Caring for Your Windows and Doors

  • Annual Window and Door Maintenance Checklist

    Regular maintenance will help keep your Marvin windows and doors operating smoothly. Use this checklist as an annual maintenance reminder.

    • Make sure the weatherstrip is still effective. If not, call your local Marvin dealer.  
    • Examine the window's interior and exterior finishes. Occasional repair to a damaged finish may be necessary.
    • Don’t let paints, stains and varnishes come in contact with the weatherstrip. Solvents can damage the weatherstrip’s performance.
    • Trim any old, loose caulking and seal any gaps with an appropriate, high quality caulk.
    • Occasionally, an excess of silicone sealant, called “squeeze-out,” appears around the edge of the glass. You can safely scrape off “squeeze-out” with a plastic putty knife without damaging the weather-tightness of your window or door.
    • Make sure all exposed hardware screws are tightened securely. Apply a dry lubricant to the windows’ gears to keep them operating smoothly.
    • Clean sand, dirt or dust from door and window hinges, sills and tracks.
    • Check energy panels and storm and screen combinations to make sure screws and turn buttons are securely fastened.
    • Check doors for smooth operation.

      Note: Wood doors require a stabilization period after installation, sometimes taking up to a year to adjust to humidity levels and other environmental factors.

    • Location plays an important role in how often you should clean and maintain the exterior of aluminum clad windows and doors. A coastal home exposed to harsh elements may need cleaning four or five times a year, while in a drier climate, once or twice a year may be sufficient.
  • Safety precautions
    • Be careful when using ladders.
    • Wear protective eyewear and clothing.
    • When working with primers, paints, stains, cleaning solutions, etc., follow all manufacturer's instructions for safe use and disposal.
Caring for Your Windows and Doors

Cleaning

  • How to Clean Glass
    • Avoid cleaning glass while it is in direct sunlight, especially tinted and coated surfaces, to prevent streaking.
    • Start cleaning windows at the top of the building and continue to lower levels.
    • Soak the glass surface with clean water to loosen dirt and debris. Make sure no abrasive particles remain on the glass, then apply an approved cleaning solution with a non-abrasive cloth or other applicator.
    • Quickly remove the cleaning solution with a squeegee, taking care not to allow metal parts of cleaning equipment to touch the glass surface.
    • Avoid any cleaning product that has a strong chemical base or a high alcohol content, as chemical reactions could damage components.
    • Wipe any remaining traces of cleaning solution from glass and other parts of the window and frame. Windows, including their parts and frames, are susceptible to deterioration if left damp.
    • Some windows have an energy panel, often confused with a storm window. An energy panel is a removable, exterior glass panel and can be cleaned in the same way as other parts of the window.
    • Don’t use abrasive cleaning solutions or materials, don’t allow metal parts of cleaning equipment to touch the glass, and don’t use scrapers of any kind.

      Note: Glass scratched by a scraper is not covered under the Marvin warranty.

  • How to Remove Labels from Glass
    • Labels and adhesive residue should be removed from glass as soon as possible after installation.
    • If a label does not release from the glass easily, use an approved cleaning solution to help remove it.
    • Do not remove labels while exposed to direct sunlight.
    • Do not let cleaning agents come in contact with weatherstrip or finishes, as they could cause damage.
  • How to Clean Screens
    • Carefully remove the screen and lay it on a flat, clean area.
    • Remove any dust by lightly spraying the screen with water from a hose or vacuuming with a soft brush extension.
    • Instead of drying with a cloth, let the screen air-dry completely before reinstalling. For doors, remove and replace screens from the exterior.
  • Approved Cleaners

    The following cleaners, when used as directed, can be used with Ultrex®:


    Glass Cleaners

    • Glass Plus® Glass Cleaner
    • Green Works® Original Scent Glass & Surface Cleaner
    • Rain-X® Automotive Glass Cleaner
    • Spray-X® Foaming Glass Cleaner
    • Windex® Glass Cleaner with Ammonia
    • Windex® Original
    • Windex® Powerized Original
    • Zep® Ammonia-Free Concentrate Glass Cleaner
    • Zep® Foaming Glass Cleaner
    • Zep® Streak-Free Glass Cleaner

