The dining room has been painted a jazzy color, those new lighting fixtures were a find, and now there’s just one last thing sitting on that to-do list.
Windows. They need some love too.
This one can be overwhelming. There are a lot of choices and the technology keeps advancing. It’s a big investment and you’ll be living with these windows for twenty years or more!
While it’s not as easy as buying a new throw pillow at Southpark Mall, you don’t need to feel intimidated. Here are the options…
New Construction or Replacement Windows?
They sound like the same thing, right? Replacement windows are new windows… but new windows replace the old ones.
Don’t tie yourself in knots.
New construction windows are what you pick when you want to add a window or change its shape or size. You can change the entire look of your house and get more natural light.
New construction windows mean hiring a contractor to work on the surrounding carpentry, and help you get the look right. You’ll need to budget a bit more for the cost of labor.
When you go with replacement windows, you just swap in new windows. If your existing frames are in decent shape and you like the look of your house, this might be the way to go.
What style do you want?
Double hung windows open from the top and bottom. It’s a great way to get cross ventilation on those North Carolina spring days — the crepe myrtle is blooming, the birds are singing, and you want to wait to turn on the A/C. If you have kids, these are a smart choice for the second floor. You can get a breeze, and not worry about the kids pushing the screens out and falling.
Casement windows have one large sash that opens vertically like a door would open. They are controlled by a hinge mechanism — think of how you wind open an old-school car window.
Slider Windows are exactly what they sound like — they just slide on a track. Picture how the takeout window at Cook-out opens when they hand you a milkshake or Cheerwine.
Bay Windows have a lovely curb appeal. The three dimensional shape is an upgrade that’ll give you great light and show off the views of your property. Bow Windows have a similar feel, but they soften the curve of the bay shape.
How about frame and sash material?
This doesn’t refer to your silky beauty queen sash–this is about the material surrounding the glass. Vinyl windows are popular and can be made to match any style home. They offer great insulation, and are a piece of cake to keep clean.
If you want to get fancy, wood windows have that southern historic feel and come with a slightly higher sticker price. If you decide to go with wood, you’re committing to periodically painting or staining to protect them from moisture.
Since both options give you energy efficiency, your frame and sash material may just come down to a beauty queen contest after all.
If your house still has its original windows, you might have single pane windows. This style is builder-grade and the least expensive. Unfortunately, they are also the least energy efficient. Consider installing double pane or triple pane windows for the efficiency boost.
The space between the glass lowers heat transfer, especially with the argon gas they pump between layers. It’ll keep you cooler than sweet tea — especially with low-emissivity coating. Low-E coating is like an invisible layer of sunscreen – it blocks out UV light. You can enjoy the sun and not get baked.
If your front yard hosts amateur Tar Heel football games, maybe you want to opt for impact resistant glass and save yourself a repair. And if your home is near a bar where they watch the game, well, we also have a glass that can help you cut down on noise.
Like most home improvements, you’re going to get what you pay for. Knowing what you want is just the first step. Make sure you choose a reputable brand of windows, with warranties to back them up. We take pride in our homes here in Charlotte, and if you ask around, most Charlotteans will tell you that Window Nation is your best bet.
Vinyl windows are supposed to be low maintenance, but with the unpredictable weather of Boston, MA, they could use a good cleaning every now and then.
A combination of the slush from the high volume of snow, and the dirt that just seems to get everywhere, can leave your Boston windows streaked with grime and debris. Admittedly, the last thing you want to do when the weather is decent for the next two minutes is to go outside and clean your windows.
But it’s as easy as the Sox getting into the World Series (this century, at least), and it really pays off in the long run. Here are some of our best tips for how to clean vinyl window frames and keep them looking as clean as our parks in the Emerald Necklace.
Exterior Vinyl Window Cleaning Tips
Cleaning the outside of vinyl window frames is sure to add curb appeal, and impress the people stuck in the Boston traffic outside of your house. Create a simple cleaning solution by mixing 1-1/2 cups of distilled white vinegar with one gallon of warm water (pro tip: Add the juice of half a lemon to this to mask the vinegar odor) or mix a teaspoon of mild soap in a gallon of warm water.
