The promising signs of Spring are omnipresent in Southeastern Wisconsin this week as April approaches. The season of re-birth is usually marked with homeowners’ instinct to embark on the traditional spring clean up to prepare the home and property for the enjoyment of the beautiful days ahead, while removing the detritus of the winter months behind. A thorough inspection for any damage caused by the relentless freeze/ thaw cycle is an important step in properly maintaining luxury custom-built homes, to address even minor repairs needed before they become greater concerns.
While many areas of concern are hidden from plain sight and easy to overlook, there are an equal number of obvious elements that we look at (or, in the case of windows, through) each day. The windows are such an integral part of the architectural design, character, life and light throughout the house, and proper maintenance is as important to the initial selection process to preserve the integrity of their function. A proper spring cleaning is only one step in the process of ensuring their longevity, yet adds an immediate, rewarding shine; any home appears lovingly tended with newly cleaned windows.
As any homeowner knows, maintenance of windows extends beyond the aesthetic appearance of regularly cleaned panes; the casing and adjacent wall areas of windows need to be cleaned and maintained to combat the wear and tear caused by temperature fluctuations, precipitation and debris accumulation. What to regularly inspect?
- With double or triple pane windows, look for signs of moisture, an indication of a failed seal, reducing the insulation capacity of the windows.
- Inspect sealant/ caulking on the exterior perimeter of windows and patio doors, paying particular attention to lower corners.
- In the frame and sash: look or signs of rot in the frame and sash, caused by moisture infiltration. Also, repeated sun exposure can cause certain areas of the frame to become brittle and warp.
- Look for any gaps between the window casing and the wall.
- Any damage to the frame, such as splinters, cracks and holes should be immediately repaired to prevent hastened deterioration.
- Trim should be painted every three to four years.
Windows are important to both the appearance and security of any home, yet also lend opportunity for creative expression and personality. When renovating an older home, adding new windows add an immediate “face lift”. It is so important to protect that investment by regularly cleaning, repainting or re-staining and re-caulking around windows as needed to preserve their beauty and ensure longevity. As a portal of light and exterior views, beautiful windows enhance the beauty of everything around them.