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How to Deep Clean Your Cottage Windows

Part of the appeal of cottage living is enjoying bright, sunny days and beautiful lake views, no matter the season. However, you may not be making the most of the natural light inside of your cottage if you haven’t cleaned your windows in some time. 

If your windows are covered with dirt, dust, cobwebs, or water spots, cleaning your cottage windows is well worth the time especially if you are planning to use your cottage in the winter. Use these easy-to-follow tips to ensure that you get spotless panes of glass that will let the sunshine in all year long.

Choose a dry, cloudy day for outside washing if possible
Choose to start with either the interior or exterior of your windows. If you choose to start cleaning inside, work through one room at a time. This way if any streaks remain when the job is done, you will be able to determine if they are on the inside or outside of the windows.

If you are cleaning the outside of your windows, choose a dry, cloudy day so that your cleaning solution won’t dry on the windows before you have time to wipe it off. If it does, that will lead to streaking. If washing on a cloudy day is not possible, start on the shady side of the cottage and work your way around.

Depending on the style of  your windows, screens may be located on the inside or outside of your window frames. Remove them if possible, wash them with hot, soapy water and a soft brush, then rinse and let them dry thoroughly before putting them back into place. If it isn’t possible to remove your screens, scrub them with a sponge with hot, soapy water. 

Remove dust and dirt from the window and frame
Remove any dust and dirt from the window and frame with a dry cloth, broom or vacuum. This will prevent dirt from turning to mud when the cleaner is applied, and cuts down on the amount of rubbing you will need to do. You can also choose to rinse your exterior windows with a hose if you are sure they are properly sealed so that no water gets inside.

Don’t skimp when applying your cleaning product, especially if it’s been a while since the last time the windows were cleaned.  Whether you choose to use a commercial product or a simple solution of one part vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle, a liberal application of cleaner helps dissolve the dirt so that it can be completely wiped away and ensures that your windows are streak-free when dry.  Wipe horizontally then vertically to ensure no spots are missed.

Use a microfiber cloth to dry your windows in a z-shaped pattern
Dry your windows using a Z-shaped pattern. Most people use newspaper or paper towels to dry their panes, but professional window cleaners recommend using microfiber cloths instead. They leave windows sparkling clean and lint-free. Since they are washable and reusable, they are an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice. 

If your windows are still showing dirt or streaks after drying, spray and dry again since very dirty windows typically require multiple rounds of spraying and drying to clean away any residue. Sometimes windows will be marked with mineral deposits, especially in areas that have hard water. If this is the case, a commercial cleaning product that removes calcium, lime, and rust stains may be your best choice. Just ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s directions when using, and wear the necessary recommended protective equipment.

Clean your large windows with professional tools
Large picture windows may benefit from the use of professional tools: a strip applicator, a squeegee, a bucket of warm, soapy water, a damp chamois, and microfiber cloths.

Use the strip applicator to apply the soapy water to the entire window then starting at the top left, pull the squeegee over the pane in a reverse-S pattern cleaning away any suds. Be sure to wipe the squeegee’s blade with a lint-free cloth at the end of every stroke. Finally, remove any water remaining on the glass with the chamois and dry the windowsill with a cloth.

Cleaning your windows now means you won’t have to worry about doing it when it gets too cold. It can also tick off a box on your “To Do List” when you reopen your cottage in the spring, leaving you more time to relax on opening weekend.

If thinking about cleaning your cottage windows has made you realize that it may be time to replace them, Muskoka Window and Door Centre has the experts available to ensure that your cottage is outfitted with the latest energy-efficient replacements. Contact us today to book an appointment. 

Latest Trends in Windows: Big Windows and Natural Sunlight

There’s nothing quite like a home bathed in natural sunlight, especially on a bright, cheerful sunny day – it warms up your home and creates a more inviting atmosphere that makes spending time indoors much more enjoyable. 