Rinse the outside of the windows with water to dislodge the metric ton of Massachusetts dirt just sitting around the edges.
Once the windows have been rinsed, apply the cleaning solution to the glass and frames. Use a soft sponge or a lint-free cloth to clean the vinyl windows.
If you’re using a soapy solution, rinse the windows again to prevent soap scum from drying on them, then use a lint-free cloth to dry the windows. If you’ve chosen the vinegar solution, dry the windows with a cloth to enjoy new-looking windows that will finally take your home off of the waiting list for historical sites to put on Freedom Trail.
Now you can go back inside before it starts snowing again in the middle of October.
How to Clean the Inside of Vinyl Windows
You don’t need to be in shape for the Boston marathon to clean the inside either. Here as well, you’ll want to remove all dirt and debris from the frame, tracks, and screen before you deep clean those windows.
Your vacuum comes in handy to dislodge soil, dirt, and unexplained bits of New England clam chowder from the window. If you’re noticing a lot of debris along the window sill, your windows may need weather stripping or sealing, which can block the frigid Boston air (and dirt) from passing through the window.
When it comes to cleaning vinyl window tracks, cleaning wipes work well for getting into the corners. Run wipes up and down along the tracks to pick up dust and dirt. You will know you’re done when the wipes don’t show the Celtic green color from the Boston pollen and dirt taken from the window.
You may use the same cleaning solution to clean the inside of the window as the exterior, at least now you’re a little warmer. Cleaning vinyl window frames inside your home is straightforward. Simply apply your soap or vinegar solution to the window frame, working from the top down. This way, you will not accidentally drip on areas you’ve already cleaned.
Showing a bit of that Boston elbow grease can help you remove dirt and debris from the window without damaging the frames. If you encounter a stubborn stain, scrub the area with a soft-bristled cleaning brush.
Some folks in The Hub like to use a squeegee to remove the cleaning solution without leaving streaks on the window. However, your lint-free cloth will also work to clean and dry the interior of the window frame. Paper towels are a poor choice to clean the window since they will leave lint particles on your glass.
If you have sun exposure, you may notice the window cleaner starts to dry before you’ve finished the job. Another of our top window cleaning tips is to work on an overcast day when you will not be fighting the sun (which is just about 95% of the year in Boston).
If your windows look cloudy or dirty even after you have cleaned them, it may be time to replace your vinyl windows. Grab a cup of coffee from Dunkies, sit back, and check out high-quality vinyl windows from Window Nation or reach out to get a free estimate for replacement windows in Boston.
“How do I clean a double hung window” is a very common question we receive at Window Nation. Double hung windows open at both the top and the bottom. The newer double hung models are designed to make them easier to clean both sides from inside your home. For this reason they are a very popular option when choosing windows. We are here to help you keep your windows looking beautiful.
Steps for Cleaning Double Hung Windows:
- Completely unlock your windows by moving the latches on the bottom sash inwards.
- Raise the bottom sash up six to eight inches.
- Locate the tilt hatches on the window’s bottom sash and pull inwards, as though the hatches are meeting in the middle.
- Slowly tilt the window forward towards the interior of the home. The window should be almost flat at a 90-degree angle; however, be sure not to tilt the window too far. Complete this step slowly to avoid damaging the window.
- Slide the top sash down six to eight inches.
- Locate the tilt hatches on the window’s top sash and pull inwards, as though the hatches are meeting in the middle.
- Slowly tilt the window forward towards the interior of the home. The window should be almost flat at a 90-degree angle; however, be sure not to tilt the window too far. Complete this step slowly as not to cause damage.
- Start with the top sash and clean the interior of the window first.
- Slide the top sash back into the frame and clean the exterior of the window.
- Clean the bottom sash, starting with the interior of the window.
- Slide the bottom sash back into place and clean the exterior of the window.
