Traditional windows are difficult to open and shut. These windows are vulnerable to damage, and they also give your property a somewhat messy look. This is where sliding aluminum windows can prove to be a game-changer. These windows come with built-in rollers, which are similar to security screen door rollers. These windows are compact and easy to move, and they bless your architectural design with a touch of innovation and class. Despite the benefits of sliding aluminum windows, there are some downsides to them as well.
Sliding aluminum windows become difficult to move with time. Sometimes, these windows stick to one side and almost refuse to shut and open smoothly. Furthermore, if left without lubrication, they make squeaky noises, which are annoying on the ears. These issues are not to be ignored, and if taken lightly, they can become severe with time. Here are a few possibilities of what may go wrong.
- The structure of the house is exerting pressure on the window frame, thus adding to the rigidity of the sliding windows.
- The window sashes are aging and are no longer able to be moved back and forth.
If either of the two is the problem, you should consider replacing your window. If not, you can get away with some simple lubrication. Remember, your sliding windows are a valuable investment, and lubricating them doesn’t mean splashing them with large amounts of lubes. Before you bring in the lubricant, the windows need to be cleaned thoroughly to eliminate any form of dirt and debris.
The following steps will further guide you on how to lubricate aluminum sliding windows.
Window Track Cleaning
Some of the potential threats to sliding window tracks are grime and dirt. Because of these agents, the friction in the window tracks increases. Just as they do to screen door rollers, dirt and grime are also detrimental to the rollers on your aluminum windows. The first step to cleaning these window tracks is to vacuum clean them. This will get rid of dirt, grime, and similar pollutants. Once you are done vacuum cleaning the window tracks, take a clean cloth and drench it in water. You can even use some mild detergent to get rid of stubborn pollutants. By doing so, you can restore your windows to better operation.
Also, take a look at the window tracks for any dried paint. In the perfect scenario, aluminum window tracks are not painted. However, if the previous house paint job was imperfect, you might find a drop or two of dried paint, along the window tracks. As the paint dries, it tends to peel and crack, thus adding to the friction of the tracks. Before moving forward, make sure to scrape away all of the dried paint.
If the paint is stuck between the tracks and the windows, opening the windows would require extra effort. However, you can reopen the windows by gently using a putty knife.
After the tracks have been washed, wipe them with a clean cloth and give them the time to dry. Refrain from applying lubricant to wet surfaces because it would only make the job difficult for you.
Repeat the same process for the windows as well. Remove the dirt and grime from the windows, if any. Wipe them dry until they are entirely spotless.
Bring in the lube
Now that the window tracks and the windows are clean and dry, the next step is to apply a lubricant. When lubricating aluminum sliding windows, you need to apply the right kind of lubricant, or else the whole project will go in vain. Using graphite or a silicone-based lubricant will ease the process and give you long-lasting results.
Other kinds of lubricants may corrode the aluminum, which will need replacement. Replacing existing aluminum windows with new ones will cost you a considerable amount of time and money. Spray the lubricant on the window tracks. Move the window from side to side to spread the lubricant evenly.
Unlike a silicone-based lubricant, a graphite lubricant will stay in the tracks for a long time. The longer it stays, the higher is the likelihood that it will attract less grime and dirt.
If possible, pour in a few drops of 20-weight oil in spots that are high in friction. In the areas where the window closes, apply a high-quality graphite lubricant. The graphite lubricant will prevent the windows from sticking whenever they are opened.
Waxing the Frame
Waxing the window frames is also a great way to protect them against pollutants and keep them functional for a long time, without costly repairs and replacement. Contrary to popular belief, wax does not damage aluminum. Instead, it keeps the pollutants at bay. Furthermore, it protects aluminum against corrosion, which is usually caused by exposure to moisture and inadequate lubrication.
Things You Will Need
To lubricate aluminum windows and their frames, the following tools are needed.
- 20-weight lubrication oil
- Silicon-based or graphite lubricant(preferred)
- A clean, dry cloth
- A clean bucket
- Clean water
- Mild detergent
How to Protect Aluminum Windows from Oxidation?
As discussed above, aluminum windows are prone to oxidation. Such oxidation occurs in the form of white or brown spots that are not only unsightly but also affecting the way your windows open and shut. The primary perpetrators behind aluminum oxidation are moisture, salt, and cleaning products. Most aluminum windows come with a protective coating that keeps corrosion at bay. Unfortunately, some of them don’t, which is why DIY methods of oxidation removal are required.
The following tips will help you get rid of oxidation from your aluminum windows.
- Remove the dirt and debris using a dry scrub brush.
- Take a bucket and pour in equal parts of vinegar and water, and mix them thoroughly.
- Dip the brush in the mixture and scrub the oxidation until it disappears.
- If the oxidation remains, use a stainless wire brush.
- After cleaning, rinse the windows and frames with clean water, wipe them with a clean cloth, and allow them to dry.
Aluminum windows are lightweight and durable. However, without proper care, they fall prey to pollutants like dirt and grime. Unhealthy exposure makes it difficult to move them from side to side. Furthermore, if left unattended, they tend to corrode, which puts them and your investment in jeopardy. Make sure to use the tips mentioned above to clean and lubricate your aluminum windows and make them last longer.
An industrial designer by trade, Daniel decided to follow his interest in design & manufacturing which has allowed him to travel around the world to lend his expertise within various industries. Currently, he works as a marketing consultant with Anthony Innovations – one of the leading suppliers of different types of window rollers & door rollers. Daniel has a keen eye for innovation and enjoys thinking of ways to make things better