Some homeowners could consider cleaning their home as a labor of love. In fact, there are some that actually enjoys cleaning their double-hung or specialty windows since it makes them feel more involved in their home’s maintenance process. Your window is constantly exposed to the elements and protects your home from outside temperatures, keeping your home comfortable.
Keep in mind that while your windows aren’t as big as your roofing or siding, their importance in your home cannot be understated since they enhance your facade, energy efficiency, and long-term resale value. This is why many homeowners choose to invest in beautiful and quality window materials to get the most out of their investment. However, there are some problems that they can encounter that can tarnish the way their windows look, and one of them is hard water stains.
In today’s blog, Renewal by Andersen® of Cincinnati, the leading window installation and maintenance contractor, shares a comprehensive guide on how you can eliminate hard water stains from your windows.
What Is Hard Water?
Exposure to water can threaten the quality of your windows. This is mainly because the water present in many residential areas can be classified as hard water. The compounds that are found in hard water are invisible to the naked eye if it’s suspended in water. It only becomes apparent once it dries up and appears as whitish spots and splatters that can be difficult to clean up. Hard water often comes from sprinkler systems around your property. The water droplets emitted by the sprinklers that come in contact with your windows could cause hard water stains to form. It can also come from tap water if your area’s water reservoir is rich in hard water-causing minerals.
Hard Water Is Built Different
Remember that not all kinds of water are the same. In some areas, the water has a high concentration of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, bicarbonates, and sulfates. This is a stark contrast to soft water which is free of dissolved salts of metals like calcium, iron, or magnesium which create insoluble deposits that appear as scales in boilers, bathtubs, or your laundry equipment. As such, you want to have your windows cleaned by your window installation and maintenance expert if you find hard water stains forming on its surface.
Danger of Hard Water Stains
You might think that hard water stains are merely a cosmetic problem that will only affect the appearance of your windows. To emphasize the importance of regular window maintenance in protecting your windows from the dangers of hard water, it’s important to know the structural makeup of your windows.
The glass panes of your windows are inherently porous. This means that the substances that come into contact with the glass can seep through the inner workings of your window glass. Over time, a chemical reaction between the hard water and the glass in your windows will occur. This will make the minerals stuck within your glass panes and outside of it, making it impossible to clean off without damaging your window panes.
How to Clean Hard Water Stains
The best way to clean hard water stains is to leave the job to a professional window maintenance company like Renewal by Andersen of Cincinnati. To eliminate hard water spots and the minerals that cause them, you’ll need to follow two main processes.
First, you’ll need to use chemicals to break down the mineral deposits on the surface to prepare them for removal. Some of the chemicals used to remove hard water stains on your windows can be caustic, so it’s better to leave this job to professional window cleaners. If the first step doesn’t cut it, then we’ll move to the second.
If the solvents do not do the trick, then grinding or polishing might be required. At this point, DIY cleaning is out of the question since your professional window cleaner will use a specialized glass grinder to surgically remove layers of glass until all of the mineral deposits have been removed. The new outer layer will be re-polished to make your windows look brand-new again.
It’s actually very tricky to grind and polish residential glass. This is why window maintenance and cleaning professionals possess the tools and experience to perform chemical or manual hard water cleansing without damaging the windows you’ve invested in. It’s also worth noting that you should have your windows maintained and inspected regularly. Your window maintenance plan should include more than just the usual inspection for signs of structural damage. It’s also important to ensure that your glass panes’ surfaces are free from hard water stains if you want to prevent corrosion from causing rapid window deterioration in the future.
Fortunately, here at Renewal by Andersen of Cincinnati, we offer windows that will grant you tons of convenience since they’re easy to clean and maintain. Our windows come with ultrathin titanium dioxide coating. This is a white, powdery compound that is commonly found in paint, toothpaste, and other brilliant, white things. The titanium dioxide coating cleans your windows through a two-stage process: photocatalytic, and hydrophilic.
Since titanium dioxide is a photocatalyst, the material activates when it comes into contact with light or UV rays. When ultraviolet light comes into contact with the titanium dioxide coating of our self-cleaning windows, electrons are generated that turn into water molecules from the air that creates a chemical reaction in the coating. In turn, the reaction attacks carbon-based dirt and cuts it up into smaller pieces for rain to wash it away naturally.
Glass is usually a hydrophobic, or “water hating” surface that forms water droplets when rain pours on it. As such, it leaves behind dirty streaks with it. This totally changes when it comes into contact with the titanium dioxide surface. The hydroxyl radicals produced by photocatalysis makes the glass “water-loving” or hydrophilic. Instead of forming drops, the water spreads out evenly throughout the glass surface in an even manner. So when rain hits a glass surface that’s hydrophilic, the sheet of water wipes down evenly, like magic.
Renewal by Andersen of Cincinnati offers a wide range of premium windows, including casement and specialty windows. As part of our Signature Service, we customize each and every window according to our customers’ needs. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (513) 283-8981 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Cincinnati, Sharonville, Mason, West Chester, as well as the surrounding Ohio communities.