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Maintenance Guides

Maintenance of windows and doors is, for the most part, common sense. While a bit of knowledge is required for some adjustments, routine maintenance such as cleaning or adjusting your windows or doors is simple and easy.

This maintenance guide is to assist our customers in carrying out common maintenance or adjustments to their windows and doors easily, and in a timely manner. If you require further assistance with maintenance items, or if you require clarification of any of the procedures, please do not hesitate to contact us.

CLEANING GLASS

Glass care today is more important than ever. Insulating, Low-E glass requires proper maintenance to ensure their complete effectiveness.

DOs

  • Clean glass with regular or ammonia based cleaning agents or a mixture of 1 gallon of cold water and 1/2 cup of vinegar.
  • Rinse completely with clear water, then wipe dry with a soft cloth to avoid water spots.
  • Avoid washing glass in direct sunlight.

DON'Ts

  • Clean glass with any petroleum-based cleaners or caustic chemicals.
  • Use a razor blade, putty knife or abrasive pad to clean the glass.
  • Use any form of high-pressure spray nozzle when rinsing your windows after washing.

CLEANING "SOLAR-5"

Solar-5Solar-5 Sealed Unit
(Hard Coat Low-E glass surface is exposed to inside house)

Regular Cleaning

  1. Thoroughly clean the surface of the glass with a clean sponge or soft cloth and plain water to remove surface contaminates.
  2. Dry with a clean soft cloth. Use a clean sponge or soft cloth to wash the surface with a solution of 10% to 20% vinegar. Always use a new soft cloth or a squeegee to dry the glass. Cleaning may cause streaks when dried if the glass is exceptionally dirty. In this case repeat cleaning. Care should be taken with rubber squeegees as they can leave streaks that are extremely hard to remove if they are used incorrectly or are in poor condition.
  3. Commercial glass cleaners (WINDEX®, GLASS PLUS®, etc.) may be used, but some may leave a film residue and may cause smearing. If these situations occur repeat the cleaning process using vinegar based cleaner. Vinegar based cleaners tend to cause less streaking than other types of cleaning solutions. The most important consideration is to remove as much contamination from the coating as possible with the plain water wash before attempting final cleaning.

Special Cleaning

For unusually hard to remove contaminates such as crayons, wax, grease, markers and adhesives, special
cleaners may be used to spot clean the glass. Denatured alcohol and isopropyl alcohol work on a variety of contaminates. For harder to remove contaminates such as crayons and markers, commercially available
cleaners such as Goo Gone® and Goof Off® work well. After spot cleaning, the full glass surface should be cleaned as discussed above.

NEVER USE ANY TYPE OF SCRAPER, PLASTIC OR METAL, ON THE COATED SURFACE

CLEANING FRAMES

Keeping your windows and doors clean means more than just glass. Hear are some tips for cleaning your window and door frames effectively without damaging them.

DOs

  • Vacuum dirt from sill and track area before washing.
  • Clean window door frames with mixture of mild dish soap and water.
  • Always rinse completely with clear water and wipe dry.
  • Ensure that you clean the condensation channel at the bottom of window or patio door at least twice a year.

DON'Ts

  • Use abrasive or caustic cleaners or solvents as they may chemically react with the frame materials and cause deterioration.
  • Use steel wool or abrasive pads and brushes as they may scratch the surfaces.

CLEANING DRAINAGE

Windows and doors often have a simple drainage system designed right into the products. These water drainage pathways must be kept clear and clean for the window or door to operate correctly.

  • It is normal for water to accumulate in the sill or track area with wind driven rain. The water is intended to drain to the outside as water builds up or outside pressure subsides.
  • Keep sill or track areas clean of dirt or debris.
  • Make sure that outside and inside drainage holes and sill area kept clear of any dirt, sand or building materials.
  • Use a small, soft bottlebrush to clear openings.

CLEANING DRAINAGE

  • Remove screen from the Window or the Door.
  • Wash on a flat and clean surface with mild soap and water using a soft brush.
  • Rinse and wipe dry.
  • Reinstall it in the Window or the Door.
  • Click here to see how to remove and install screens.

 

STEEL & FIBERGLASS PAINTING PROCEDURES

1. HOW TO START

Doors can be painted either hanging in the opening or removed from the frame (recommended). Should you remove the door, take care to protect it from damage. Sidelites will need to be finished vertically. To remove the door from the frame, use a center punch and hammer. Strike the hinge pin from the bottom until it pops up (for outswing - remove the pin lock to remove the non-removable pin using a 4mm allen wrench from inside first). Drive the hinge pin as far as possible with the punch. Using a pair of pliers, grasp the hinge pin and, while twisting, pull the pin out. Remove all door hardware.

