We’re Hiring! Carpenters, Installers, and more… Join our Team

Considering a Casement? The Guide to This Elegant Window Style

Your Muskoka cottage deserves the best. Whether you’re decorating, renovating or updating your dream home, it’s worth diving into the details to make sure all your fixtures and fittings are top notch. 

When it comes to windows, there’s a lot to think about – do they reflect the overall style of the house? Will they hold up to winter? Are they energy efficient? How much maintenance do they need?

Casement windows are one of the most popular styles on the market, prized for their reliability, look and function. If you’re interested in upgrading to this sophisticated style read on for a comprehensive guide on casement types and how they can transform the look of your rural retreat.

 

What are casement windows?

Take a look at the cottages around Muskoka, and you’ll see plenty of beautiful casement windows adorning their exteriors. These elegant windows are installed vertically with a hinge at the side to open outwards, like shutters or doors. 

You may also hear them referred to as ‘crank windows’ since some models swing open via a crank handle

Casements come in two styles: fixed or operable.

Operable casement windows swing open from the side which has the advantage of giving you better ventilation and making them easier to clean.

By contrast, fixed casements don’t open. They’re primarily used as windows to give you an unobstructed view of the outdoors in areas that benefit from lots of light. They’re also used where you want the light, but don’t necessarily need a lot of ventilation, such as in stairwells.

Some suppliers offer a combination of fixed and operable so one part of the window can open out while the other remains sealed. You’ll often see this type of hybrid in bay windows.

If you’re really looking to impress, consider french casement windows. Just like french doors, these open out from the centre to instantly give any room a breezy feel. They’re a great choice for any well-trafficked area in your home, especially those that are South-facing so you can catch the sun all day long.

 

Frames and fixtures for casement windows

Casements can be framed in a variety of materials including wood, vinyl, aluminum or fibreglass. Wood continues to win out in Muskoka as homeowners embrace the rustic look. Durable, strong and the perfect complement to the natural landscape, it’s not hard to understand its appeal.

With lumber prices fluctuating, however, wood isn’t always an option. Cost-conscious cottagers can explore more budget-friendly frames such as a wood combination, vinyl or aluminum.

The next step is picking your accessories. Casements can be dressed up with a sash, decorative hinges and handles and/or stays to support the window pane on windy days.

If you’re interested in winterizing your cottage, you may want to make your casements triple-paned rather than double. This offers greater protection against the icy blasts of Canada’s winter, while sealing in the warmth and reducing your energy bills.

As with any window model, casements should always be fitted by an experienced and professional installer who can carry out accurate measurements and advise you on any unforeseen issues. 

Muskoka Window and Door Centre specializes in installation, repairing and upgrading windows of all kinds, including casement styles. Our partnership with leading manufacturers means we can bring you the very latest products, styles and furnishings to suit your lakeside getaway. Contact us today to see how we can transform your home.

6 Reasons to Replace Your Windows

The windows in your Muskoka home might give you a great view of the lake, but are they able to withstand the cottage country winds? Or keep the heat in during the long winters

Like everything else in your home, your windows deteriorate over time. You can extend their lifespan with regular maintenance, but there comes a point when it’s more cost-effective to replace them entirely. 

It’s not always easy to know when you’re at that stage however so we decided to ask the experts. Here are the 6 most common reasons why homeowners replace their windows, according to leading window manufacturer Andersen

6 Reasons to Replace Your Windows | Andersen Windows

 

  1. Fix damaged or rotted windows

Next time you’re doing a spring clean or a routine maintenance check, take a look at your window frames. If you’ve aging windows, this is usually the first place problems appear. And issues can happen any time – a long spell of rainy weather can be enough to swell your frames and make them crack or rot.

If your frames aren’t in good shape, your windows aren’t properly sealed. And that’s bad news for your energy bills. A sure sign that your seal isn’t secure is window fog – cloudy mist that builds up between panes. If you’re noticing fog and see obvious signs of frame damage, it’s time to think about new windows.

