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Windows that Don't Open: Tips on How to Clean Them

Second story windows of a home.

Window cleaning is a chore that doesn’t need to be difficult. However, when you have an upstairs window that doesn’t open, trying to figure out how to get the outside clean can be a real conundrum.

There are ways to clean windows that don’t open, such as getting on the roof or a ladder, utilizing a telescopic pole, or using a magnetic window cleaner. However, many of these methods are not ideal. For example, climbing on the roof is not something that everyone should do, and it can be difficult to reach windows from that angle. So, you are probably asking yourself, “How do I clean windows that don’t open?”

Safety First

The most important thing to remember when considering a job like this is your safety. While window cleaning is fairly easy for beginners, there is a reason people hire professionals to clean the glass on the second and third floors. There is always the danger of falling. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, every year 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries and approximately 300 of these incidents prove to be fatal.

That’s why it is always better to hire professionals to clean your top floor windows. They are specially trained to do this kind of high–altitude cleaning, and they have the equipment to ensure their safety. The odds are you don’t have a harness to keep you secure on a ladder, so it is always best to leave this kind of job to people who do.

Can You Remove the Pane?

If you decide you want to try cleaning that difficult to open window yourself, there are a couple of things you can try. One of these methods is removing the windowpane. However, your ability to do this safely will depend on what type of windows your home has. If you have more modern windows, you should be able to remove the pane with a few screws. Should you choose this method, be sure to secure the pane with a piece of strong tape so you have something to hold it as you unscrew it.

However, if you have older, wood–framed windows, removing the pane may be incredibly difficult. It will require cutting the glass out of the frame. At that point, it might be better to replace the pane altogether. For those who have these older windows, hiring a professional is the best option.

Get a Ladder

Another method of cleaning a window that doesn’t open is to get on a ladder and clean it manually. While this might be the most obvious solution, it is also the most dangerous. Ladders are not something that should be taken lightly. It is incredibly easy to fall and be seriously injured if the ladder is not used properly.

One of the dangers of using a ladder to clean windows that don’t open is that pressure will need to be exerted on the glass. This pressure can easily cause you to lose your balance on the ladder. Without all the safety equipment that a professional has access to, it is not the option you will want to go with.

Telescopic Poles

A telescoping pole is another option for cleaning a window that doesn’t open. These poles can have cleaning equipment attached to them and can be extended many feet in length. This longer reach will allow you to clean the window from down on the ground.

However, telescoping poles can be incredibly expensive. They are a rather large investment, and if you don’t have to clean your windows more than a couple of times a year, they might not be worth the money. They also require a good deal of coordination and practice which can lead to less than impressive results.

Magnetic Window Cleaners

Magnetic window cleaners are tools that have two different cleaning surfaces. One goes on the outside of the window, and the other stays on the inside. They stick together through the glass and can be moved along the surface of the windowpane.

While these magnetic window cleaners seem like an ingenious solution, they are not much help if your window doesn’t open. If you can’t get to the outside surface in the first place, there is no way for you to attach one side of the magnetic cleaner. They also lack the control necessary to produce a clean windowpane.

All of these solutions tend to be more trouble than they are worth. Many of them are ineffective or outright dangerous. If you want to be sure to get the best possible results, it is best to hire a professional. Window Genie can help you get your windows looking as good as new and do so safely and efficiently. Request a free consultation today!

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