Windows are probably one of the most neglected areas in our HDB flats. We cover them up with grilles and window furnishings and we forget about them. That is, until our view gets obstructed because of the grime on our windows or they fail to work properly. In the worst case scenario, a window pane comes loose and becomes a safety hazard. Like everything else, our windows undergo wear and tear and will need to be regularly cleaned and maintained. Here’s a handy guide to care for your HDB windows properly:
How often to clean and maintain
Design: Hock Hoon
Cleaning should be done at least once every two months, more if you live by a bustling road or near coastal areas. Maintenance checks should be done at least once every six months.
What to use for cleaning glass windows
- Use a cleaning solution specific for glass or consider a DIY cleaning solution (equal parts white vinegar and water mixed in a spray bottle).
- Use a soft sponge or a dry cloth to wipe away any grime and dirt, before going over with the cleaning solution. Wipe away the cleaning solution completely with a damp sponge/cloth and then again with a dry, lint-free (microfibre) cloth.
- Instead of a cloth or a sponge, a window squeegee is also a good option as it will leave your windows streak-free. However, only use a window squeegee if your window is not protected by any additional solar film or window tint.
- To clean both sides of your window safely, consider getting a magnetic double-sided window cleaner like this. Place one sponge onto the inside of your window pane. Then have the other sponge on the outside of your window. The strong magnet attaches both sponges together so you will only need to clean one side of the window and the outside also gets cleaned.
What to avoid using on your glass window
- Metal scrapers. These will scratch your glass surface.
- Newspapers. These will leave inky streaks on your glass.
- Too much cleaning solution. This will make it difficult for you to wipe them away completely, leaving sticky streaks on your windows.
Pro tip: Clean your windows in a cooler part of the day, like in the morning or in the late evening. Window cleaning can be an arduous task. Set aside a couple of days to clean all the windows in your home rather than tackle it all in a day.
Important window maintenance checks
Design: Hansel Studio
- Are there any cracks on your glass windows?
- Check that all your window panes are secured and have not come loose.
- Has the rubber gasket come loose from the window frame? Or is it broken?
- Casement: Can the windows open and close smoothly still? Are any of the fastener screws rusty or loose? Use a small mirror to check the top and undersides of the screws. Make sure the window hinges are still firmly secured onto the frames.
- Sliding: Can your sliding windows slide back and forth easily? Check that the safety stoppers (at the top of the window frame) and the aluminium angle strip (at the bottom of the window of the window frame) are still in place.
- Louvred: Is the lever jam or stuck? Can your panes open and close easily?
Use a small mirror to check the screws on the tops and undersides of your window hinges.
What else to clean and maintain
- Don’t neglect cleaning the window frame. Clear away any debris on the track (vacuuming or with a dry brush) before wiping the frames down with a multi-surface cleaning solution.
- Tighten any loose screws with a screwdriver.
- Clean then oil (using a general lubricant or degreaser) any joints or moveable parts in your windows.
Use a lubricant to oil the joints of your windows.
Repair or replacement work needed?
For HDB windows, you will need to engage a Building and Construction Authority (BCA) approved window contractor listed with HDB here for any repair or replacement work. Search under ‘window contractor’.
This article was originally posted on Renonation.sg, Singapore’s leading renovation and interior design site.