 

       2. Improve window operation

Property owners often procrastinate on repairs, learning to live with little annoyances like a window that sticks when you try to open it or a hinge that’s missing a part. 

But windows that are hard to operate aren’t just a nuisance, they’re a safety concern. In the event of a fire or other emergency, you need to be able to quickly and smoothly open all your windows, so installing new ones is a job you can’t afford to skip. 

 

       3. Help lower heating and cooling bills

If you can hear the wind howling through your windows, or feel the spray of the rain when sitting near them, it’s time for an upgrade.

Drafty and leaky windows are a year-round headache, letting in winter blizzards, spring rain, summer heat, and autumn winds. Upgrading to new panes and frames helps you maintain a consistent temperature indoors in any season, which keeps your property energy efficient – lowering utility bills and cutting costs.

 

       4. Make maintenance easier

Muskoka homeowners know there’s always something on their to-do list. If your property maintenance feels like a full-time job, why not switch to windows that don’t require as much time, effort or expense to stay in top shape?

For some cottages, this may mean switching from beautiful but delicate all wood frames to longer-lasting alternatives such as composite, vinyl, or aluminium. These don’t require painting or scraping and can be made to perfectly match your existing decor.

You can make your cleaning chores easier too, by switching to windows that are easier to access such as panes that tilt inwards or open wide.

 

       5. Improve views

From Gravenhurst’s scenic lookouts to the stunning sunsets over Georgian Bay, the most popular Muskoka real estate boasts the best views.

Your windows should help you make the most of the spectacular cottage country scenery, showcasing those gorgeous views while inviting lots of natural light into your space. Replacing your existing windows with larger panes and/or lighter frames can be a great opportunity to freshen up your home and create an airy and open atmosphere.

 

       6. Boost curb appeal

Your home is one of the biggest and most important investments you’ll ever make, so it deserves to look its best. That doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune on renovations, however, simply sprucing up your windows can transform the look of your property. 

These prominent features are often the first thing visitors and potential buyers notice, so whether you’re just tidying your property or hoping to take advantage of Ontario’s hot real estate market, new windows are an easy way to increase your home’s appeal and value.

Fix faded colors, upgrade your style, or restore your windows to their former glory – you’d be surprised what a difference a new set of windows can make.

 

Muskoka Window and Door Centre replaces windows year-round. Our experienced and knowledgeable team works with the top manufacturers in North America to offer homeowners the latest styles, materials, and fixtures. If you’re looking to add value to your home or finally fix those problem areas around your panes and frames, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your needs and/or schedule an appointment. 

How Do You Repair A Cracked Window?

Accidents happen but if you’ve just cracked a window in your dream Muskoka cottage, that small fissure can seem like a very big deal. 

Depending on the extent of the damage, you might be able to smooth things over with a DIY repair but you will eventually need a professional to replace the entire pane. Cracked windows are unsecured windows and the last thing you want is cottage country rain leaking into your Huntsville hideaway or Bracebridge bolthole. Not to mention the impact leaky windows can have on your energy bills.

Why do windows crack?

There are three types of window cracks:

  1. Pressure cracks – one of the most common causes of cracking, fluctuations in weather conditions can cause pressure shifts that produce tiny splinters in your glass. These are typically seen in double-paned windows and/or those installed at high or low elevations.
  2. Impact cracks – impact cracks occur when an object forcefully strikes the glass and breaks it.
  3. Stress cracks – these happen as windows age. At the start, they’re generally too small to be noticeable but will worsen over time. 

DIY repairs on a cracked window

Time to get out the tools. Small cracks in your glass can often be repaired in minutes with everyday household items. Always wear a thick pair of work gloves when undertaking repairs to protect your hands. 

Before embarking on any repairs, put gentle pressure on the pane to check that it’s still firmly in place – windows crack when they’re under stress and that can shake the whole frame, loosening panes. 

Once you’re sure the glass is sturdy you can get to work. Carefully examine the crack for any holes as these will need to be plugged first. If there are tiny holes, you can fill them in with clear nail polish, brushing it on in layers for smooth coverage.

