Care & Maintenance
One of the great joys of Ultrex pultruded fiberglass is that it lasts a long time with virtually no maintenance. There are, however, some basic steps you can take to keep your Integrity Windows and Doors looking their best.
For regular cleaning and maintenance of Ultrex use a non-abrasive household cleaner, wiping the Ultrex surface in a gentle fashion. A mild detergent solution (water-based) is recommended for cleaning by applying the solution to a soft cloth and wiping the Ultrex surface. Extreme pressure or scrubbing action is not recommended. No solvents, paint thinner or other chemicals of any type are recommended for use with Ultrex, as they may affect the integrity, functionality and appearance of the coating.
The best method to clean the glass on your Integrity product is to first soak the glass surface with a clean water and soap solution to loosen dirt or debris. Use a mild, non-abrasive window washing solution and apply with a non-abrasive applicator. Immediately after washing the glass, remove all of the cleaning solution with a squeegee, taking care not to allow any metal surface of the cleaning equipment to touch the glass surface. Make sure that no abrasive particles are trapped between the glass and the cleaning material. Window and door gaskets, sealants and frames are susceptible to deterioration if cleaning solutions are not rinsed and dried immediately after cleaning.
CAUTION: Do not use razor blades, knives or scrapers for cleaning glass surfaces.
To clean your screens, remove them from the window, lay them on a flat clean area and spray off any dust with water from your garden hose. Allow them to dry thoroughly before replacing. In cold climates it is recommended you remove screens from doors during the winter as collected snow may cause the screen to stretch and sag.
Wood framing should be cleaned with clear water or a mild solution of household detergent. Grease or oily materials may require stronger cleaning compounds, but avoid solvents or abrasive-type cleaners. Clean from top to bottom to avoid streaking and always rinse the surface well as any lingering detergent can damage the finish.
When temperatures drop during the winter, it is not uncommon for condensation to occur on glass windows and doors. This is not caused by a defect in your window or door; it is simply a sign of high humidity in your home.
Condensation can be unsightly, but it can also be a source of more significant problems. If left uncontrolled, excess humidity can cause:
- Mold or mildew
- Wood rot and warping
- Roof ice build-up
- Damp, ineffective insulation
- Discolored, blistered or bubbling paint
- Damaging moisture inside walls and attic
Excessive humidity can actually be an issue in newer, energy-efficient homes that don’t “breathe.” An inexpensive hygrometer should be able to tell you if your humidity levels are in check.
Stain & Mildew Removal
INTERIOR MILDEW REMOVAL
If you experience quite a bit of interior condensation, you may notice discoloration along the lower parts of your wood windows or doors. This is the result of mildew growing in damp areas. Use regular laundry bleach on a sponge to remove the mildew.
Please note: The application of a bleach and water mixture is likely to discolor and/or remove the interior wood finish and sealant. It will be necessary to refinish the wood after bleaching.
- Wear protective eyewear and skin protection, and keep the area well ventilated.
- Mix one cup of regular laundry bleach to one gallon of water.
- Dampen sponge.
- Stroke lightly on the affected surface. Do not rub.
- Make sure the grain of the wood is penetrated and reapply bleach-and-water mixture if the discoloration persists.
EXTERIOR MILDEW REMOVAL
The presence of mildew on your exterior can be confirmed by placing a drop of household bleach on the suspected mildew area. If small gas bubbles develop in the droplet of bleach and the area bleaches out, mildew does exist and should be removed from the exterior of your windows or doors.
Use this basic solution for controlling exterior mildew:
- 1/3 cup powder laundry detergent
- 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP)
- 1 quart household bleach
Please note: A stronger concentration of cleaner can damage the coating surface or finish.
Always wear protective eyewear and skin protection when using harsh cleaning compounds.
Apply the solution with a soft bristle brush using medium pressure.
WATER STAIN REMOVAL
Oxalic acid can be used to bleach bare, unfinished wood that has been water stained. Oxalic acid is a poisonous strong organic acid used especially as a bleaching or cleaning agent. It can be purchased at hardware, drug, or grocery outlets.
