Cleaning, Care & Maintenance

Cleaning

Your FarNorth Windows should be cleaned regularly for long service life. Cleaning the outside glass will provide great views, but also help eliminate streaking and staining on your siding that sometimes appears below the corners of your windows.

Glass

Improper cleaning of your glass can cause permanent damage. Avoid cleaning glass in direct sunlight as spotting may occur. Use a mild, non–abrasive cleaning solution with a soft cloth. Store–brand or equivalent window cleaners are well designed for this purpose. Never scrape the glass with metal blades or knives, as this will permanently scratch the glass and void your warranty. For more information visit www.glasswebsite.com.

Window Frame

With your windows open, use a mild soap and water mixture to clean the aluminum frame (the part connected to the house) and the edges of the sash. A few times a year — late fall, early spring and early summer perhaps — a simple solution of Pine–Sol in a bucket of warm water can be used for this purpose. Follow the detergent manufacturer's instructions for the proper mixture of detergent and water. Rinse a rag in the solution and wring until damp. Run the damp cloth around the open window frame on all four sides, and wipe the sash along the outside weather strip. Be careful not to scrub or loosen the weather strip. Repeat until clean.

Window Maintenance

At the time of cleaning, note any weather strip that is out of place, broken or creased. Replacement weather strip can be purchased from our Service Department.

While washing windows, examine your home for any maintenance needs. If the sash or frame finish is discolored on the inside wood, or if the finish is flaking, you have moisture issues. For more information on this topic, click here to learn about condensation. For repair advice, this link to Marvin Windows does a great job of explaining the process.

Click here for window service information.

Screens

To clean your screens, first remove them from the windows. Using a soft cloth and mild detergent mixed with water, simply wipe the screen clean. Gently rinse with water. Be careful not to exert pressure on the screen as this can damage the material or loosen the screen from its frame. You can also use your vacuum cleaner with an attachment to clean your screens.

Caulking Joints

It is the responsibility of the homeowner to inspect and maintain all caulking joints at and around all exterior openings. On the window unit itself, check the corners of the frame and the sash. Remove, clean and reapply caulk to these areas. Follow the instructions on this process from the manufacturer of the caulk. We recommend a high–grade caulk line like Lexel or equivalent.

At least twice a year, you should inspect all caulking around the outside of your home. This includes around the windows, but also applies to joints between any two materials — for example, between your chimney and siding, brick and siding, etc. A great resource for learning essential and regular home maintenance is the Home–Smart website.

Glass to Sash Seal

The vinyl boot that separates the glass from the bottom wood and metal parts can sometimes retract. A simple solution to ensure long life is to seal that joint with a high–quality, silicone–based caulking such as Lexel. First, clean and dry the parts to be sealed, making sure you are following the caulk manufacturer's instructions. Lay a bead of caulk horizontally from bottom corner to bottom corner of the outside sash. Feather the caulk into the corners. Do not caulk vertically at the corners.

Hardware

The hardware on your windows should also be cleaned and maintained. Remove any dirt or debris using a damp cloth. Do not use caustic or harsh cleaning supplies. A quick shot of WD–40, a graphite lubricant or lithium grease can be applied to the gear mechanism of crank–out windows. Click here for complete information on hardware cleaning and maintenance.