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Window Care 

The following information has been provided to assist in preserving the integrity and reliability of your windows.

INSTALLATION

Your product should be inspected and installed following the steps described in the supplemental instruction pamphlet provided with your Windsor unit. Improper installation may cause your unit to perform poorly, which could reduce the life expectancy and/or void the warranty.
 

FINISHING

Surface preparation – Prior to finishing, all surfaces should be dry, clean, free from mold and mildew, dust or any other form of surface contamination. An exterior topcoat or interior finish should be applied while the sash/panel is open or removed from its frame, to ensure complete coverage. The finish should be allowed to dry completely prior to placing it into contact with any other window/door component.

All exposed wood surfaces must be sealed or finished following installation. The only exception to this is the edge of the double hung sash that makes contact with the jambliner.

Exposure to the elements for an extended period of time will cause deterioration of a factory-applied primer, allowing the wood to absorb moisture and subject it to the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. As it absorbs moisture, the wood’s natural color leaches out resulting in a gray weathered appearance. The periodic absorption of moisture and subsequent drying will also cause the grain to rise, increasing the possibility of checking. Ultraviolet light breaks down lignin in the wood (lignin holds the wood fibers together) allowing moisture to infiltrate, further promoting fungal decay or wood rot.

Interior finishes - Apply a top quality primer to any bare wood surfaces that will be painted. When applying a topcoat paint finish, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Latex flat wall paints are not recommended, as they do not provide adequate protection from moisture penetration.

If a stain is applied as an interior finish, 2-3 coats of a top quality clearcoat finish (varnish or urethane) should follow its application.

When using darker stains, a sanding sealer or pre-stain is recommended. Pine will tend to absorb stain at an uneven rate resulting in an inconsistent appearance.

Exterior finish – Prime Products – Apply at least two coats of a top quality house and trim paint to the exterior surface of your Windsor primed product. A factory applied primer will accept the application of either a latex or oil based finish. Windsor recommends the application of lighter gloss paints. Dark colors tend to absorb a greater amount of solar heat, which can cause wood to expand and contract excessively. This expansion and contraction can result in cracking and premature failure of the paint film. This, in turn, will also allow moisture penetration causing paint peeling and possible wood deterioration. While painting the exterior surfaces, pay particularly close attention to any joints where sash or frame parts butt into each other. The paint must bridge any gaps created by these joints.

Consult your local paint supplier when selecting an interior or exterior finish. Follow paint manufacturer’s recommendations for surface preparation and top coat application.

DO NOT PAINT HARDWARE OR WEATHERSTRIP. We do not recommend painting the exterior of aluminum clad products. Painting will void the warranty.

DO NOT PAINT ANY VINYL SURFACES. Paint may seriously affect the operation and/or the performance of the unit.


CLEANING

Glass – Any standard glass cleaner can be used to clean the interior/exterior glass surface. Try to avoid glass cleaners that are ammonia or alcohol based. These may leave streaks. Using a clean lint-free cloth or paper towel, wipe the surface clean. To remove grease sealant from the glass, use mineral spirits sparingly, then wash with a vinegar based solution (10% vinegar and 90% water).

Screens – Remove the screen from the opening, wash with a mild detergent and water. Follow by rinsing with clean water.

Salt Spray Environment – If your unit is located in a salt spray environment, a quarterly rinse of the exterior window/door surface and operating hardware with fresh water is recommended.

Brass Handle Set – Clean handle set with a solution of mild soap and water. Do not subject to harsh abrasives or solvent based cleaning products. Due to normal wear and tear through everyday use, certain brass hardware may lose their protective coatings and begin to tarnish. This is not a manufacturer’s defect and does not affect the operation the hardware.

Casement/Awning Hardware – Clean dirt and grime from window hardware. Particular attention should be paid to the hinge track. Clean water should be used to rinse debris away. A solution of mild soap and water can be used to loosen stubborn dirt. Always rinse with clean water. Allow to dry completely before lubricating.

Never use cleaners with the following: vinegar base, citrus base, abrasive or industrial type cleaners. These types of cleaners may not only remove or break down lubricants; they can also diminish the effectiveness of corrosive resistant coatings.

Double Hung/Glide-By – Clean sill track and jambliner with a solution of mild soap and water.

Vinyl Slider/Sliding Patio Sill Track – These two products have similar design concepts. The sash/panel must first be removed allowing access to the sill track. To do this, refer to the "Sash/Panel Removal" section of this guide. Once the panel is removed you can proceed with the removal of the sill track. A gap has been provided at each end of the sill track for its removal. Using your finger(s) or some type of hook, pull up on the end of the sill track. Remove the sill track. Clean any dirt or debris from the sill. Pay particular attention to the weep holes. These must be from free from any obstructions. Replace the sill track, centering it in the opening. Replace the sash/panel.
 

