Emphasizing Care and Maintenance

AAMA publishes new brochure to educate homeowners
February 15, 2011
FEATURE ARTICLE | Sales & Marketing

Today’s windows and doors offer many low-maintenance features but that doesn’t mean they don’t require any care or maintenance, particularly if they are going to perform well over a long period of time. That is the message of the most recent brochure from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, which includes tips for proper cleaning and maintenance to better enable products to perform as intended.

Companies can provide the brochure as a take-away piece with their products. It can also be used to comply with requirements in some states for manufacturers to provide written care and maintenance instructions.

Titled “Caring for Your Windows, Doors and Skylights,” the AAMA brochure is designed to provide general information from a third-party authority about proper care and maintenance so that end users can get the most out of the fenestration products they purchase.  The six-panel, fold-out brochure is intended to help homeowners, building owners, property managers and all who are responsible for maintaining and cleaning windows, doors and skylights.

“Regardless of framing material, operator type or size, all of these projects must be cared for properly to increase their service life, performance and operation,” says Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO. “The advantage to the industry–or to any individual manufacturer–in using and distributing this brochure is that the company does not suffer any competitive penalty by raising some of these more difficult issues.”

The brochure highlights the following aspects of maintaining windows, doors and skylights in residential applications:

  • Overall care and cleaning guidelines
  • Tips specifically for cleaning glass and frames
  • Particular considerations for plastic-glazed skylights
  • Drainage system maintenance
  • Explanations of moisture and color retention

The intent of the brochure is to serve as a well-designed literature piece that can be used cost effectively, particularly by smaller manufacturers, to provide as a take-away piece for their products. Larger companies can benefit equally, as all manufacturers continue to look for ways to effectively educate customers. As some states now require that manufacturers provide written care and maintenance instructions, the brochure offers a way to comply with that requirement.

“Customers may have questions about how to care for windows, doors or skylights,” notes Kathy Krafka Harkema, corporate public relations manager at Pella Corp. “AAMA is dedicated to providing helpful answers. That’s why the members of AAMA have created a consumer-friendly brochure filled with helpful tips for how to maintain fenestration products. From cleaning glass to caring for frames and more, consumers will learn more about what to do to care for their fenestration products.”

Kim Flanary, director of manufacturing engineering for Milgard Manufacturing, Inc., agrees. “The advantage of this third-party approach is the homeowner or builder can be assured that there is not a single manufacturer’s bias. AAMA's consensus approach to standards development ensures that all opinions–from the manufacturers, suppliers, builders, etc.–are considered in the final document. This information lets the homeowner or builder knows we, as manufacturers, will stand behind this information.”

Tips from the Brochure
The publication offers the following tips for product maintenance and cleaning:

  • Carefully clean the frame surfaces as directed by the manufacturer. If you live in an area with saltwater or acid rains, it’s a good idea to hose off the exterior of your windows and doors several times a year with water to help protect them from the harsh elements. The use of a razor blade, steel wool, putty knife or abrasive pad may damage your window.
  • Clean glass with a vinegar-based cleaner or mixture of a mild soap or detergent and water. Rinse completely with clear water, then wipe dry with a soft cloth or a squeegee to help avoid water spots. Always test cleaners in an inconspicuous area first.
  • Moving hardware parts, tracks and rollers should be lubricated periodically in accordance with the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions. In salt-air environments this may need to be done more frequently. Consult your manufacturer’s warranty for specific details.

AAMA’s “Caring for Your Windows, Doors and Skylights” brochure addresses a wide range of products, components, applications and current industry standards. To identify products that have been certified to meet rigorous performance standards, the brochure also illustrates AAMA’s gold label.

The brochure can be used as a resource for homeowners, but additionally, manufacturers, installers and builders rely on this brochure as a valuable hand-out for their customers. "It takes the guesswork out of caring for their windows, doors or skylights,” says Flanary. “When homeowners know how to properly care for their windows, doors and skylights, they reduce potential problems that may lead to service work and interrupting their daily schedules.”

A digital sample of the brochure can be downloaded from AAMA’s Web site and printed copies may be ordered from its online publication store with product code PMB-1-11. Discounts are available for AAMA members and for non-members purchasing more than 1,000 copies. In addition, AAMA members have the option to personalize the brochure with their company logo.