2. MATERIAL REQUIRED

Find a well-lit painting location that is dust-free, well ventilated and within the climate conditions recommended by the paint manufacturer. Recommended temperature should be between 50°F-90°F (10°C-32°C) degrees Fahrenheit.

Coatings and accessories:

  • Mineral spirits or acetone
  • One pair of rubber gloves
  • Soapy water (mild detergent in warm water)
  • Stir sticks
  • Masking tape
  • Safety razor blades
  • Paint
    • High-quality, oil-base or 100% acrylic water-based latex paint of desired color
    • Lacquer paints are not recommended 2-1/2" wide brush appropriate for type of paint (A natural bristle brush should be used with oil-based paint and a synthetic bristle brush should be used with latex paint.)
  • 220 grit sandpaper

Tools:

  • Hammer
  • Center punch
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Safety glasses
  • Air-less sprayer (optional)

Notes:

  • The high insulation value of steel and fiberglass doors in conjunction with direct sunlight can result in high exterior surface temperatures. The use of dark colored paint and/or the installation of a non-ventilating storm door may compound the situation and cause door panel distortion (warping), pre-mature finish failure or glass insert failure.
  • Supreme Windows will not provide warranty coverage under these circumstances.

3. PREPARING THE DOOR SURFACE

For adequate paint adhesion the door surface must be free of dust, debris and other surface contaminants.

Steel Doors:

Steel doors should be wiped clean with a solvent such as acetone or mineral spirits. Allow the cleaning solvent to dry completely - until there is no residual odor. Once wiped clean, the door must be lightly sanded with a 220-grit sandpaper. After sanding, the door must be washed with a mild detergent in warm soapy water, rinsed and then dried.

Mask (tape) off all surfaces that will not be painted including all glass.

Fiberglass Doors:

Fiberglass doors should be wiped clean with a solvent such as acetone or mineral spirits. Allow the cleaning solvent to dry completely - until there is no residual odor. Next, the door must be washed with a mild detergent in warm soapy water, rinsed and then dried.

Mask (tape) off all surfaces that will not be painted including all glass.

4. PAINTING THE DOOR

Use exterior, high quality, oil-based or 100% acrylic water-based latex paint of desired color. High quality interior paint can be used on the interior surface of the door only. Lacquer paints are not recommended. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for paint application by using either a brush or a handheld sprayer.

Painting:

Put on gloves, safety glasses, and prepare your materials. Before starting, and occasionally throughout the project, stir the paint using smooth strokes until the texture is creamy - avoid creating bubbles.

Finishing with Brush Application:

Dip the brush into the paint, then use the rim of the container to release any excess paint. Apply paint as evenly as possible while still wet. Brush strokes should follow the grain direction of the selected area. Start working on the center panels (1), then the vertical center strips (2), next the horizontal areas (3), then the long vertical panels (4), and finally, the outside edges (stiles and top rail) (5). Doors that are outswing or have adjustable surface mounted sweeps will need to have the sweep removed and the bottom rail painted.

Finishing with Spray Applicator:

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for thinning the paint; (i.e. thin latex paint with water or oil-based with solvent for better atomization and spraying results). Strain paint before filling the spray pot. The door can be painted in horizontal (recommended) or vertical position; however, the paint should be applied in continuous strokes extending six inches past the edges of the door. This will ensure uniformity across the entire surface of the door. Multiple light coats are better than one heavy coat. Avoid runs as a result of overspraying.

Drying:

Let the paint dry completely, following the manufacturer's recommended drying time before handling the painted surface or applying a second coat. If possible, allow the door to dry in a horizontal position to minimize paint runs. High humidity and/or low temperatures may extend your drying time.

Do not paint the weather strip and do not close door until paint is dry (see paint manufacturer's specifications on minimum drying time).

FIBERGLASS STAINING PROCEDURES

1. HOW TO START

Doors can be stained either hanging in the opening or removed from the frame (recommended). Should you remove the door, take care to protect it from damage. Sidelites will need to be finished vertically. To remove the door from the frame, use a center punch and hammer. Strike the hinge pin from the bottom until it pops up (for outswing units - hinge leaf must be removed from the door). Drive the hinge pin as far as possible with the punch. Using a pair of pliers, grasp the hinge pin and, while twisting, pull the pin out. Remove all door hardware. While the stain is still wet, lightly brush the entire surface of the door with a china bristle brush. Use long strokes and work in the direction of the grain to even out color and achieve consistency.