    General Purpose Cleaners

    • Amaz Clean & Green™ Water Stain Remover
    • Dawn® Simply Clean, Original Scent (1% in Water)
    • Formula 409® Original
    • Goo Gone® Spray Gel
    • Ivory® Ultra Dishwashing Liquid, Original Scent (1% in Water)
    • Murphy® Oil Soap Liquid Wood Cleaner
    • Soft Scrub® All Purpose Cleaner Lemon Scent
    • Spic and Span® Sun Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner
    • Tide® Detergent Original Scent
    • Vinegar, Distilled White (5% Acidity)
    • Windex® Multi-Surface Disinfectant Cleaner
    • Zep® Multi-Surface Cleaner

    Outdoor House Cleaners

    • Home Armor® EZ House Wash™
    • Home Armor® EZ Deck, Fence & Patio Wash™
    • Rejuvenate® Outdoor Cleaner
    • Savorgran™ TSP Trisodium Phosphate
    • Spray & Forget™ House and Deck Cleaner
    • Wet & Forget® Moss Mold Mildew and Algae Stain Remover
    • Windex® Hose End Outdoor Multi-Surface Cleaner
    • Zep® All-in-1 Pressure Wash*
    • Zep® House and Siding Pressure Wash Concentrate*

    *Although overspray of these solutions is safe, never use a pressure washer directly on any part of a window or door.

Caring for Your Windows and Doors

Wood Surfaces

  • How to Maintain Wood Surfaces
    • Remove surface dirt and check the exterior of your wood windows and doors at least once a year to ensure that wood is not exposed to the elements by failing caulk or paint that has cracked, peeled or bubbled.
    • Remove superficial surface dirt by washing painted wood exteriors with water and a soft-bristled, long-handled brush (such as those used for washing cars). A toothbrush works well to remove build-up from cracks and crevasses.
    • Heavier accumulations can be removed with an approved cleaning solution. Other cleaning solutions consisting of alcohol/water mixtures are also effective.
    • Wash from top to bottom to minimize streaking.
    • Use clean water to rinse off detergent solutions or cleaners, which can damage the finish if not removed.
    • Grease or oily substances may require stronger cleaning compounds. Avoid solvents or abrasive cleaners. Don’t let strong detergents, ammonia, chemicals or other harsh cleaning substances get onto finished exterior surfaces, which can be damaged.
    • Nicks and scratches in a painted finish can be touched up with a matching, high-quality latex primer and paint. Contact your local paint supply store for product recommendations and instructions.
    • If you have a brand new, bare wood or primed window or door, you must finish it immediately to prevent possible damage to the wood. Please view Painting and Staining for instructions.
  • How to Paint Wood Surfaces of Marvin Windows and Doors
    • A new Marvin window or door, whether it is primed or bare wood, must be painted immediately to prevent possible damage, even if the window or door is already primed. Primers function to maximize adhesion between the wood and the paint, but do not offer protective qualities.
    • Immediately after installing, clean and dry bare wood surfaces before applying paint or finish. Remove handling marks, debris, or moisture damage by sanding lightly with 220 or 320 grit sandpaper.
    • Paint windows with sash or panels opened (or removed altogether) and do not close (or reinstall) until thoroughly dry.
    • Before painting, apply a strip of masking tape to the edge of the glass, leaving a 1/16” (1.5mm) space between the tape and the wood. This will allow the paint to form a proper seal against the glass.
    • Paints, stains, and varnishes contain solvents that should not come into momentary contact with plastics and vinyl used in weather stripping to avoid damage.
    • Do not apply paint to weatherstrip, vinyl, plastic, metal or any other non-wood parts, which can be damaged by solvents in the finishes.
    • Use a high-quality primer to ensure good paint adhesion.
    • Apply one coat of primer and two coats of high-quality oil-base or latex paint, following the paint manufacturer's instructions.
    • Do not apply paint to any surface which has sliding contact with another surface as this could impact the product’s ability to perform as designed.
    • Do not use cleaners containing abrasives or solvents. Use an approved cleaning solution.
    • High humidity considerations: In addition to Marvin’s General Painting and Staining instructions, products installed in high humidity and high moisture environments should have a paint or finish applied to all accessible wood portions prior to installation. Use paint or finishes of a grade sufficient to protect the units from moisture damage, providing water shedding properties while allowing water vapor to diffuse to the exterior. Units should be painted with operable sash removed.
    • Marvin treats exposed millwork on windows and doors with a water-repellent wood preservative. Cuts or other disturbances to the millwork (during installation or damage over the course of the product’s lifetime), can expose untreated wood to the elements and potential deterioration. Protect untreated wood by applying a water-repellant wood preservative containing at least 0.5% IPBC, following manufacturer’s instructions.