If you don’t see holes, just grab a roll of packing tape and smooth some over the crack, making sure there’s no trapped air or dirt.

Dealing with a spider-like crack that’s covering a wide area? Pick up a sheet of plastic from your local hardware store to completely cover the frame and keep your home insulated until you can arrange for a professional repair. Depending on the size of the window and weather conditions, you could also use bubble wrap, cardboard, or a combination of all three. 

Arranging window removal

Temporary fixes are short-term solutions by nature. Cracked glass will never be as safe and secure as an undamaged pane so you will have to consult a professional and schedule window removal and installation. 

Muskoka Window and Door Centre is a leading window supplier and installer. Our family-owned firm has helped hundreds of cottage country homeowners maintain and beautify their properties over its 30-year history. We work with the top window manufacturers in North America to offer a wide variety of frames, screens, panes, and fixtures so you can find the perfect windows to match your Muskoka retreat. Whether you need a quick repair or are planning a renovation, contact our team today to see how we can help.

The Best Windows for Your Cottage’s Architectural Design

Whether you’ve a cozy farmhouse on the shores of Georgian Bay, a sleek and sprawling mansion in Huntsville or a classic cottage in Bracebridge, you need windows that perfectly complement your home’s architectural style.

 

Creating a distinct style or theme for your Muskoka getaway means getting every detail just right. But with so much choice on the market it can be tough to know where to start. 

 

The below list gives some guidance on matching your windows to your home’s signature design so you can realise your vision and create the cottage of your dreams.

Speciality styles

Modern and contemporary

 

The modern look is characterised by sleek surfaces, expansive spaces, and a clean, unfussy feel. 

 

To create this airy atmosphere, windows in contemporary homes are all about letting in the light. Oversized panes with dark frames give a bold but simple look, allowing for plenty of natural sunlight while showing off the Muskoka landscape in all its picturesque splendor. 

 

Casement windows are a great option for homeowners with modern taste. These windows are side hinged, opening out to the right or left. They can be installed side by side to cover entire walls so you can replicate the open contemporary look and enjoy sweeping views.

 

You may also want to consider bi-fold windows for sunrooms and outdoor areas. These fold away and discreetly stack against side walls to open up living spaces -again, giving that expansive feel.

 

Ontario manufacturer Bigfoot specialises in high-end contemporary design, offering extra large windows in a variety of glazes and finishes. 

Traditional

 

From cutting-edge to back in time, traditional styles take inspiration from the past with nods to the Colonial era. A traditional design offers flexibility as you can borrow from many different decades to see what suits your home’s structure and setting.

 

Bow and bay windows are popular in traditional styles, giving a classic curved look. Window grilles and lattices can add to the antiquated feel, especially those using old world materials like wood or metal.

 

Door and window manufacturer Andersen offers custom classic styles, made in a range of materials from wood to vinyl. They specialize in energy efficient products, so your old-fashioned windows don’t add to your modern-day heating bills.

Rustic/ farmhouse

 

Buying in the Muskoka backcountry is the perfect chance to get a taste of high-end homesteading – turning your property into a mid 1800s farmhouse. 

 

This look is practical but elegant. Classic wood shutters, high accent windows, awnings, and casements feature heavily in farmhouse styles. Color palettes are generally neutral, with black frames making an eye-catching statement piece out of simple vertical panes.

 

Toronto-based Ostaco has a wide selection of made-to-order casement and awnings that can be designed with your rustic nest in mind. Made with ultra-thick vinyl and available in their ‘true triple’ pane, they’re highly durable and leak-proof.

Long-lasting luxury

 

Style isn’t everything of course. You don’t just want windows that match your look, you want low-maintenance windows that will last.

 

Muskoka Window and Door Centre works with a variety of leading North American manufacturers to provide the best quality products available. They’re made with durable, energy-efficient materials and expertly installed by our professional team – giving you peace of mind that they can withstand any weather or wear and tear.

 

A family-owned business, Muskoka Window and Door Centre has been operating in cottage country for over three decades. Give us a call today to see how we can transform your home.

