Frame Cleaning

Have a little dirt or a smudge on one of your Chester and Loft frames? No problem. You can wash it with mild, nonabrasive soap and water. Never use abrasive or acidic cleaners—they might cause permanent damage to the frame finish. Always test cleaners in an inconspicuous area first. Wipe dry when finished.

Glass Care

The best practice is to clean glass that comes with Chester and Loft doors and windows would be to use a mixture of mild dish soap and water. When finished, rinse completely with clear water and wipe dry with a soft cloth.
NEVER use any of the following products on any part of your window or patio door (they may damage the glass surface or insulating seal):

  • Petroleum-based cleaners
  • Caustic chemicals
  • Razor blades, putty knives or abrasive pads
  • High-pressure water hoses

Screen Care

When cleaning screens, use only mild soap, water and a soft brush. When finished, rinse with clear water and wipe dry.

Window and Patio Door Tips for Years of Easy Operation

  • We recommend that you lubricate the hardware components at least once a year. In areas with high salt air, at least twice a year is recommended.
  • Regularly check weather-stripping to ensure your patio doors and windows seal airtight.
  • Occasionally vacuum the tracks on all sliding patio doors and windows to remove any dirt or debris.

At Chester and Loft we offer annual maintenance checks for all windows installed by us.

Enabling Proper Window and Patio Door Drainage

Mother Nature can sometimes be unforgiving. Fortunately, our windows and patio doors have a specially designed "weep" drainage system with vented slots on the exterior bottom of our frames to help protect the inside of your home.

  • The weep system allows water to drain to the outside as it builds up. It's normal for dust and dirt to build up on the sill or the outside track, which is why it's important to keep the sill or track clean of any dirt or debris.
  • Periodically inspect the weep holes on the exterior bottom rails to make certain they are clear of any dirt or debris. Use a soft brush to clear openings, if necessary.
  • A good time to inspect and clean weep holes is after a heavy dust storm or the occasional rain.

Why Is There Condensation On My Windows?

The insulating properties of the glass used in energy efficient windows can cause condensation to collect on the glass under certain environmental conditions. Condensation does not occur on all windows, but it is not uncommon at certain times of the year.

Exterior Condensation

Exterior condensation results from the same environmental conditions that cause dew to appear on grass or condensation or frost to appear on a car that is parked outside overnight. It forms when moist air comes into contact with cool surfaces such as glass, when the dew point in the air is higher than the temperature of the glass. This can happen when a cool night follows a warmer day, typically during the spring and fall seasons. Condensation generally does not occur with less energy efficient windows, because heat from the warm interior of the home escapes through the window, keeping the exterior temperature of the glass high enough to prevent condensation.
In contrast, energy efficient windows significantly reduce the interior heat conducted through the glass. This lowers the temperature of the outside glass, which at a certain dew point can result in condensation. Exterior condensation is actually an indication that the insulating glass in your windows is performing, as it should, reducing heat loss and lowering utility costs. It is a result of the normal functioning of energy efficient windows.

Interior Condensation

Condensation on interior surfaces of windows and doors occurs because of high humidity and low air exchange inside the home. In many older homes there were gaps in the windows where drafts could be felt and air would flow. This exchange of air, in many cases, was sufficient to prevent condensation from forming. The high-performance windows of today are designed to be air tight to reduce heat loss, which also reduces air flow. Three ways you can fight interior condensation are to reduce moisture sources (humidifiers, plants, aquariums, etc.); increase ventilation (open windows for a few minutes each day, especially during steam-producing activities such as showering, laundry and cooking); and leave closed interior shades up a couple inches above the window sill to allow for air movement between the shades and the window.

Other Factors Influencing Condensation

  • Window Size: Larger windows may have a higher tendency to show condensation.
  • Window Location: Minor differences in conditions can cause condensation to form on one window and not another, even when they are side-by-side. Windows protected from the wind will have a higher tendency to show condensation.
  • Air Circulation: Good air circulation, such as exposure to wind, reduces the occurrence of condensation. Building projections, foliage and other wind-breaks may contribute to condensation.
  • Screens: Windows protected by exterior screens may have different condensation than the same windows without screens under the same conditions.
  • Interior Shades: Opening interior shades or blinds may reduce condensation by allowing more heat to transfer to the outside.
  • Weather Changes: Condensation on windows can be a seasonal or a night-time event. When outside temperatures are warm, the glass temperature will usually be above the dew-point. The same is true during cold, winter months. Condensation will most often occur during transition months.
  • Moisture Between Panes: Moisture that builds up between the panes of glass may be due to a failed insulating unit, and if so it should be repaired.