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Are you getting ready to upgrade your old windows to new, more efficient models? If so, you’re making a wise decision that can benefit your wallet by helping you consume less energy.

Since windows are a large investment, it’s important to keep yours in good condition for as long as possible. The last thing you want to do is neglect them and require residential window repair or replacement. Here are some of the best ways to keep your windows in top shape for many years ahead.

Physically inspect your windows several times per year

There are many things that can potentially damage your windows, including abrupt changes in the weather, severe wind, or even wildlife. It’s wise to walk around your home and inspect your windows (both inside and outside) several times per year.

If you’re frequently looking at your windows, you’re more likely to notice minor issues before they get out of control. Small cracks or even holes can usually be dealt with if you catch them right away. It’s only if they go unnoticed for long periods of time that they can become irreversible.

Re-caulk as often as needed

When windows are first installed, they are caulked to seal them in securely. Unfortunately, caulk doesn’t last forever. Over time, it inevitably breaks down and weakens. When this happens, air and water leaks can develop.

Re-caulking is important and should be done as often as necessary to keep your windows fully sealed. Caulk doesn’t cost much money, and re-caulking doesn’t require a lot of time. But the results of your efforts can be long-lasting.

Clean away grime and debris

When grime and debris get caked on your windows, they can scratch and damage them. Keep this from happening by cleaning your windows a few times each year. Use a gentle cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge to rinse away dirt without damaging the glass.

Never use an abrasive cleaner or harsh scrubbing tools to clean your windows. They can leave tiny scratches on the surface of the glass that will collect even more dust and debris in the future.

Find and remove all traces of wood rot

Do you have wood frames around your windows? If so, you’ll need to keep an eye out for wood rot. This is a term that describes what happens to wood when it gets wet and begins to rot away.

If you find some spots affected by wood rot, use a sharp tool to carefully remove them. Then, fill in the area left behind with epoxy putty. You may also want to consider replacing your wood frames with vinyl frames that are not susceptible to rotting.

Look for signs of excess moisture

Condensation between your window panes is a very bad sign that usually means you need to replace your windows. Applying caulk regularly can keep this from happening, but you should also look for signs of excess moisture within your window panes regularly.

If you do see beading water or fog within your panes, contact an expert for residential window repair immediately. With prompt attention, you may be able to take steps to save your windows instead of replacing them completely.