This section offers 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 indicators that your windows or doors may be deteriorating and in need of replacement, but some might not be especially noticeable. Here are some simple ways to help you determine if your windows need to be replaced:
- Look for Warm or Cool Spots
On an especially 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 your home.
- 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.
- Note any Peeling Paint on your Home’s Exterior
This can be caused by moisture inside your home 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 your Window Frames
Tap the frame around your windows 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.
- Assess 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.
- Note the Level of Outside Noise or Drafts
As insulation around a window deteriorates, openings form that can allow unwanted sound and drafts to flow into a home. Old single-pane glass can also provide inadequate protection against outside noise and drafts. Consider replacement windows with insulating glass for greater thermal efficiency and sound reduction.
- Check for Caulk or Seal Failure
This requires a team effort. Have one person stand outside the window with a flashlight. Use the flashlight to “travel” around the entire window frame. If the person standing inside can see light coming through, this may mean caulk or seal failure and, 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:
- Check the Weather Stripping: Weather stripping is a resilient material designed to act as a barrier in the space between the sash and frame to reduce air and water infiltration. Over time, it can become dry and/or feel “deflated,” which makes it less effective. If your weather stripping is showing signs of age, please contact your local Marvin retailer.
- Perform a Visual Examination: Take a few minutes to visually examine the interior and exterior finish of your windows. Occasional repairs 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 weather stripping. They can cause it to lose its flexible qualities.
- Quick Ways to Ensure Optimal Benefits:
- 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.) is operating smoothly.
- Make sure any exposed hardware screws are fully tightened.
- Clean any sand, dirt or dust from door and window hinges, sills and tracks.
- Check any energy panels, as well as storm and screen combinations, to make sure the screws in the 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 the manufacturer’s instructions.
Click here to learn more about window and door maintenance.