Three Steps To Take When Trying To Prevent Mildew On Windows

If you live in an area that gets even remotely cool in winter, you may have had to deal with spots of mildew appearing on your windows and the sills around them. If you don't know how to prevent the spots, they can be very annoying, and they can grow quickly if you don't get rid of them. Rather than just letting your windows become spotty and look uncared for, follow these three steps to keep clean windows clean and to keep mildew far away.

Washing and Drying the Glass

Not only should you wash the windows regularly, you need to dry them thoroughly. Don't assume that all of the windows will air dry completely, and don't assume that you caught all of the drips and drops from the window cleaner because you no longer see any. When you wash the glass and frame around the window, don't spray the entire thing and then wipe. Spray sections and make it a point to start wiping from the bottom of the spray area up so that you don't miss drips.

You can use regular window cleaner or a vinegar/water mixture; vinegar also helps kill some mildew. Be sure to dry the glass and frame with a lint-free cloth or piece of paper towel.

Bleach the Track (and Sill, if Needed)

Occasionally (and definitely, if you see any spots of mildew) dampen a paper towel with a bleach-water mixture (follow the instructions on the bleach container) or with a mildew remover. If you're doing this after cleaning with an ammonia- or vinegar-based cleaner, ensure that the window is totally dry first. Never mix ammonia and bleach or even vinegar and bleach. Squeeze out extra liquid, and then lightly dab the track, frame, and sill. Do not soak these because bleach can cause metal to corrode and can damage paint. Wait about 15 minutes and then dampen fresh paper towels with water; squeeze out excess. Pat the areas that you previously patted with bleach, and then pat them dry with more towels.

Blind and Curtain Placement

You should be sure your blinds and curtains on all windows are opened occasionally, but if you have a window that's by a high-traffic area, and you don't want people seeing in, either rotate the slats on the blinds a bit so they're more open but not fully open, and then place a fan pointed at them (fan on, of course), or open the curtains at one edge of the window and aim a fan toward that.

If you have other questions about keeping windows mildew-free, talk to window installers about what else might be causing the mildew to form. Sometimes the cause is easy to remedy. Contact a business, such as Howald Windows & Doors, for more information.