Maintenance & Improvement

In this section we’ll provide Maintenance Tips for the Marvin Family of Products, as well as ideas for Home Improvement!

Is it time to replace my windows? 

There are several signals that your windows or doors may be deteriorating, but some may not be as obvious as you think. Here are some simple signs and tests to help you determine if your windows need to be replaced:

Warm or Cool Spots
On a hot or cold day, check for warm or cool spots near the inside of the window. If you find them, it means the windows are not adequately insulating the house.

Check for Drafts
Hold a lighted candle in front of the window's edge. If the candle flickers, drafts are coming in through the window.

Peeling Paint on Exterior of House
This can be caused by moisture traveling through improperly sealed windows and back out to the exterior. Also, in older homes, exposure to UV rays and temperature extremes may cause exterior frames to expand and contract, causing paint to peel.

Check the Window Frames
Tap the frame with a flat-blade screwdriver to test the softness of the wood. If the end of the screwdriver can be pushed easily into the wood, it’s usually a sign of decay and full-frame replacement windows may be an option to consider. Note: To avoid damage to the frame, make sure to use a flat-blade screwdriver or other blunt tool.

Frost and Ice Buildup
When inadequate insulation or poor thermal material allows a too-quick transition from hot to cold air, condensation can develop and frost and/or ice may form on the windows.

Check the Operation
Open and close each window to see if it operates smoothly. If the window needs a prop, such as a yardstick, to stay open or it’s painted or swollen shut, it needs to be replaced.

Outside Noise or Drafts
As insulation around a window deteriorates, openings form that also allow unwanted sound and drafts into the home. Old single-pane glass provides inadequate protection against outside noise. Consider replacement windows with insulating glass for greater thermal efficiency and sound reduction.

Check for Caulk or Seal Failure
Stand outside the window with a flashlight. Using the flashlight, "travel" around the entire window frame. If someone inside sees light coming through, this may mean caulk or seal failure or, potentially, energy loss.

If you think your windows or doors are failing, a Hastings Independent Retailer can help you determine the window replacement option that is best suited to your home and needs.

Taking Care of Your Windows

Regular maintenance will help keep your Marvin windows and doors operating smoothly. Use this checklist as an annual maintenance reminder.

  • Weatherstrip is a resilient material designed to act as a barrier in the space between the sash and frame to reduce air and water infiltration. Make sure it is still effective. If not, contact your local Marvin retailer.
  • Examine the window's interior and exterior finish. Occasional repair to a damaged finish may be necessary. (See Maintaining Wood and Painting and Staining for more details.) Also, remember to be careful when using paints, stains and varnishes to make repairs. Never allow these solvent-containing materials to come into contact with weatherstrip. Solvents cause weatherstrip to lose its flexible qualities.
  • Inspect the exterior caulking around the outer edges of the window frame. Trim off any old, loose caulking and seal any gaps with a good quality caulk.
  • Check that all hardware (locks, opening mechanisms, etc.) operates smoothly.
  • Make sure any exposed hardware screws are tightened securely.
  • Clean any sand, dirt or dust from door and window hinges, sills and tracks.
  • Check any energy panels and storm and screen combinations to make sure screws in turn buttons are securely fastened.
  • Check doors for smooth operation. Wood doors require a stabilization period after installation, sometimes taking up to a year to adjust to humidity levels and other environmental factors.

When performing maintenance, always consider your safety first:

  • Use caution on ladders, and always wear protective eyewear and clothing.
  • When working with primers, paints, stains, cleaning solutions, etc., follow all recommended safety precautions and dispose of these materials according to manufacturer's instructions.

Click here to learn more about window and door maintenance.