2. MATERIAL REQUIRED

Find a well-lit staining location that is dust-free, well ventilated and within the climate conditions recommended by the stain/top-coat manufacturer.

Coatings and accessories:

  • Mineral spirits or acetone
  • One pair of rubber gloves
  • Lint-free rags or cheese cloth (recommended)
  • 2" wide foam brush
  • Stir sticks
  • Masking tape
  • Safety razor blades
  • 2 1/2" wide china bristle brush
  • Stain
    • High-quality,opaque (non-transparent), heavily pigmented, oil-based stain (recommended)
    • Gel stains can also be used
    • Semi-transparent stains are not recommended
  • High-quality, exterior grade, UV stabilized polyurethane sealant (stain or low gloss)

Tools:

  • Hammer
  • Center punch
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Safety glasses

Notes:

  • The high insulation value of steel and fiberglass doors in conjunction with direct sunlight can result in high exterior surface temperatures. The use of dark colored paint and/or the installation of a non-ventilating storm door may compound the situation and cause door panel distortion (warping), pre-mature finish failure or glass insert failure.
  • Supreme Windows will not provide warranty coverage under these circumstances.

3. PREPARING THE DOOR SURFACE

Dust, debris and other surface contaminants can accumulate on the surface of the door. Therefore, to achieve best results and maximum coating adhesion, wipe/clean all surfaces of the door panel(s) and sidelite(s) thoroughly with acetone or mineral spirits.

Mask (tape) off all surfaces that will not be stained.

4. STAING THE DOOR

Use a high quality, heavily pigmented, oil-based stain (recommended). Gel stains can also be used. Before starting, and occasionally throughout the project, stir the stain until the texture is creamy. We recommend that before starting, you try staining a small inconspicuous area of the door to achieve the desired color.

One coat of stain is required with the recommended (per manufacturer's instructions) dry time needed between sides. The stain should be applied in the order(see Grain Direction illustration) working on one small section of the door at a time.

Staining:

  1. Put on gloves and prepare your materials.
  2. Stir stain thoroughly using smooth strokes, avoid creating bubbles and do not shake the stain container.
  3. Working in the specified order and individual section, dip the foam brush into the stain then use the rim of the container to release any excess. Use the foam brush to apply the stain onto the section. Using a cloth, rub the stain into the embossed wood-grain ensuring complete and even coverage. Stop between sections to tidy up the perimeter with a rag and mineral spirits. Clean edges will help define the individual components of the door. If preferred, the subtle color variation found in wood can be replicated by selective removal of the stain. Using a rag or cheese cloth, gently rub the surface removing very small amounts of stain. Apply varying levels of pressure and work in the direction of the grain. Excessive pressure will remove too much stain.
  4. Once the door has been completely stained, check for any drips. While the stain is still wet, lightly brush the entire surface of the door with a china bristle brush. Use long strokes and work in the direction of the grain to even out color and achieve consistency.
  5. Let the first stained surface dry, per the stain manufacturer's recommended drying time, before proceeding to the second side.
  6. If you prefer a darker appearance, repeat staining steps one through five only after first coat is completely dry. Do not sand between staining coats.

Sealing or Applying the Top-Coat:

The top-coat or sealant for your door is very important and required for weatherability. It protects the stained door from the elements and makes the door surface washable. Be sure that the stain coating is completely dry and then apply a high-quality, UV stabilized, clear exterior polyurethane coating (satin or low gloss) - used for any normal exterior wood application.

  1. Stir top coat thoroughly using smooth strokes, avoid creating bubbles and do not shake the top coat container.
  2. Do not overload the brush. Dip the end of the brush into the coating and gently slide the flat side of the brush against the edge of the container to remove the excess. Note: We recommend that all 6 sides (front and back faces plus all four edges) be sealed to eliminate moisture absorption. The bottom of your door panel(s) may contain a factory installed weatherstripping (sweep) which is sealed prior to installation. Failure to observe this recommendation may void the warranty.
  3. Apply with even gentle strokes. Press hard enough to flex the bristles just a little and then pull the brush gently along the door's surface.
  4. As you apply the sealant, pull the brush quickly along the area two or three times lightly to even out the brush strokes.
  5. Allow the first coat to dry completely (follow manufacturer's recommendations) and apply at least one more coat using the same steps as above. A minimum of two coats is required for complete protection and the door should be resealed annually to ensure lasting protection of the finish.
  6. After both sides of the door have been top-coated (twice) and are completely dry, remove the paper and tape from the glass and protected surfaces.
  7. Clean the glass with window cleaner and remove any finishing materials from the glass with a safety razor.
  8. Replace door back into frame.