Stay Cozy This Winter With Energy Efficient Windows

Winter is here, are your windows ready?

The season of snowstorms, plummeting temperatures, and icy rain can be a challenge for Muskoka homeowners, exposing every leak, gap, and crack in their lakeside cottages.

If you find yourself shivering at night or feeling a chilly breeze indoors, it’s time to get those windows checked. If they’re not energy efficient, they’re not keeping out the cold and they’re certainly not keeping down your heating costs.

What are energy efficient windows?

Every part of your window, from the frame to the pane, has to be tough enough to keep out the weather. 

Energy efficient windows are designed to reflect heat in the summer, while keeping it indoors during the winter. Double panes are best for maximum protection and choosing environmentally sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood for the frame can further improve your green credentials.

If you’re not sure how efficient your windows are, look for the Energy Star logo. This certification shows that the product has met the necessary energy efficiency standards required in North America. Both Canada and the US use the Energy Star program so it’s recognized by manufacturers on both sides of the border.

Energy Star windows are around 20 percent more efficient than the average window, and Energy Star skylights are 35 percent more efficient. The accreditation’s highest level, Energy Star Most Efficient, can further boost efficiency by as much as 55 percent.

Those energy savings will be quickly felt in your bills – cutting an average of 12 percent off your heating costs each year. 

And with the government eager to promote these kinds of schemes, they also offer attractive incentives to homeowners who go green. Use Energy Star products and you may qualify for rebates or incentives to further drive down your spending.

Installing your energy efficient windows

Selecting your windows is only half the battle. Without proper installation, they can very quickly become just as inefficient as regular models, not to mention setting you up for structural problems down the road. That’s why it’s crucial to use a professional installation firm that can guarantee high-quality work.

Muskoka Window and Door Centre works with the best manufacturers in the business to supply and fit industry-leading energy efficient windows in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. 

One of our most popular suppliers, Andersen Windows & Doors, has been working with the Energy Star program for over two decades and doesn’t just offer Energy Star windows, but also carries a range of energy efficient frame materials and panes. 

Our team works year-round so don’t worry about waiting until spring. Getting your new and improved windows installed in the off-season means less disruption and more chance that you can book an appointment to suit your schedule instead of languishing on a spring/summer waiting list.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade a few windows or redesign your space to be more energy-efficient, we can help. Get in touch today to see how we can transform your Ontario cottage country retreat.

How to Remove Water Spots from Windows

If you live or play in Muskoka, you know how frustrating it is to achieve a stain-free window, as 

hard water stains can easily build up over time. A normal cleaning process involving water, detergent, a rug, or squeegee is simply not enough in removing hard water spots. Instead, you’ll likely need to use one or more of the following methods to maximize your views this summer season. Here are some of the best ways to rub water marks off your windows: 

 

Using a vinegar solution

Vinegar solutions are an easy and effective way to remove any hard water spots from your windows. First, you need to fill a squirt bottle with half water and half plain white distilled vinegar and spray it onto the glass to fully saturate any stubborn hard water stains. Then, soak a rag in the vinegar solution and lightly scrub your window. Once you are done, remove the solution from your window with a paper towel or squeegee and follow it up with a wipe with glass cleaner to prevent additional stains and residue. 

 

Using other natural products

In case you need a substitute for vinegar, there are other natural alternatives you can use as a cleaning solution. Fresh lemon juice has the same acidic properties as vinegar, and can be equally effective for removing water spots from your windows. As odd as it may sound, you can even use toothpaste to get your windows squeaky clean and streak-free. Following the same process, apply either ingredient to your windows and lightly scrub them away with a rag soaked in water, using traditional glass cleaner afterwards to remove residue. 

 

Using abrasive cleaners

Abrasive cleaners such as baking soda are powerful cleaning agents you can use to remove stubborn, tough stains from your windows. First, wet the surface of the glass so that the water and the cleaner can form a sort of cleaning paste – this prevents scratches. Next, spread the paste onto the window and vigorously scrub the glass with a rag. Then, rinse the cleaner away with water and dry your clean windows – following up with glass cleaner if necessary – to prevent additional residue. Your window glass will almost look invisible when you’re done.