- Put the sash back in frame.
- Put the sash back in the lift rail to close the window. Be sure not to close the window from the top, as your window could be damaged as a result.
Best Window Cleaning Supplies
Use standard window cleaners, such as Windex, to clean the glass panes on your windows. To clean the window’s frame, we recommend using magic erasers for vinyl windows and dust cloths and wood polish for your wooden windows.
Upgrading to Double Hung Windows
If you’re looking to upgrade your existing windows to double hung windows from Window Nation, skip the showroom and have our exterior design consultants come to your home to discuss the best options for your needs. We offer eight types of windows in a variety of materials to best suit your project’s needs. For more information about replacing your windows, schedule a free in-home consultation with an exterior design consultant today.
Mold on window sills is unsightly, but it can also be hazardous to your health. Therefore, knowing how to prevent mold on windows is extremely important.
The good news is, if caught early, mold can be removed from your window before it causes environmental damage. Find out the best ways to remove mold from window sills, then learn how to prevent it entirely.
How to Remove Mold From Wood Window Frames
Time is of the essence when it comes to removing mold from window sills. If you ignore the problem, hoping it will go away on its own, the mold will spread.
To clean mold, you will need bleach, dish soap, water, a plastic scraper or brush, dry cloth, and safety supplies. We recommend that you wear cleaning gloves, eye goggles, and a protective face mask when tackling mold, so you don’t inhale any of the mold spores.
Mist the mold with a spray bottle before you start to clean the window sills. The light coating of water weighs down the mold spores so they don’t release into the air when you start scraping.
Mix dish soap with water and apply the soapy solution to the window sills. The soap and heat will start to loosen the mold. The mold should start to come up, but if it doesn’t, take your plastic brush or scraper and apply pressure.
Follow this with a bleach solution, using 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon of water. Apply the bleach solution to the window, let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse the window sills with water.
Once the windows have been cleaned, dry the sills thoroughly or open the window and allow the sills to air dry.
How to Prevent Mold on Window Sills
Removing mold from your window sills is only half the battle. To succeed, you will need to prevent mold from growing on the windows by removing moisture from your home. Ventilation helps you here by keeping air flowing through your home.
If you’re wondering how to safely remove mold from window sills, start by replacing old ventilation fans in home bathrooms. Newer models may be more efficient. Open windows throughout the home so air can flow. Fresh air can also improve the air quality in your home, removing some of those musty odors.
The two main causes of mold on windows are condensation and leaks. By removing condensation from your home, you can decrease moisture — a key component for how to prevent mold on window sills. Use moisture eliminators or purchase a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. Improve your home’s ventilation system so moisture is carried away from the home and vented through the attic. During summer, keep the air conditioning above 70 degrees.
If your windows are leaky, it may be better to replace your windows rather than to repair them or continue battling mold in your Harrisburg home.
Get Help From a Harrisburg Window Company
If dealing with how to remove mold from window sills has become a struggle, it may be time to replace your windows. Mold spores may have worked so deep into the wood that it costs more in time and effort to battle the mold than replace the windows. Window Nation offers replacement wood and vinyl windows throughout the Harrisburg area. To learn more about our replacement windows, or for a free estimate, contact us today.
Knowing how to get rid of condensation inside windows is a very important matter. Condensation covering your windows is more than just a nuisance; the potential damage to your home — in rot, mold, and mildew — is far more unpleasant. While condensation on the window pane can be wiped away, you might be wondering how to absorb condensation from windows when it happens between panes of glass. Get our recommendations on tackling condensation inside windows to clear up your view and safeguard your home.
Causes of Window Condensation
Excess humidity is a main cause of condensation on windows. Dehumidifiers take air out of the environment, keeping moisture off the windows. Alternatively, you may try a moisture eliminator, which draws excess moisture out of the air. Some moisture eliminating products contain scents, so these can do double duty if your home has a musty odor.
If you are looking for solutions on how to deal with window condensation in the bathroom, you may need a stronger bathroom fan. By running the bathroom fan when taking a shower or bath, you can draw moisture out of the bathroom and vent it away from the home, before the moisture can do damage.
