions.
- Support the lower sash by using a chair, step ladder, or some other stable support. Be sure to pad the support to prevent damage and be sure sash is supported by the sash frame. Do not support sash by resting the glass on the support.
- Pull upper sash down approximately 3 inches above the lower sash.
- Grasp each side of the sash and disengage tilt latches with index fingers.
- Slowly allow the sash to tilt-in.
- Clean the exterior surface (using a popular glass cleaner and soft cloth or paper towel) by supporting the sash with one hand and cleaning with the other.
- Return the upper sash to the original position and be sure both tilt latches click into place.
- Return the lower sash to the original position and be sure both tilt latches click into place.
- Unlock the locking mechanism on the sash.
- Slide sash to its fully opened position
- Grasp sash on either side and lift it into the head of the window until bottom of sash clears the sill
- Tilt bottom of sash out and remove the sash from the frame.
- Place sash on a soft, padded surface and clean exterior glass surface.
- Replace sash into frame by repeating steps 1 – 4 in reverse order.
- Turn the locking mechanism to its unlocked position on the sash.
- Crank sash open to 90 degrees
- Reach between sash and frame to wash exterior glass surface by using a common glass cleaner and a soft cloth or paper towel.
- Crank window to its closed position.
- Wash interior glass surface.
STAIN FIGHTING SOLUTIONS
For stains that prove to be more difficult to remove, use the readily-available household cleaners listed in the following table. Be sure to closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each cleaner. Soft-Lite does not guarantee nor warrant the effectiveness of each individual product.
This list is based upon a study conducted by the Vinyl Window and Door Institute on the efficiency of popular cleaning agents and their effects on the appearance of vinyl windows and doors. Alternative products made by other manufacturers may or may not be as effective.
If you choose to use a mildly abrasive cleaner such as Soft Scrub with bleach, Ajax, Bon Ami, etc., please be aware that these abrasives may affect the appearance of glass and vinyl surfaces. Be sure to test the effects of these cleaners on a small, unseen portion of the window before proceeding.
DO NOT use cleaners containing aggressive organic solvents because they could affect the surface appearance of the vinyl. Examples of such cleaners include: chlorine bleach, liquid grease remover, strong soaps and detergents containing organic solvents, nail polish remover and furniture polish and cleaners.
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