The ability of natural sunlight to transform any home has made large windows and doors incredibly popular in recent years, and it’s a trend we don’t see slowing down anytime soon. Thanks to major advancements in technology, large windows and doors don’t mean sacrificing efficiency or performance, allowing homeowners to enjoy plenty of natural light without paying higher utility bills.

The growing popularity of large windows
Home and cottage owners everywhere are opting for bigger windows that complement the landscape and let in plenty of natural daylight. No longer are grand windows seen as unrealistic for homeowners – thanks to manufacturers like BigfootAndersen, and Centor, installing large high performance windows in your home or cottage is more realistic than ever before. 

The enjoyment of natural sunlight means that homeowners have become more open to installing large windows in all areas of the house, from the living room and the kitchen to stairwells, offices and bedrooms. With large windows throughout the house, you can be bathed in sunlight no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

Large windows don’t mean having to sacrifice window performance
The rise in consumer demand for larger window styles has directly followed major advancements in window and door technologies, which have allowed manufacturers to engineer high performance windows regardless of size. For too long, upgrading to bigger windows meant an inevitable loss of energy efficiency and a rise in utility bills – thankfully, this is no longer the case.

Materials like vinyl, fibreglass, and fibre-polymer are extremely popular thanks to their ability to minimize energy loss, even at larger sizes. Window operation has continued to evolve alongside performance, meaning that large, heavy windows are still easy to open and operate without sacrificing your scenic view. Triple-glazed window panels are another reason for the popularity of large windows – these high performance windows eliminate air pockets below your windows, keeping warm air in your home during the winter months, and cool air inside throughout the summer.

Plenty of for enhanced privacy and security
Apart from performance, one of the biggest concerns about large windows is that they’ll have less privacy and compromised security – this just isn’t the case. If you’re looking to install large windows in your cottage, you can choose products like Phantom Executive Screens or Pentagon rolling security shutters to enhance your security and ensure that opportunists will be kept away when you’re not at the cottage. 

Window treatments, too, offer an excellent opportunity to maintain your privacy while enhancing the beauty of your windows. From gorgeous full-length curtains to horizontal and vertical blinds, window treatments will ensure that you control your own privacy year round, and that you can let in the sunshine and scenic views whenever you desire.

Muskoka Window & Door Centre has a full team of window and door installation experts with years of experience installing large windows and doors to help you let in plenty of natural sunlight and enhance your view of the beautiful Muskoka surrounding. Our showroom features a wide range of large energy efficient windows and doors that are perfect for your home or cottage. To get started on your upcoming window installation project, contact Muskoka Window & Door Centre today.

October 2020 in Muskoka: Live Entertainment, Lake Cruises, Halloween and More

After a very unusual spring and summer season, people in Muskoka are desperate to get out of the house and explore the world around them. Luckily, there are more than enough COVID-friendly events taking place over the fall, letting you and the family enjoy lake cruises, live music, and special events for Thanksgiving and Halloween. Before the snow falls, be sure to get out and enjoy everything the Muskoka region has to offer. Here’s what’s going on in Muskoka this October.

October 2nd – Matt Weidinger Presents the Music of Van Morrison
Where: Peter’s Players in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Friday, October 2nd at 4:30 PM
Cost: $125.00

Kitchener’s Matt Weidinger is a young up-and-coming singer-songwriter with multi-instrumental talents and a voice like no other, performing like a veteran musician at just 26-years old. His commanding presence has satisfied audiences of all ages, and his passion for performing is palpable. Weidinger has been playing music for over a decade now, frequenting blues festivals all around Ontario. 

On Friday, October 2nd, Weidinger brings his unique stylings to Peter’s Players, where he’ll perform the music of legendary rock musician Van Morrison. Get ready for an evening of favourites, including Wild Night, Moondance, Astral Weeks, Wavelength, Hungry For Your Love, and many more!

For more information about Matt Weidinger Presents the Music of Van Morrison is available online.