If you take these steps to deal with window condensation and you notice your windows have condensation between the panes, it could be a different issue.
Why Windows Get Condensation Inside
Condensation happens when water vapor hits a cool surface and condenses, due to the natural temperature difference. For water vapor to condense in between window panes, either the seal on double hung windows has broken or the desiccant, which absorbs moisture in between the panes of a double hung window, can no longer keep up with the excess moisture.
While you can troubleshoot causes of window condensation and fix the problem when the panes have moisture, there is no simple solution for how to get rid of condensation inside windows. .
If the windows in your home are older, their seals are likely held in place with caulk. Due to seasonal shifts in weather, caulk can weaken over time, which may lead the seals to fail.
Newer windows most frequently use a glazing bead spacer to hold the glass in place. Seals on these windows fail due to age.
How to Stop Window Condensation on the Inside
If you have older windows, where the seals are held in place with caulk, you may be able to replace the caulk and bolster the seal. This is usually a short-term fix, because the window technician who repairs the seal cannot refill gas that escaped from the window. Your windows will be drafty without the gas fill, since the gas blocks air transfer. Your utility bills may increase as well.
Caulking seals won’t stop window condensation long term either. Most of the time, your best bet is to replace your old windows with efficient replacement windows that have a tight seal. When you replace the windows, the condensation should stop since you have removed the root cause.
If you’ve been wondering how to get rid of condensation inside windows, take action to replace failed seals before the excess moisture damages your home. Reach out today to get a quote for replacement windows, or to learn more about options for financing window replacement so you can safeguard your home without going over budget.
The holidays are a time for increased activities in the home. It seems much harder to keep your home clean during the holiday season, too – but with these 5 tips you’ll enjoy an organized and cleaner home so you can focus on the things that really matter – like spending time with family and friends.
Vacuum Under the Tree
If you have a fresh cut tree in your home, you know the challenge of pine needles. Even if you keep your tree properly watered, pine needles will start to fall from the branches. Once on the floor, they stick to your socks or shoes and will travel throughout your home – leaving little pine needles pretty much everywhere over time! Give the space under and around your tree a quick daily vacuum to keep the pine needles under control.
Clean the Kitchen After Baking
Before you start baking Christmas cookies or any other holiday treats, empty the dishwasher. That way, it will be ready for you to add your dirty dishes as you use them so you can prevent the dirty dish pile-up in the sink that results after baking.
Keep Up with the Contents of Your Refrigerator
As you head into the holidays you’re likely to have more food stored in the refrigerator than usual. Take some time to clean out anything you don’t need before you start loading it up with holiday food preparation. If you will be hosting a big family dinner, consider getting disposable storage containers beforehand. As you clean up from the dinner, give guests leftovers to take home.
Put Things Away as You Use Them
This is a time of year for crafting and decorating. It’s also a time of year when clutter tends to take over our homes. If you take craft supplies out to make something with the kids, put it away as soon as your crafting session is over. When you lug all of the holiday decorations out, put the boxes away until it’s time to pack everything up. Stacking boxes around your home makes it look cluttered, unorganized, and generally messier than it needs to look. If you have decorations that no longer look nice or work properly, toss them! It will help keep your holiday decorations organized.
Avoid the Winter Boot Mess
If you live in an area with snow and sleet, or even just excessive rain, you know what a mess the winter boots can make! Add to that challenge an increase in guests during the holiday season and you could be stepping in puddles inside your home in your socks! That’s the worst! Ask everyone to take their boots off before they come indoors. Then, if it’s cold, place the boots into plastic grocery bags (one per person) so you can bring the boots indoors and place them, bag and all, on your boot or welcome mat. The plastic bag will collect the snow and ice as it melts and keep your house dry.
Here at Window Nation, we wish you a clean and joyous holiday season! Click below to learn more about our replacement windows.