      Note: Failure to retreat properly or adequately voids warranty.

    • Windows and doors with wood exteriors should be inspected and repainted periodically. Repair any blistering, peeling or cracking in the finish quickly to protect the underlying wood.
    • Caulk any cracks prior to repainting, using a high-quality caulking material or a paintable grade caulking compound.
  • How to Stain Wood Interiors of Marvin Windows and Doors
    • Marvin does not recommend the use of stain or clear coat finishes on exterior surfaces.
    • A new Marvin window or door with bare wood must be stained immediately to prevent possible damage.
    • Clean and dry wood surfaces before applying stain or finish. Remove handling marks, debris, or moisture damage by sanding lightly with 220 or 320 grit sandpaper.
    • Stain windows with sash or panels opened (or removed altogether) and do not close (or reinstall) until thoroughly dry.
    • Before staining, apply a strip of masking tape to the edge of the glass, leaving a 1/16” (1.5mm) space between the tape and the wood. This will allow the finish to form a proper seal against the glass.
    • Paints, stains, and varnishes contain solvents that should not come into contact with plastics and vinyl used in weather stripping to avoid damage.
    • Do not apply stain to weatherstrip, vinyl, plastic, metal or any other non-wood parts that can be damaged by solvents in the finishes.
    • Do not apply stain to any surface which has sliding contact with another surface. It could impact the product’s ability to perform as designed.
    • Do not use cleaners containing abrasives or solvents. Use an approved cleaning solution.
    • High humidity considerations: In addition to Marvin’s General Painting and Staining instructions, products installed in high humidity and high moisture environments should have a paint or finish applied to all accessible wood portions prior to installation. Use stain or finishes of a grade sufficient to protect the units from moisture damage, providing water shedding properties while allowing water vapor to diffuse to the exterior.
    • Marvin recommends following stain manufacturer recommendations, including following with at at least 2 coats of clear polyurethane finish.
    • Marvin treats exposed millwork on windows and doors with a water-repellent wood preservative. Cuts or other disturbances to the millwork (during installation or damage over the course of the product’s lifetime), can expose untreated wood to the elements and potential deterioration. Protect untreated wood by applying a water-repellant wood preservative containing at least 0.5% IPBC, following manufacturer’s instructions.

      Note: Failure to retreat properly or adequately voids warranty.

    • Caulk any cracks prior to refinishing, using a high-quality caulking material or a paintable grade caulking compound.
Caring for Your Windows and Doors

Painting Clad Finish

  • Painting Over a Clad Finish
    • Paint is not recommended for Marvin clad-wood products. They feature low-maintenance, extruded aluminum exteriors on both the sash and frame, and a commercial grade paint finish that meets AAMA 2605-05. It's resistant to chalking and erosion, keeping paint looking fresh and vibrant for years.
    • Painting over Marvin factory-applied clad finish on windows or doors voids any warranty, written or implied.
    • Small nicks and scratches to Marvin factory-applied exterior clad finishes can be repaired using touch-up paint orderable through your local Marvin retailer.