Water spots on your windows are difficult to remove, and do require special techniques to clean. If your windows are run-down even after a good scrub, then it may be time to replace them. Muskoka Window & Door Centre is the Muskoka region’s preferred supplier of high quality window products. Our expert team is ready to take on new window installation projects of any size or scope. For more information on our products and services, get in touch with us today and book your free estimate. 

Fibrex – A Revolutionary Material to Replace Vinyl

For many years, vinyl has been the gold standard in the window and door industry, offering low-maintenance but high quality products that homeowners have come to rely on for holding up to the elements and keeping the weather outside where it belongs. While vinyl is still a popular choice, Andersen Windows & Doors recently introduced a composite material that builds on the strengths of vinyl, but offers a much stronger, higher performing alternative in the form of Fibrex.

Fibrex material is a truly revolutionary material that could soon unseat vinyl as the material of choice for door and window manufacturers. If you’re in the market for an upcoming window replacement, consider the following before you decide on which material to choose.

 

What is Fibrex material?

Andersen’s Fibrex material is a revolutionary alternative to vinyl, offering twice the strength as traditional vinyl materials, with the ability to withstand extreme temperatures without the risk of fading, peeling, flaking or blistering. Simply put, Fibrex material is stronger and more durable than any pure vinyl product on the market, making it the perfect material for the strongest, most efficient windows.

Fibrex is made from a perfect mixture of wood fiber (40% by weight) largely reclaimed from Andersen manufacturing, and thermoplastic polymer (60% by weight), some of which is also reclaimed from manufacturing processes. The result is a material with unparalleled strength and durability, allowing Fibrex material to retain its stability and rigidity no matter what the weather is or what climate it’s installed in.

The strength of Fibrex doesn’t mean that aesthetic beauty is sacrificed, either. In fact, because of the sheer strength of Fibrex materials, window frames become narrower, allowing for more surface area for glass so you can enjoy a more seamless view of your surroundings. Fibrex is available in a wide variety of great colour choices, with many dark exterior palettes not available in other windows.

 

Why is Fibrex superior to vinyl?

Aside from being stronger and more durable in general, Fibrex’s unique blend of wood fiber and thermoplastic polymer allow it to block thermal transfer far more efficiently than aluminum, reducing your heating and cooling bills and keeping the weather outdoors where it belongs. Fibrex materials have no wood preservative treatments and no painting is required, meaning it reduces VOC emissions.

Fibrex is up to twice as strong as vinyl materials, ensuring that all weathertight seals on your windows stay weathertight as intended, holding up to all climates. Its superior strength means that it’s resistant to flaking, peeling, pitting, corroding, rotting, decaying and fungal growth, letting you enjoy your windows for many years to come. Andersen’s Fibrex material windows go through a unique fabrication process to blend materials with colour, offering a long-lasting beauty you can rely on to enhance the beauty of your property.

 

Still a place for vinyl windows

If you’re dead set on choosing vinyl windows for your upcoming window replacement project, there are still manufacturers delivering the highest possible quality vinyl windows. Euro-Vinyl Windows and Doors are one of the industry’s leading names in high quality vinyl windows, offering home and cottage owners a maintenance-free solution with the ability to dampen sound, maximize comfort during the winter and summer seasons, and hold up to even the most severe weather. Vinyl windows still play a crucial role in the door and window replacement industry, offering homeowners an affordable alternative that will continue to perform to the highest standards for decades to come.

Muskoka Window & Door Centre is the Muskoka Region’s source for all things Andersen Fibrex material windows and Euro-Vinyl high quality vinyl windows. Our showroom is home to the industry’s most trusted names, and our team of window installation professionals are ready to take on projects of any size or scope. To find out more about how Muskoka Window & Door Centre can transform your home or cottage with Fibrex material windows or high quality vinyl windows, get in touch with us today.

What are the best window coverings for my cottage?

