40 Tips for Window Replacement
22. To check for square, measure both window diagonals from corner to corner to make sure they match.
23. Insert all installation screws that were included with the new window.
24. Seal all joints on the interior and exterior with caulk/sealant.
25. Insulate gaps between the window and frame that exceed 1/8 inch. If using spray foam, select a low-foaming product designated for “windows and doors” that won’t flex the window material, which could prevent proper operation.
Living with your New Units
26. Practice operating the windows with older children and show them how to attach and use chain ladders.
27. Keep furniture, cribs, or anything children can climb, away from windows.
28. Before ordering windows, make sure to examine the unit’s locking system and operations. Multi-point locks help provide more protection against intruders and make it more difficult for curious young children to operate.
29. If you need to use window guards on the interior of your windows, make sure they are operable and can easily be removed. Practice detaching the guards with children in case they need to exit through a window in an emergency.
30. Lock your windows. Don’t just close them, but lock them, which creates an airtight seal that keeps out air leaks and drafts.
Clean & Store Window Screens
31. To clean window screens, carefully remove the screens from the frame and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
32. Place screens on a flat surface (such as the driveway) and use mild soap and water with a soft bristle brush to remove dirt and grime. Clean both sides of the screen and around the interior and exterior of the frame. Rinse off the unit with lukewarm water.
33. Allow the screen to dry completely before placing it back into the window or storing it.
34. Never pressure-wash screens or windows because the force of the water can damage the units.
35. Use extreme care when cleaning screen mesh, since it can be dented or creased if too much pressure is placed on the screen.
36. While most window screens may remain in the windows year-round, some homeowners prefer to store screens during winter months. If you choose to remove your window screens, make certain to store them either in an upright or flat position.
37. Covering window screens with plastic or a sheet will keep them clean while in storage.
38. Make sure nothing sits on top of (or leans against) window screens to eliminate the chance of bending of the frames or poking a hole in the screens.
39. If a small hole or tear does occur in your screen, patch kits are available in most hardware and home store.
40. Homeowners unhappy with the look of a patch (or who have a large gash in their screen) may choose to get the screen mesh replaced on the entire unit. Many cities have screen repair services where you can take your screen frame and have new mesh added to replace torn mesh.
Editor’s Note: Professional window installation courtesy Damon Gassaway. Special thanks to Simonton Windows for contributing to this article. Visit Simonton at www.simonton.com.