Caring & Troubleshooting

With a little maintenance your vinyl windows by SWS will last worry free for years, which will save you valuable time, money and the stress of repairs. By taking some time each year to properly inspect and care for your vinyl windows, it helps to maintain its functionality, appeal, and warranty coverage.

Double Hung - Frame Showing


You can help keep your windows clean by vacuuming the dirt from the sill and track areas before washing. Mild soaps and cleaners, or SoftScrub™ can be used to clean the vinyl surface of the frames where there is dirt  buildup. Be sure to completely rinse and dry the surface so that there is no excess water to build up.


Due to the Low-E coating on the glass, it requires proper maintenance in order to stay affective. The glass should never be cleaned with any petroleum-based cleaners, and you should never use a razor blade, putty knife or abrasive pad to clean the glass as it can leave scratches across the glass surface. Glass Cleaners such as Windex should be used to clean the glass surface only. Double Hung units have tilt latches on the top and bottom sash, so you can clean the exterior glass surface from the inside. To do this simple raise the bottom sash about 4 inches, and then using the tilt latches near the locks, pull both latches in toward the lock, and tilt the sash inward. To clean the top sash, pull the sash down about 4 inches, and repeat. Once done, simply take the top sash first and tilt it back in to the frame, gently until you hear the two tilt latches engage and then slide the top sash back into its closed position, and then do the same for the bottom sash. For other units, that do not have tilt latches to clean the exterior of the glass, do not use a high-pressure spray nozzle.

If there is any cracks in your glass, or moisture between the panes, we do offer repairs. If the sash is brought to us, Monday – Friday by 8:30 AM, generally you will receive the sash back in the same day. 


Double Hung WindowSmooth Operation

On Sliding Doors and Windows, keep the track area clean, and vacuum out any dirt as needed. You can also wipe the area clean with a damp cloth if needed.

On Double Hung units, make sure that the pivot bars, located at the bottom corners of the sashes are installed correctly into the frame, and are in one piece. Often times if a window is slammed, the heads on these break off, which can cause the sash to incorrectly close. If you bring in the pivot bar, we may have some available that match, if not we may be able to order them.

Check the weatherstripping around operable window panels to ensure that it fully seals the window to prevent air infiltration, water penetration and heat loss.

Screens for Patio Doors have adjustable wheels that may need to be adjusted to fit in the track in order to operate smoothly. A screwdriver can be used to make the adjustment to the necessary wheels located in all four corners of the screen.


Condensation on windows & glass may be naturally occurring due to the humidity changes, and changes in the temperature in the interior as well as exterior. Often times, the appearance of condensation is due to excess moisture in the air. If condensation is present on the inside of the glass, it is generally a result of higher air moisture contacting the cooler temperatures on the glass; if the interior humidity is higher and the outside temperature is lower, the more condensation will occur.

To help with condensation buildup, regularly use exhaust fans when cooking and showering, install and use a dehumidifier and use ceiling fans to circulate air. Opening windows and doors whenever possible to help allow the interior moisture to escape.

Note: It is condensation if you can wipe the moisture off the glass on either the interior or the exterior. If neither can be done, then it may indicate a seal failure, at which it can be repaired by us Monday – Friday.

Exterior Weep-HoleWeep-holes and Drainage

While vinyl windows and patio doors made by SWS are not subject to moisture damage, there could still be damage to your window or patio door if the sill area does not drain properly. It is normal for some water to accumulate within the sill due to wind driven rain. It is intended for water to rail to the outside of the window via the weep-holes as water builds up or outside pressure subsides. Windows may be vulnerable to water leakage via the corners if not properly maintained.

  1. Regularly keep the track/sill clean with either a vacuum or wiping with a damp cloth. Make sure that there is the exterior weep-holes are free from any dirt, stucco, sand, and building materials.
  2. Clean the weep-holes with either a small wire brush or a thin wire to clear the openings of the weep-holes.
  3. Test the weep-holes by pouring 1 cup of water into the sill area, and make sure that the water drains out. If significant water remains, there may still be a blockage in the weep-holes, remove any debris in the way of the weep-holes and repeat pouring water until the water runs through completely.

More information about Weep-holes can be found by watching this video, made by Anlin Window Systems.