Muskoka cottage season is here! People from all around the region have opened up their cottages and are ready to start enjoying a summer full of relaxation and adventure. While you’re spending time at the cottage, you might find that your cottage window coverings just aren’t doing the trick anymore. After all, most of what we keep at the cottage has been long-discarded from our homes, or are old window treatments that require updating. If your window treatments were ordered from the Sears catalogue, it may be time to replace them. This summer is the perfect time to update them in favour of something more suitable for the cottage.

 

Best types of window coverings for cottages

Ideally, you’re looking for low-maintenance window treatments that won’t be a burden to deal with. The last thing you want to be on vacation is frustration, nor do you want to find yourself cleaning for hours on end, so try to choose something that won’t rapidly collect dust – especially during the off season. For this reason, conventional blinds might be out of the question for your cottage windows because there are two things they do well: block out sun and collect dust. 

Conventional blinds can become very dusty and dirty, especially if you’re planning on leaving your windows open all summer long and enjoying the breeze. Instead, look for something practical like roller shades, woven Roman shades, light linen curtains, or shutters. These are low-maintenance window coverings that’ll keep your cottage breezy and private, and keep pests and the elements at bay.

 

Our favourite cottage window coverings

When it comes to cottage window coverings, we think it’s best to strike a perfect balance between practical and easy-to-maintain and aesthetically pleasing. Many cottages have a purposeful rustic aesthetic, which is very easy to complement with the right window treatments. Some of our favourites coverings include:

  • Roller shades: These are perfect for adding to any rustic cottage style, offering highly practical function that is easy to clean and maintain, and lightweight enough to still let in a nice cool breeze. Roller shades come in a variety of styles and colours, operate smoothly, and offer complete privacy for those looking to get in a few extra hours of sleep or enjoy some late nights on the couch. Roller shades are also perfect for screened porches, letting you easily control how much light is coming into the porch and offering a nice privacy buffer.
  • Roman shades: Roman shades are a classic window treatment style, offering an elegant, clean look and simple function, letting you easily lower and raise the shades with the use of a cord. Roman shades come in many different styles, including fabric and woven styles. These window coverings are a DIY favourite for their simplicity, giving you the chance to put some of that old fabric to good use.
  • Shutters: Another low-maintenance choice for window coverings that are perfect for the cottage, window shutters are a great way to enjoy the light breeze and the sounds of your surroundings while greatly increasing privacy and making your cottage more comfortable in general.
  • Plaid curtains: What’s more rustic than plaid? Curtains are an effective way to keep the sun out of your cottage and increase privacy while still enjoying the gorgeous sounds of Muskoka.
  • Linen curtains: Adding a much softer touch to your cottage, linen curtains are a great way to add that extra aesthetic touch to any room. While they won’t do much in the way of keeping out the sun or improving your privacy, there’s something irresistibly beautiful and light about linen curtains.
  • Solar shades: A perfect choice for outdoor areas like porches, solar shades go a long way in blocking out harmful rays from the sun and keeping you cooler on a gorgeous day. Solar shades act as insulators, keeping you and your cottage more comfortable by keeping the sun out on hot, sunny days. Solar shades are available in various different styles, some of which are designed to let in more sun than others – choosing a high openness percentage will increase the transparency of the shades, whereas a low openness will let in less light through the shades.
  • Executive roll screens: Roll screens are a convenient way to keep any porch or patio cool, comfortable, and private. They can be conveniently rolled away when not in use, or even combined with a mesh and vinyl screen to give you the most out of your view while keeping you cooler and keeping out pests. Roll screens like those made by Phantom can fit just about any size window opening, making them the perfect choice for Muskoka cottage owners looking to enhance sun protection and privacy, and get more out of their time on the porch.

 

Window coverings go a long way in setting the tone and style of your cottage. They can also play a major role in how much you’re able to enjoy your time indoors and on the porch, keeping out harmful UV rays, cooling down your cottage, and letting the light summer breeze while keeping pests and inclement weather outside where they belong. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out this great gallery of cottage window treatments.