INSPECTION

A yearly inspection of your window/door unit should be performed. Special attention should be made to:

Sealants – inspect sealants for any cracking, peeling or gaps, which may have opened up over time.

Paint – check for damage, deterioration, checking or peeling.

Finish – check for deterioration of interior topcoat wood finishes and finishes applied to hardware.

Glass – check for any cracks or fogging between the panes on an insulated glass.

Hardware – check for any dirt or grime build-up which may cause poor operation or excessive wear.

Door sills – check for any dirt or grime build-up, which may cause poor operation or excessive wear.

Gaskets – check frame corner gaskets for any voids or deterioration.
 

MAINTENANCE

Interior Finishes – Typically any varnish or urethane topcoat will require a re-application over a period of time. Wipe away any flaking topcoat material, and any other dust or debris, from the sash. Sand the surface with a fine grit sandpaper. Wipe the surface with a tack cloth. Apply a topcoat, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Exterior Finishes – Prior to any repair; the surface to be finished must be clean and free from moisture.

Wood – If paint has peeled from the primer, the primed surface should be lightly sanded with a fine grit sandpaper and have a topcoat reapplied. If the paint and primer has pulled from the window surface, leaving bare wood exposed, the surface should again be lightly sanded and reprimed. Only after the surface has been primed should a topcoat be applied.

Aluminum Cladding – Unsightly dings and dents to aluminum clad units can be repaired by: cleaning the surface, lightly sanding the affected area, applying a body filler if necessary (sanding smooth if used), priming, lightly sanding, and applying a color match touch up paint.

Brass Finish – You can refurbish and protect any tarnished brass surface by:
1) Removing the hardware.
2) Brushing the parts with a lacquer remover, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
3) Using a 000 steel wool to wipe the finish from the parts.
4) Rinsing off the parts with a mild soap solution.
5) Applying a quality, nonabrasive, polymer-based auto wax to seal the surface. Re-apply periodically.

Casement/Awning Hardware – After the hardware has been cleaned, or as a yearly maintenance practice, it should be lubricated to restore smooth operation. The following are recommended lubricants and their applications: Operator: Lithium grease, Automotive grease, Petroleum jelly. Hinges, locks: WD40®, CD2®, 3 in 1 oil, graphite. Possible staining may occur if any of these products make contact with wood frame or sash members. Avoid the use of silicone-based lubricants as they may result in causing some plastic parts to become brittle.

Door Hardware – Shoot some dry graphite into the lock cylinder keyway once or twice a year.

Double Hung/Glide-By – If difficulty in the operation of your unit develops, an application of a paste wax or silicone spray may be warranted.

If your Double Hung sash travels with little or no pressure or operates with difficulty, an adjustment to the balance.
 

CONDENSATION

During the process of creating a tighter, more energy efficient home, an increase in elevated indoor humidity presented itself. Older homes had been unwittingly designed and constructed with random gaps, which would allow for the release of warm moist air and the replacement of cool, drier air. Newer construction methods do not allow for this natural air-to-air exchange, thus trapping any internally created humidity within the structure. Elevated amounts of humidity can cause condensation to form on cold surfaces. Sweaty, frosted or icy windows are all forms of condensation problems. Most assume that these are a problem with the window but, in fact, these are a symptom of excess humidity in the home. Condensation on your windows could be an indicator that other moisture problems could develop, including mold or mildew on cold exterior wall surfaces, peeling paint, wood rot and the failure of wall insulation.

Relative humidity is a measure of how much moisture air will hold relative to the maximum it could hold at a given temperature. Warmer air can hold more moisture than cool air. When warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface it takes on its liquid form, much like a glass of ice water on a hot summer day. Indoor humidity must remain at a level which will not permit air to condense on the glass surface.

Indoor humidity level should be monitored to eliminate the possibility of condensation. The chart below illustrates recommended winter humidity levels:

Outdoor Temp.           Indoor Humidity@70ºF
-20ºF or below            not over 15%
-20ºF to -10ºF             not over 20%
-10ºF to 0ºF                 not over 25%
0ºF to +10ºF                not over 30%
+10ºF to +35ºF           not over 35%

These are the recommended humidity levels, and may not be applicable for every household. Differences in glass types (lowE vs. clear) will allow for variances in humidity levels. Window condensation is a good indicator as to the maximum allowable humidity level. If your windows begin to sweat, the humidity in your home is too high.

 

 The Hardwood Company
Main Office: 550 North Main Street
PO Box 126, Granite Falls, NC  28630
Phone: 800-771-5006  Fax: 828-396-8182
Copyright 2003-04.  All Rights Reserved.