The start of a New Year is a great time to give the home a thorough tidy and clean. After the Christmas tree has been taken down and the rubbish removed, I love to steam clean all the floors and get our windows sparkling.
But while normal windows don’t pose a problem, trying to clean roof windows can be a little trickier. So here’s a few simple steps to get them gleaming again:
Get an Extendable Cleaning Kit
Rather than reaching your high windows by climbing a step ladder, it is safer to use an extendable cleaning kit. These can be simply a mop on a pole that has an adjustable length, or a bit more deluxe with a built-in water tank and trigger, so you can squirt soapy water as you go. There are also window cleaning accessories available that connect to your jet power washer (ideal for the external glass) and gadgets such as window vacuums that suck up excess water, leaving a streak free finish.
The Cleaning Process
Firstly dust the window to remove cobwebs, then sponge or squeegee on hot soapy water using either a propriety window cleaning solution or dishwashing soap, which is good for most surface cleaning (and E-cloths are effective even using hot water alone). It’s a good idea to lay a ground sheet below the window to catch drips. Finally, a soft lint free cloth is great for drying off and buffing the glass.
Easy Cleaning Inside and Out
Many people with roof lights don’t realise that you can actually clean the outside from the inside – by rotating the sash through 165 degrees, which gives you easy access to the exterior pane. Much better than climbing a ladder outdoors! However, you may still need to do that from time to time, to clear the flashing of leaves and debris and ensure rainwater can flow freely; always use a special roof ladder and do not put any weight on the glass. Don’t try and take a full bucket of water up with you either to rinse the window! Instead, use a hose pipe to fill it once you are up the ladder.
If your roof light doesn’t have self-cleaning glass, you could lightly wax the exterior (e.g. car wax) to help protect against rain spots and environmental damage!
Reduce the Need for Cleaning
Frequent washing may wear off any finishes on wooden window frames, so try to dust and buff the window in between soapy washes. Well maintained windows will need less intervention in the longer term, so try not to let snow and leaves build up on the outside. To reduce the chance of condensation, roof window experts Roofwindows.co.ukrecommend having a heat source underneath the window pane for cleaning and maintenance.