Muskoka Window & Door Centre is the number one provider of doors and windows in Muskoka. Our experienced team is ready to work with home and cottage owners, builders and architects to create the project of your dreams and enhance your view of the Muskoka region. Our showroom is home to the highest quality window and door products, including the Phantom Executive Screen, built to help Muskoka cottage owners enhance their experience and get more out of their surroundings.

 

For more information on the door and window installation services offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre, reach out to us today.

How to Clean Your Window Screens

Cleaning your windows is an important part of maximizing your view of Muskoka, helping you rid your windows of a season’s worth of insect debris, pollen, and anything else that lands on your window panes and frames. While many homeowners make window cleaning an annual tradition, many overlook one major area – the window screen.

Window screens keep pests and debris out of your home while allowing you to enjoy the breeze. By intercepting pests and debris, it’s natural that screens become grimy over time. Over the years, your screens can also get especially dingy looking and can significantly impact your view. If you’re a Muskoka cottage or homeowner looking to spruce things up without breaking the bank at the lumber yard, this is the way.

Removing window screens for cleaning
In order to fully clean your window screens, it’s recommended that you remove them completely. They can usually be removed in one of three ways – either they’re held in place by pins or a spring-loaded mechanism of sorts, they can be removed by pulling on the tabs found on the side or bottom edge of the screen, or they can be gently pried out with a screwdriver or some sort of prying tool if they lack an easy removal feature.

Before removing your screens, be sure to lay down a dropcloth, especially if you’re planning on cleaning them indoors. If you’re planning on cleaning all the window screens in your house at once, it’s also a good idea to mark which screens came from which windows so you can easily return them to their proper home once cleaning has been completed.

The most common window screen cleaning method
Once your screens are removed, make sure you have some supplies with you. We recommend a vacuum, a bucket with soapy water, a microfiber cloth, and a garden hose. Using these common supplies, here’s how to easily clean window screens:

  • Step 1: With the screens laying flat on a drop cloth or towel, use the soft bristle attachment on your vacuum and run it down the entire screen. This will clear away any loose debris found on the screen, making it easier for you to clean without dealing with spider webs and pollen. Remember to flip the screen over and vacuum the other side before moving on.
  • Step 2: With your microfiber cloth and soapy water, gently clean the screen from top to bottom on both sides. This will loosen up and clear the screen of any dust and grime which wasn’t cleared away by the vacuum. If you’re cleaning multiple windows at once, be sure to clean your cloth or use multiple cloths to avoid spreading more dirt and dust.
  • Step 3: Use your garden hose (on low pressure to avoid damaging the screen) to rinse off the loosened dirt, dust and grime.
  • Step 4: Dry the screen by patting it down with a dry absorbent towel, and then leave it to air dry for a while. Once the screen is completely dry, you can reinsert it and enjoy your newly unobstructed view.

If removing your screen isn’t an option, get creative
If you’re not in a situation where you can remove your screens, there are still ways to get them a little cleaner. Rather than taking them out and using the tried and true vacuum and soapy water approach, you can get creative and use common household supplies like a lint roller.

This method works best if they’re not especially dirty, but you’d like to perform some regular maintenance on them. Simply roll it gently over the surface of the screen, letting you easily remove dirt and dust without going through the trouble of removing the screen. If necessary, you can also use things like a toothbrush or a Magic Eraser to remove any grime not picked up by the lint roller – just remember to take it easy and scrub lightly.

Muskoka Window & Door Centre is the Muskoka region’s preferred supplier of high quality window and door products. Our expert team is ready to take on door and window installation projects of any size or scope, helping you get the most out of your view with energy efficient architectural windows and doors. To find out more about the products and installation services offered by the team at Muskoka Window & Door Centre, get in touch with us today.

Spring Cleaning: How to Take Apart Your Windows for Cleaning

**Please note: The below is provided as general direction. Refer to your window manufacturer’s manual for precise instructions.

