As you open up your windows for spring; it’s important to look around for leaks, cracks, breaks, wear and every other conceivable problem that can develop over the winter.  As a Home Inspector I have found these are frequently overlooked places, but they can become big issues during the sales process.

Make a repair list to keep up on maintenance and your house looking good.

The list should include these seven things:window

1. Trim

Make sure all of the trim around the windows is painted. If need-be, scrape off any loose paint and touch up the bare spots. Take a chip of the old paint to a paint dealer so they can match the color.

2. Opening and closing

Check that the windows open and close freely. If the window is stuck closed try running a utility knife around all four edges. If the window still doesn’t open, use a flat pry bar. Carefully work the bar under the sill. Applying gentle pressure push up on the window frame. When that part of the window loosens, move the bar to another part and repeat the process. Don’t push so hard, though, that the glass cracks. If the window still sticks, this could the time for replacements.

Repairing the mechanisms that allow the window to open and close is a job best left to professionals.

3. Caulk

Looking for cracks in the caulk around where the window meets the house frame and patch any holes. Hardware stores sell the needed materials. Make sure you buy caulk that can be painted. Generally, clear silicon caulk will not take paint.

4. Weather stripping

This is the material located between the window and the frame. It seals out drafts. If it is cracked or missing, replace it. It comes in rolls and can be cut to the proper size.

window repair5. Screens

Check all screens for holes. A simple patch kit can purchased that will cover smaller openings. For large holes, it is best to have the screen replaced by a professional.

6. Window putty

If the putty – the material that holds the glass in the frame – is dry, chipped or missing, it needs to be replaced. Carefully remove the old putty with putty knife. Hardware stores will sell you an easy to use tube of new putty to complete the repair.

7. Wash the windows

Finally, clean your windows. If you can, use a squeegee on the outside. It reduces the chances of streaks.