Blog | KeyBright Window Cleaning | Seth White

An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Cure

Ahh, Spring!  The time of year when we try to open our windows . . . and can’t.  Spring . . . you know, the season right after the one where we try to close our windows and still cold air pours in. 

They’re tempremental things, these giant holes in the walls of our homes.  However, with a little regular mainenance, we can keep our windows sliding, gliding, cranking and/or locking without the headaches.  What’s more, they’ll keep out the cold in the winter. 

So go ahead, throw open those windows and enjoy the warm weather.  Just set aside a day to do these things first:

  • Inspect the sealant/caulking on the exterior perimeter of your windows and patio doors at least once a year, paying particular attention to the caulking at the lower corners of windows and under joints between windows in combinations.
  • Check the exterior paint for corrosion, peeling, and/or cracking and touch up any problem areas to prevent further damage.
  • Check to make sure the interior finish of your windows and/or patio doors is in good condition.  If you need to refresh the paint or stain, give your local finishing pro a call (we recommend BFB Painting!)
  • Clean window tracks and sills with a dry brush (concurrently using a small, cordless wet/dry vac will help keep the dust down), then wipe down with a damp terry cloth rag.
  • Apply a thin layer of paraffin wax to the track to keep the sash sliding smoothly.  Don’t use oily lubricants like WD-40 or white lithium grease because they attract dust and grime, which will eventually restrict the window’s movement.
  • NOW you can use the oily stuff!  If your window has moving hardware like cranks or other metal doodads, give them a quick spray with something like white lithium grease.  This will last a while and keep things moving nicely.
  • Finally, clean the glass using a mild, streak free cleaner like Ace’s janitorial strength ammonia and a good set of squeegees.  Remember: a little goes a long way!  One gallon is enough to clean most houses 15 times over.  

Remember, different windows need different love!  Be sure to check with your window manufacturers specific recommendations before striking out on your own.  These tips were adapted from the Pella Window Company’s annual maintenance recommendations.  


When a Deal’s Not a Deal At All . . .

Like many people I know, I subscribe to internet coupon sites in hopes of grabbing a great deal every so often.  Back in the day—like, in the time of Beowulf—the word “deal” simply meant “one’s fair share,” but sometime between then and the 19th century, the word took on new meaning as “a transaction or a bargain.” Unfortunately, many of today’s internet deals are neither fair nor a bargain.  Take the story of--well, let’s just call them Raylan and Alma--for example.

Last year, having lived in their characteristically “Northeast” home in the Windom Park neighborhood for nine years, Alma and Raylan were referred to us by one of our favorite Nor’easters.  A couple years prior, having heard of a good bargain, they joined a few neighbors in purchasing a Groupon for window cleaning.  For the neighbors, everything went swell: the windows were clean, no valuables were missing, and they saved a bit of dough.  What a DEAL!

Alma and Raylan’s deal wasn’t so fair.  Chalk it up to lack of experience or outright deception, but the same company who cleaned the neighbors’ windows without fuss faltered when it was time to do Alma and Raylan’s more complex job.  Perhaps it was the prospect of losing money by taking the time to clean hundreds of tiny panes of wavy glass (love that Northeast character!) that caused them to rescind their inexpensive offer.  Or maybe they just weren’t experienced enough to know the windows didn’t need to be replaced before they could be cleaned, which is what they told our homeowners.  Either way, Alma and Raylan spent $200 on a deal they couldn’t use and their windows were still dirty.  But hey, at least the crew offered to power wash the house as a consolation prize!

If the Ghost of Christmas Future were here to scoop us up, he might take us to an alternate reality where Raylan and Alma, having never found KeyBright, couldn’t watch today’s late-season snowfall drift peacefully down because of the cobwebs clouding their glass (okay, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad . . . ).  Perhaps 20 years from now they’d be shut ins, blocked from the outside world by the thickest layer of soot and and soil any window’s ever seen.  Or perhaps more realistically, they’d grow tired of the dingy-seeming house and fork over a boatload of dough for those replacement windows, or maybe they’d just move altogether.

Without the knowledge of 20 years’ worth of cleaning windows, I wouldn’t have been able to help save them from that fate.  Their neighborhood could have lost a piece of architectural heritage, or worse yet a great couple and their family.  However, because of the kind referral of their neighbors, Alma and Raylan can enjoy their shiny, happy house without having to wonder “what if???”

 All My Best,


P.S. If you have a friend who lives in Northeast Minneapolis and wants to learn to love their home again, please pass along their information and let them know the story of Raylan and Alma (hmm . . . The Story of Raylan and Alma" . . . sounds like a country tune!).  I promise to treat them with kid gloves.

Have I Told You Lately . . .

Sometimes, when I stop to connect with someone who just makes everyone around them feel good, I get that Golden Girls theme song stuck in my head.  You know that part about "if you threw a party and invited everyone you knew . . . "?  Well, I can't say for sure that the biggest gift would be from me, but I do want to say "thank you for being a friend." 

 This post is the preface to what will become a monthly series of shameless, though hopefully entertaining, promotional pieces (the first dispatch is coming in just a few minutes!) for the official launch of KeyBright Window Cleaning and the 2014 window cleaning season.  Whether you know it or not, your support has guided me to this exciting point, and you deserve my gratitude (and much more)!

 Take care, and have a great weekend!

 All My Best,