Always use eye and hand protection and read the manufacturer’s instructions and application procedures carefully before using.
- Mix approximately 2 tablespoons of oxalic acid to 8 ounces of water in a pan.
- Dampen sponge.
- Stroke lightly on affected surface.
Painting & Staining
Wood-Ultrex Series products must have a finish applied immediately to prevent possible damage to the wood. Even a primed windows have no protective qualities and should be painted quickly.
Step 1: Check that bare wood surfaces are clean and dry. Remove any handling marks, debris or effects of exposure to moisture by sanding lightly with fine sandpaper and wiping clean before applying your choice of finish.
Step 2: Occasionally, an excess of silicone sealant, called “squeeze-out,” appears around the edge of the glass. You can safely scrape off “squeeze-out” with a plastic putty knife without damaging the weather tightness of your window or door.
Step 3: Run a strip of masking tape along the edge of the glass. If you are using paint, leave a 1/16” space between the tape and the wood bead to allow the paint to bead onto the glass for a proper seal.
Step 4: Apply paint or stain, carefully following the manufacturer’s application instructions always wearing adequate hand and eye protection.
It is extremely important that you do not paint locks, hardware, weather-stripping or any surface which comes in contact with another window or door surface. Also, use paints, stains and varnishes with care-they contain solvents which, when coming in contact with plastics and vinyl weather-stripping, cause these materials to lose their flexibility.
Before refinishing exterior or interior, remove sash from the frame. This will make it much easier to prevent paint or varnish from coming in contact with the sash tracks. Do not replace sash until finish is completely dry.
Troubleshooting & Adjustments
The roto-gear is the operating mechanism that you crank to open and close your Casement and awning windows. Your Casement lock seals the window tightly - excessive cranking when closing your window does not improve the seal and may damage your roto-gear. Roto-gears should be lubricated once a year with white lithium grease (available at any hardware store) to keep operation smooth. The hinge joints and the locking mechanism should be lubricated on occasion with a silicone-based spray. Be sure to clean off all dirt, debris or sand before lubrication. Be careful: Excessive lubrication may cause damage to the window's finish. Make sure that any excess is immediately wiped up.
Awning hinges, roto-gear operator arms and sash guides can be oiled with a few drops of light household oil or silicone spray.
INTEGRITY DOUBLE HUNG
Periodically clean the jambcarriers where the sash slides. Keep them dirt and grease-free by washing with a gentle dish detergent, and after drying, spray with furniture wax to prevent sticking. Be sure to wipe off any excess wax.
Periodically clean the tracks where the sash must slide. Keep them dirt and grease-free, and spray them lightly with furniture wax to prevent sticking. Be sure to wipe off any excess wax. Before refinishing the wood on the sash, remove operator sash from the frame. This will make it much easier to avoid paint or varnish coming in contact with the sash tracks. Make sure top and bottom edges are left unfinished. Do not replace sash until finish is thoroughly dry.
INTEGRITY ROUND TOP, POLYGON AND PICTURE WINDOWS
Integrity round top, polygon and picture windows are non-operational, meaning they do not open or close, so there are no maintenance needs for hardware or weather-stripping. All you need to do is clean the glass occasionally, and maintain the interior wood and exterior surfaces on the same schedule as your other windows.
INTEGRITY SLIDING AND SWINGING DOORS
Integrity Sliding and Swinging doors require very little maintenance to keep them functioning efficiently. Most problems can be eliminated by keeping the sill clean, ensuring smooth door operation. Chemicals, solvents, paints and other harsh substances should never come in contact with the sill. Remove any paint, grease or caulk with isopropyl alcohol. Wood doors need to adjust to humidity levels in a home and may warp slightly as seasons change-allow one full year for your door to go through this process, Door handles can be wiped down with a damp cloth to remove fingerprints and smudges.
It is very seldom that door rollers require lubrication. Occasionally use spray lubricant to keep operation smooth (rollers are visible underneath the operator panel). If you live in a cold climate, it is recommended that you remove the screen door in the winter. The screen mesh may collect snow and ice, causing it to sag.