Vinyl windows are an excellent option for those that are looking to replace their windows since they last longer and are often more durable than the standard wood frames. However, what do you do once you already have vinyl windows and they are starting to look a little shabby? Can you restore vinyl windows to their original condition? No, but you do have a few restoration options before going the replacement route.
The exact amount of restoration you can do with your vinyl windows isn't an exact science. How you restore them depends on the extent of wear on the windows and the particular issue you are trying to address.
For example, if you need glass repair, you will have to contact glass repair pros. Glass experts can replace your glass without having to replace the entire window. Some glass pros can also help with krypton and argon gas window insulation which can reduce condensation between the glass panes.
If you want to restore the color of your windows, then you can start by working on their state of cleanliness. Give them a thorough cleaning. Normally, soap and water will do the trick. Try the cleaning solution on one window and give it time to air dry completely. Take a look at the color once the window is dry, if it's not quite right, try another solution on another window. Make sure to look for a solution that will bring out the vibrance in the window frame.
The truth is color on any exterior part of your home is bound to fade over time. Exposure to the sun and outdoor elements wears down the color, it's completely normal. Many homeowners opt to have their windows painted, we don't recommend this because paint often chips and can make windows difficult to open.
Difficult to Open
Time to take a look at the window balance system, note this is only in vertically hung windows (single hung and double hung). If you know who manufactured your window, contact the manufacturer's service department. Let the representative know that you have windows from the manufacturer installed in your home, that they are difficult to open and that you suspect the balance system to be the problem. You'll want them to come out and diagnose or replace the existing balance system, unfortunately there may be some out of pocket cost for this.
Once you have cleaned your vinyl window frames, you might be looking for further options. For example, if you find that even under layers of dirt, the color remains faded, chalky, or cloudy, unlike how you purchased it in the first place.
Each of these instances might seem different but the terms are often used interchangeably. For example, vinyl window frames that appear chalky have often become that way as a result of oxidation. These make vinyl windows look much older than they are so even if they are performing optimally, they don't have a satisfying aesthetic.
To take care of this, you can formulate a special house cleaner by mixing one-third cup of laundry detergent, two-thirds cups of powdered household cleaner, and a quart of bleach all in one gallon of water. Put this into a spray bottle and thoroughly spray down your window frame. Let it sit for a minute before using a soft-bristled brush to clean your frames.
If you have tried both of these methods and you know that simply cleaning your windows won't be enough, there are two other options for restoration. These depend on whether you want to better the vibrancy of your windows or if you need to update their efficiency and longevity.
Resealing your vinyl windows is an option that helps to stop their deterioration from things like mold and mildew and slow down their loss of energy efficiency as they continue to age. Unfortunately, it won't restore the color.
You can paint your vinyl windows if you want to refresh their look without having to replace them. First, be aware that painting the windows might nullify your manufacturer's warranty if it is currently active. And again, we generally don't recommend painting vinyl windows but many homeowners choose this as a cost-effective way to change the look of their windows.
If you are okay with this or have read the fine print, then the first step to painting vinyl windows is choosing the right paint and color. The paint needs to be a vinyl-safe reflective polyurethane enamel primer and paint. These should both be specifically rated for vinyl surfaces. Next, choose a shade that either matches or is lighting the existing hue.
Following the paint choice, you should start by washing your windows and letting them completely dry. Then, sand the surface with 240-grit sandpaper and tape around the windows to stop the paint from getting on the house. This will help the primer adhere, and if the primer doesn't adhere, neither will the paint. After you have allowed the primer to dry for about eight hours, apply two coats of paint, allowing them to dry between strokes. Once dry and the tape is gone, you are finished.
Often, the case of chalky glass is down to water spots, not a defunct window. You can remove water spots with any glass cleaner. By cleaning your windows a couple of times a year, the vinyl and window are more likely to look great and keep performing well. If that doesn't work contact a professional window cleaner or glass replacement company to help.
If all else fails, you might need to look for replacement windows. If you have tried these strategies out and would like advice from window professionals, get in touch with us at Brennan Corp today.
We don't currently serve your area but do want to help you plan your project. Try our Build & Price tool to get an idea of window & door costs within DFW. Your area may be higher or lower but at least you'll have some idea of the price.
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