Custom bay windows are a beautiful architecturally and add loads of visual appeal to a home’s interior and exterior. Not to mention, since they project out from the wall, bay windows increase space inside and draw in tons of natural light. These are just a few reasons homeowners love bay windows. 

One thing they don’t love: Maintaining custom residential windows. Cleaning bay windows, though, is a reasonably straightforward process. And although these windows may be a bit more time-consuming to clean, they can typically be cleaned head-to-toe in a couple of hours. 

Need a little help for cleaning your custom bay windows? These are a few of our favorite tips for cleaning bay windows and keeping them looking brand new year after year. 

What Are Bay Windows? 

A bay window is a common type of residential window. Bays typically are a three-section window that protrudes from out from the wall. Most include a large picture window in the center, with two casement, double-hung or picture windows on either side. 

Custom bay windows may also have muntin bars – the grilles made of wood or vinyl – and they project out in a trapezoidal shape. Bay windows differ from many different types of custom windows, including:

Bay vs. Bow Windows. Bay windows are most similar to bow windows. A bow window, though, typically has four or more window sections and protrudes out from the wall. A key difference: Bow windows don’t usually protrude as far as bay windows and have a more arched shape. 

Bay vs. Picture Windows. Picture windows don’t protrude, typically do not have muntin bars, and are commonly installed as a single unit. Sometimes, casement or double-hung windows are hung on either side to create a similar look to a bay window, though the window unit doesn’t project out from the wall. 

Tips for Cleaning Your Bay Windows

Bay windows, like all types of custom windows, require a bit of simple maintenance each year. Due to their size and shape, bay windows do have their own unique needs. Here are a few tips to following when maintaining and cleaning bay windows: 

  1. Bay Window Cleaning 

Fortunately, window cleaning doesn’t have to be done often, once a year is typically high. But it’s especially crucial for bay windows, as these windows are often a focal point of the interior. To clean a bay window, you’ll need a few necessary supplies: 

  • Squeegee
  • Sponge 
  • Microfiber glass-cleaning cloth
  • Lint-free towels or black-and-white newsprint
  • Window cleaning solution
  • Soap

You’ll want to sponge or use the microfiber cloth to apply a soapy wash first. This will be used for the glass as well as frames and grilles. Then follow up with some window cleaner for a streak-free window. Beyond the glass, also clean these components: 

Vinyl Frames. You’ll also want to clean the vinyl frames of your custom windows. You can use the same soapy solution, or a slightly abrasive cleaner to remove tough stains.

Screens. Vacuuming screens is a quick way to remove debris. Screens can also be removed and sprayed with a medium-pressure hose to remove dirt and grime. 

Hardware. Clean the frames, rollers, locks, and hinges are also important. A shop-vac or small brush will remove any dust, and be sure to wipe down these parts with a soft microfiber cloth and a soapy detergent. 

  1. Yearly Inspections

Bay windows that aren’t properly installed can suffer from structural damage. That’s why it’s important to inspect the window each year for signs of structural issues. This can include things like cracked glass, warping, or cracks around the window frame or in the caulking.

During an inspection, you’ll also want to check other components of your bay windows, including the grilles, frames, and seals. It’s best to inspect custom residential windows at least once per year, and it will save you time to do it during your yearly window clean. 

  1. Operational Maintenance 

Bay windows are excellent sources of natural light and airflow. Over time, windows can become difficult to operate. It’s a decent idea to conduct operational maintenance each year on your home’s bay windows. Here are a few tips: 

  • Casement Windows. Once per year, lubricate the moving parts of your casement windows with a dry or silicone lubricant. This includes the upper and lower hinges, the operator arm and the locks. 
  • Double-Hung Windows. The roller tracks in double-hung windows can collect dust and pollen, making them difficult to open/close, lubricating the tracks each year to prevent this problem. 

Consider a Professional. Bay windows can be tricky and time-consuming to clean, inspect, and maintenance due to their immense size and geometric shape. Muntin bars and grilles also complicate maintenance and make cleaning more difficult. A professional might be the best solution, for hard-to-get-to windows or taller windows with grilles. 

Looking for Custom Bay Windows Replacements? 

These quick tips will help you maximize the life of your bay windows. But when it’s time to replace them, WeatherMaster Windows can help. We provide custom sized and built residential windows for homeowners in central Maryland and Northern Virginia. We’d be glad to design and build whatever style of bay window you want. Call now or email to learn more.