For Your Windows

WELL SAID

Nothing better than a window cleaner who washes window, writes and says it well. Water spots are a hot topic  when it comes to keeping the windows clean in your home. The article below explains it all quite well. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, take care of that glass.

Window Cleaning and Hard Water Stains

By 

For most people their home is their most valuable asset. Every home owner or business owner understands the need to do basic maintenance to upkeep and protect their investment. It is also true that many people view window cleaning more as a luxury then a necessity. The simple fact is that windows in any home or office can only endure a measure of neglect before they will no longer get clean. While professional window cleaning may not be cheap, it makes perfect sense when one understands that your other options are “window restoration work” or “replacing” damaged glass which can cost thousands. Let me explain how this works.

Depending on what state your home or office is in will determine how often you need your windows cleaned. Each state has its own debris and climate which affects windows. I live and work in Santa Cruz CA. which has moderate temperatures but lots of debris. The most damaging hazard of all that exist in almost every state is what is called “Hard water stains.” Hard water stains take place when windows are subject to normal hose water, garden sprinklers and or run-off that gets on the glass. This water has mineral deposits that when left to dry on the window, will stain and even etch the glass. Add direct sunlight to this equation and the damage happens ever faster. A great example of what this looks like would be to consider your shower windows or shower doors if they are glass. They begin to look foggy but eventually they will not get clean without chemicals and a power buffer. This is called “Window restoration work” and can be very costly. If the windows are etched they may need to be replaced.

Some tips that will help you prevent “hard water stains’ damaging your windows would include, avoiding watering your windows when you water your outdoor plants and flowers. If you have sprinklers installed, be sure they are positioned so that they don’t spray your windows. And finally, be sure your rain gutters are not clogged or leaking causing water to run down the side of your house and windows. These simple steps are proven to save windows over time. In the event that hard water stains have already appeared, and hiring a professional window cleaner is not an option, you can purchase a variety of hard water stain removers from any of the leading window cleaning supply stores such as http://jracenstein.com or http://windows101.com.

The good news is all this can be avoided and for some it may start with this very article. Having been a fulltime professional window cleaner in Santa Cruz CA. since 1999, I know for a fact that having your windows cleaned even once a year can not only increase light in your home, decrees your heating bill by allowing more heat, but also protect your windows from hard water stains. It is also true that as your windows are cleaned regularly even hard water stains from the past will begin to break down.

For additional information and answers about window cleaning, roof, gutter & downspout cleaning or solar panel cleaning visit our website http://www.purelightwindowcleaning.com.

Marc Kunze/Owner
Pure Light Window & Gutter Cleaning Santa Cruz

And, if you want to dress those clean windows up, check out For Your Windows for blinds, cellular shades, curtains, drapes and solar window shades.

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EAT YOUR VEGGIES

So maybe you don’t have a yard big enough to plant a garden in and you aren’t interested in building your own greenhouse. Last year we tried some of those hanging thingies with tomatoes and peppers. The peppers did okay, but the tomatoes were a disaster. And getting the plants into them was challenging to say the least. Without a doubt, I have to have at least tomatoes and peppers.  

I love those Santa Fe Hot Peppers…

As you can see this one is in a container, and that means you could grow one along with other veggies in a window box vegetable garden.


Other plants that work really well in a box outside your window are lettuce, radishes, beets, tomatoes, oregano and thyme. Avoid corn and cucumbers for this adventure. 

If you want to see window gardening at its best check out a real sky-farming event in London.

And don’t forget to eat your veggies!

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INSIDE AND OUT

Yep, that gardenia plant is still blooming inside my windows.

It probably has at least 10 more buds on it to open up soon.

Then there are the roses outside my windows by the fountain.

I do think it must be spring. I hope you are enjoying yours as much as I am mine.

A few spring cleaning tips regarding your windows.

  •  Make sure the sprinklers are turned away from the glass
  • Hire a professional to clean them
  • If you insist doing them yourself, use a mild degreasant and a squeegee please
  • Make sure you keep the screens clean
  • Hire a professional to clean them … did I already say that?
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ONLY AN ILLUSION

I love it when innovative people follow through on their ideas and solve a problem that is beneficial to the world around us. I ran into this piece when I was searching for something else online. This fellow, Chris Toepfer, creates a great illusion with his work, and he contibutes to the beauty of neighborhoods in Chicago.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSA2MxlEff0]

Great temporary solution for outside window coverings at a vacant home. No window cleaning necessary.

However, if you need to cover or dress up any naked windows inside please check out our selections at For Your Windows. Have fun contributing to your own illusion.

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PRIVACY PLEASE

Spring time is not only a good time to clean, it is also a perfect time to decorate. It you have never visited Wallpaper For Windows, be sure to check out all the fun things you can do for privacy or decor.

And, here is a great video to watch highlighting Wallpaper For Windows on the popular TV show Designing Spaces.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWgwmhnMInY&feature=player_embedded#at=226]

Here is one more example for a kitchen area.

When you visit their site you get a lot of guidance on measuring and applying. They will even do the cutting for you now. Whether you want pretty or privacy, check it out.