Learn more about our replacement windows
You have spent a small fortune making sure that your home was fit for the joyous festivities. You wanted to be sure that you set the right mood to ensure that your holiday get-togethers were a hit. There was a sense of satisfaction when your loved ones noticed those new drapes you had hung just for the occasion; and the children all gathered around your Christmas village that you displayed in the family room enthralled with all the lights that flickered through the windows of the miniature houses. They squealed with joy when the train you had placed throughout your town made its way around the track with a toot of its horn and a glimmer of light from the front of the engine. And that tree! What a beautiful sight. Those new ornaments you made with the children were just the right touch; and when added to the tree with those glass ornaments that used to belong to Grandmother, well, there was just no finer sight! But the memories are now stored as the footsteps of your loved ones are now just an echo in your hallway, and it is time for the long, cold days of winter to play out.
One of the most pressing questions for you as December fades into January is, “What am I going to do with all these decorations?” You spent way too much time and money for these little treasures to be lost. Besides, each piece in your holiday decoration collection brings a smile to your face as the memories help to get you through. You certainly want to protect these keepsakes for years to come.
One of the most important tips to keep these jewels safe and your memories alive is to store them in a plastic container with a locking lid. This will help to keep pests from trampling through and destroying these treasures. Make sure that you use bubble wrap on the breakables. You can even purchase locking, plastic bins that are specifically designed with pockets for safe storage of your glass ornaments.
One of the best ways to store strings of lights is to take your old wrapping paper tube and slice a notch in either end. Now hook one end of a light string into the notch and wrap around and down the tube. When you reach the bottom, place the other end of the string into the notch you made and wrap in tissue paper. Not only will this protect your lights from breaking, but it will also keep them from becoming tangled making it a breeze to use them next season.
Also, make sure to store wreaths in their original box or in plastic bags and place them horizontally on the shelf. Candles should be laid flat for storage; and drapes, tablecloths, and doilies should be washed, dried, folded, and placed in a storage bin with locking lid.
We hope these tips will help you preserve your holiday treasures for years to come. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your friends here at Window Nation.
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December 21st marks the first day of winter, so now is as good as time as ever to make sure that your home is properly prepared for whatever the upcoming winter has up its sleeve. Preparing your home for winter doesn’t have to be costly and time-consuming, in fact taking the time to prepare your home for winter now, can end up saving you both time and money in the future. Listed below are some tips from the professionals at Window Nation to help you start getting your home ready for winter!
Preparing your home for winter
Inspect your home’s roof for signs of wear and damage; if any is noticed hire a professional to come assess the situation and repair any damage. Damaged roof tiles can allow thawing snow to leak into your home.
Clean leaves and other debris out of gutters to make sure that water does not collect and freeze inside of them. Water frozen inside of gutters can lead to water seeping inside of your home and cause major damages.
Turn off exterior faucets and disconnect hoses – draining any remaining water; doing this will help to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting during the cold winter months.
Make an appointment with a professional to have your HVAC system inspected and maintained. Have it cleaned, its filters changed, and repair any small problems now that are found.
Once the heat in your home is turned on for the winter, switch your home’s ceiling fans so that their blades turn clockwise. Switching your home’s fans will ensure that the hot air that rises to the ceiling is pushed back down to help keep your home warmer.
Replace your homes older windows and doors with energy efficient models. New replacement windows and/or doors help to reduce drafts and energy costs, while helping to keep you and your family warmer this winter.
Help to keep warm air inside of your home by caulking gaps found around windows and doors, and by installing door sweeps on all exterior doors.
If your home has a fireplace or wood stove, make sure that before using it your home’s chimney has been cleaned by a professional. It is also a good idea to make sure that the damper remains shut when not in use, if you don’t plan on using your fireplace at all this winter have the chimney flu plugged and sealed.
If new replacement windows and/or doors are needed to get your home ready for this upcoming winter, contact the experienced professionals at Window Nation now. Our experts will be happy to sit down with you and determine which windows are the best fit for your unique home and budget! Contact us today for a free, in-home, estimate!