Until October 12th – Travel Back in Time at Muskoka Heritage Place
Where: Muskoka Heritage Place in Huntsville, ON
When: Now until Monday, October 12th
Cost: Full Site Access – $12.65 (Children up to 12 years old), $18.60 (Adults), $16.75 (Seniors)

Muskoka Heritage Place has long been a favourite for Muskoka locals and tourists alike, offering a full day of fun for the entire family. The Museum and Village at Heritage Place have finally reopened, offering a socially distanced day of educational fun and sightseeing. Enjoy a look at the rich history of the region at the Muskoka Museum, and experience the pioneer life at the storied Pioneer Village, offering a unique look at the lives of Canada’s early settlers. The Pioneer Village features a number of activities and demonstrations including candle-dipping, school lesson, cattail dolls and warriors, children’s games, laundry day, wool carding, rug making, and more.

To learn more about Muskoka Heritage Place, visit their website.

Until October 13th – Sunset Cruises on the Peerless II
Where: Peerless II in Bracebridge, ON
When: Now until Tuesday, October 13th
Cost: $32/person (1.5 hour cruise), $38/per person (2 hour cruise)

A sunset cruise on the Peerless II is the best way to enjoy the gorgeous sights and sounds  found on the Muskoka Lakes. This cruise, captained by Captain Potts, allows you to kick back, relax, and take in truly breathtaking views. Aboard the Peerless II, you’ll hear about the region’s local lore and history, giving you further appreciation of the area’s pristine lakes. Due to COVID-19, reservations are required, and masks are mandatory.

For more information about the sunset cruises on the Peerless II, visit their website.

Until October 17th – Muskoka Bay Steamship Cruises
Where: Muskoka Steamships in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Now until Saturday, October 17th
Cost: $33.90/adult (1 hour cruise), $42.30 (2 hour cruise)

Muskoka’s steamships are a longtime staple of the region, with steamships being found on our lakes since the 1800’s. Now you can enjoy a cruise through Muskoka Bay on one of the historic steamships in the region, taking you through the grand estates and cottage islands that Muskoka has become famous for. 

Along the way, you’ll be able to enjoy pristine views of local historic landmarks and gain a further appreciation for the rich history of the region. Due to COVID-19, it’s requested that passengers arrive 45 minutes before the cruise departs. Mandatory physical distancing, face coverings, and temperature checks will be in effect, along with other actions to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

For more information about the Muskoka Steamships cruises, visit their website.

October 24th – Let the Spirits Rise in Downtown Gravenhurst
Where: Downtown Gravenhurst in Gravenhurst, ON
When: Saturday, October 24th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Cost: Free

Halloween might look a little different this year due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the festivities! What better way to celebrate all things spooky than trick or treating in Gravenhurst’s historic downtown area? On Saturday, October 24th, bring the kids out for trick or treating in downtown shops and free family activities at the Gravenhurst Opera House, including crafts, face painting, and live music. Put on your best costumes and look for the orange and black balloons!

Find out more about Let the Spirits Rise in Downtown Gravenhurst on the Historic Downtown Gravenhurst website.

October 31st – The Great Pumpkin Trail
Where: Pioneer Village at Muskoka Heritage Place in Huntsville, ON
When: Saturday, October 31st from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cost: $10.00 per family or $3.00 per person

The annual Great Pumpkin Trail at Muskoka Heritage Place has become a favourite of children throughout the region, giving them a safer place to trick or treat without walking through busy streets in the dark. The Great Pumpkin Trail isn’t just a perfect event for the kids – it’s a great opportunity for parents to socialize and enjoy the festivities too! Pioneer buildings will be decorated by local businesses, with themes kept on the less spooky side so young trick or treaters can enjoy the evening. Rope lights guide your way to each destination, and the Mayor will judge the best decorated building.

Early trick or treaters are recommended to arrive before 6:30 PM – last site entry will be at 7:30 PM. This is an entirely outdoor event, so be sure to dress warm depending on the weather!

For more information about the Great Pumpkin Trail, visit the Muskoka Heritage Place website.