Homeowners all around the province are rushing to get their spring cleaning list finished before the gorgeous weather arrives. This could be a summer to remember, and nobody wants to be stuck at home doing chores. That means it’s time to grab your bucket, a trusty microfiber cloth or rag, some soap and water, and your favourite window cleaning product because it’s time to get the most out of your view by cleaning those dirty windows.

Cleaning the windows themselves is a pretty straightforward task, but what about taking them apart for cleaning? In order to do a thorough job and give them the cleaning they deserve after a long winter season, taking them apart is a must – especially in situations where accessing your windows from the outside is difficult or simply out of the question. Here’s how to remove your windows for cleaning this spring cleaning season.

How to remove vertical and horizontal sliding windows for cleaning
Removing your sliding window can help with giving it a thorough cleaning so you can enjoy the view all summer long. Worry not, because it’s much easier than it sounds – simply follow these steps to remove your sliding windows:

Vertical sliding windows:

  • Check for screws in the side rails or rubber material in the top track of your window – these security measures are sometimes installed to prevent windows from being opened.
  • Unlock the window.
  • Lift clips on the interior of your window.
  • Lift the window until you hear a click.
  • Push left on the window and pull right to remove it for cleaning.
  • Reinsert the same way you took the window out, inserting it on the left and then on the right, sliding it back down into place, pushing down the interior clips, and activating the locks.

Watch this video for a quick demonstration.

Horizontal sliding windows:

  • Unlock the window.
  • Slide the window past the plastic stopper – this stop prevents the window from being removed.
  • Once past the stopper, simply lift the window up and out from the bottom to remove it for cleaning.
  • Reinsert the window the same way you removed it – make sure that you’re reinserting it past the stopper. Push it top-first into the track, then insert the bottom. Slide the window closed and activate the locks.

Watch this video for a quick demonstration.

When removing your sliding windows, it’s important that you remember to clean out the tracks of the window. This can be done with a microfiber cloth or even with a vacuum, and ensures that any dust, dirt or debris is removed from the window track, allowing the window to perform as intended.

How to remove and reinsert double-hung windows for cleaning
Double-hung windows feature two sashes (top and bottom) which can be operated independently. Removing double-hung windows for cleaning is quite similar to removing horizontal and vertical sliding windows. Following these steps will allow you to remove your double-hung windows quickly and efficiently for effective cleaning:

  • Unlock the mechanism between the two sashes.
  • First, slide the bottom sash a few inches towards the top of the window. Once slid up a few inches, squeeze both the tilt latch buttons at the top of the sash until they click.
  • Rotate the sash towards you until it’s perpendicular – from there, lift one side up a few inches, and then the other to remove the bottom sash for cleaning.
  • To remove the upper sash, slide it down towards where the bottom sash normally sits.
  • Press both tilt latch buttons on the top of the upper sash until they click, rotate the sash towards you until it’s perpendicular to the wall, and remove it the same way you removed the bottom sash.
  • Once both sashes have been removed, make sure the pivot bars aren’t connected to the balance shoes.
  • To reinsert your double-hung windows, start with the upper sash. Hold it perpendicular to the wall, placing one pivot bar into the outer balance shoe and then the other. When fully seated in the balance shoes, rotate the sash upwards and push it all the way to the top of the window.
  • Reinsert the bottom sash by following these same steps – hold it perpendicular to the wall, placing one pivot bar in the inner balance shoe and then the other. Rotate the bottom sash back into place, pushing it into the frame. Close the bottom sash and lock the window to ensure proper operation.

Watch this video for a quick demonstration.

Voila! You’re now able to remove both vertical and horizontal sliding windows and double-hung windows, allowing you to deep clean them for the summer season ahead. Before you know it, you’ll have the cleanest windows on the block and your home will be the envy of all your neighbours.

While you’re cleaning your windows, remember to make sure that they’re operating as intended. If you notice anything that requires attention or which could impair the operation of your windows, you can trust the experienced team at Muskoka Window & Door Centre for any and all maintenance, repairs, and window replacement. Our team is well-versed in every aspect of window maintenance and installation, and our showroom features the highest quality products and accessories found in the Muskoka region. To find out more about the services offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre, get in touch with us today!