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ALMOST NEVER DISAPPEARS

It sure is nice that glass is one of the easiest things to recycle. Now if we would all do it, that would be even better. Did you know  that glass takes between 1 and 2 million years to decompose, or maybe even longer, but who cares once you get to the first million. This is compared to plastic, which in landfill can take up to 1000 years, and to aluminum which will maybe do it 80 to 200 years.

Glass is mostly made of sand. The recycling process involves breaking it into small pieces called “cullet” and then melting it down to reshape into something new. This can be done over and over with the same glass. Black obsidian glass from volcanos has probably been around as long as Earth itself. Bottom line, glass may transform, but it isn’t going to disappear.

This old bottle is doing some transforming with a little color .

The process for recycling glass is easier on the environment than the manufacturing of new glass, which is one of the main reasons to recycle glass. Keep in mind that just reusing glass containers solves this problem too.  Start the new year out with recycling or reusing glass containers. If you throw them out  they may come back to haunt you  a couple million years from now.

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WARM ME UP PLEASE

The New Year blasted in with an amazing, close to record breaking, cold front here in New Mexico. I have skipped my morning walk for a few mornings because if it is not at least 20 degrees, it is not fun. We put extra blankets on the bed and the heater went off at least once, if not twice, in the middle of the night even though it is set at 60 overnight. I guess 9 degrees outside triggers that. I finally ventured out for the first time in two days to go get a few grocery items. I never warmed up inside the store, my hands were freezing, and the woman checking my groceries said that the money taking machines are even stubborn in the cold. They managed to get some of mine, however.

Did you know that the cellular shades we offer at For Your Windows will not only help direct light, but they also are very effective for insulation. The site shows you the single cell shades, and you can also get double or triple through our Special Order page. The fellow I am married to says that the single cell are almost as good as the double for this purpose, so that might save a little on the budget.

And, while you are here visiting, be sure to check out something I do when I am not blogging about windows: Colorful Cloths. I suppose they would provide a colorful way to clean you windows, but if you are like I am, you will use these for the kitchen and  hire a professional to clean the windows.

Hope you are keeping warm and cozy.

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NOBODY IS ALWAYS RIGHT

The other evening at a holiday gathering, I was talking to a woman I had just met who cleans houses for a living. She mentioned that she was going to “fire” one of her customers who never showed any appreciation for her work. I thought back over the years at the times that has been necessary with my own businesses.

Those customer service concepts I grew up with such as, “The customer is always right” or “100% guaranteed”  have certainly transformed along with the business itself. But, is the customer always right? How do you behave as a customer?

We used to have a call centers, known then as  “phone rooms,” and I trained a lot of people to work in them. My first question to someone interviewing was, “What do you do when someone calls you selling something?” (This was before caller id) If the interviewee said, ” I hang up!” I would tell them the job was probably not for them. My thought was if they did not like someone calling them, they would most likely not do well calling others.

My point here has nothing to do with sales calls, but it does have to do with flows going both directions. How do you act when you are a customer? Do you think it in any way determines how you get treated as one?

These flows usually match, whether you are a customer  wanting good service or a business owner wanting happy customers who appreciate your work. However, that does not mean you will always want to keep every customer. Nobody is always right.

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SAFETY REMINDER

Usually, my posts deal with upbeat fun stuff. I am not one to highlight most of what flies through the news on an hourly basis. However, yesterday I read that one of the popular home improvement stores is recalling 11 million shades and blinds because of  incidents where children came close to strangling themselves. Yikes!

It is really easy to say, “How could any parent not know of these dangers?” As a parent and grandparent, I have found myself in situations where I wondered that later. Thank goodness I never had to deal with unpleasant consequences. There are all kinds of circumstances that we put ourselves in, even briefly, that are potentially dangerous. When my kids were young, we were looking at a house that we ended up living in for almost 20 years, where the owner had not secured a wall yet. One of my children leaned on it, all 300 lbs of it, and it fell over onto my then 2 year-old son. We were so fortunate, he came away without a scratch, but it was SCARY!.

If you have little ones, or your kids go often to other homes, or even if you have rentals, please be aware of this issue concerning window treatments. I am very glad that FOR YOUR WINDOWS‘s primary manufacture is GRABER. They have joined forces with The Window Covering Safety Council to help protect children and pets from window treatment hazards.

Here is what to watch for from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Hazard:

Roman Shades: Strangulations can occur when a child places his/her neck between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the backside of the blind or when a child pulls the cord out and wraps it around his/her neck.

Roll-Up Blinds: Strangulations can occur if the lifting loop slides off the side of the blind and a child’s neck becomes entangled on the free-standing loop or if a child places his/her neck between the lifting loop and the roll-up.

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OOPS FOLLOW-UP

The best way to correct my last blog so my subscribers see it for sure is another blog!

I did not realize the link I sent to follow for the neat video requires you to sign up for free membership to watch it. And here I thought I made sure it worked! Oh well, all I can say is, “sign up” cause it is worth it.

If you choose not to, hopefully my message got the point across.

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