Care & Maintenance
GEM has chosen the window and door products we carry to minimize the care and maintenance you’ll need to do—that’s the beauty of high quality vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass. Simple cleaning and lubrication will keep your windows and doors looking their best and operating well for years to come.
You can apply a mild soap or vinegar-based cleaner to the glass, either by spraying or using a clean, grit-free cloth or sponge saturated with cleaning solution. Avoid using ammonia or alcohol-based cleaners, which can cause streaking. Less is more—be careful not to damage glazing, frame finish, wood components or insulating unit seals by being overzealous with your cleaners or cleaning. Make sure to follow any directions on the cleaner label for toxicity, handling and flammability warnings.
Start at the top of the building and work your way down to minimize the potential for dirty water and cleaning solution to run or drip onto previously-cleaned windows. Wipe the cleaning solutions on the glass in a circular motion, applying light to moderate pressure. If streaks appear, rinse surface with clean water. Using a clean, lint-free cloth, wipe the interior glazing surfaces dry, including any interior frame or hardware components, to prevent spotting or water damage.
To clean grease, oil, tape adhesive, crayons or paint, apply a small amount of a mild abrasive or acetone (mineral spirits) to a clean, wet cloth of towel and rub only the affected area. Repeat the cleaning steps listed above once complete.
Usually, the occasional heavy rainfall is enough to remove the dirt that accumulates on exterior surfaces. However, in smoggy, smokey or dirty environments, the exterior surfaces should be cleaned more regularly to prevent damage to exterior finishes or discoloration.
Use a mild soap or diluted detergent solution with clean, warm water, and wipe surfaces gently using a clean cloth, soft bristle brush, or low pressure spray cleaner. Rinse surfaces thoroughly with clean water before the soap or detergent dries.
Follow exterior surface cleaning instructions for all exterior screens.
Interior mounted screens can be vacuumed with a soft brush attachment or wiped with a soap and water solution. You can also remove the screen, lay it on a flat surface, apply a cleaning solution and let it soak for a minute. Then you can rinse the screen with a low-pressure spray, such as a garden hose.
Use caution when removing and handling screens, since torn screens and bent screen bars are not covered by warranty.
Clean and lubricate hardware components regularly to prevent excess wear on hardware gears.
Use a diluted household cleaner and wipe clean all hardware components, including locks, hinges, operator arms, and handles. Always rinse hardware with clean water to remove any detergent or cleaner prior to lubricating.
To lubricate rotary drive hardware, use lithium grease, automotive grease, or Petroleum jelly.
To lubricate hinges and rollers: use silicone-based lubricants Avoid using petroleum based lubricants.
If you get some condensation on your inside window surfaces, rest assured that it’s not an indication that the glass or insulating unit is defective. Condensation is unsightly and can lead to problems with mold or mildew, however, so it’s a good idea to take care of the cause, which may be high indoor humidity, cold interior window surfaces, poor air circulation in your home or the way your home is heated—or a combination of these factors.
You can address condensation issues using the following approaches:
- Open your windows as much as possible to allow the humidity to escape;
- Use a dehumidifier, which greatly reduces the humidity inside a home;
- Vent clothes dryers, gas burners, etc. to the outdoors;
- Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans;
More condensation prevention tips are available from the Office of Energy Efficiency of the Government of Canada.