The Novice’s Guide To Maintaining Doors And Windows

Since the day we first started Reading Trade Windows, we’ve helped with hundreds of projects involving doors, windows and roof lanterns. We’ve worked on hospitals, office blocks and residential homes, and one thing we’ve learned is that many people don’t realise how far a bit of TLC can go. Most homeowners don’t think about looking after their doors or windows, they take them for granted and expect them to work. But a little routine care can dramatically increase their lifespan. 

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Why Do Windows And Doors Fail?

There are two main reasons why windows and doors stop working; misuse and lack of maintenance. Occasionally, they also experience faults due to manufacturing errors and warranty issues, but these are comparatively rare. Homeowners are far more likely to damage their property through a lack of understanding or brute force than be given a faulty product. 

The most common cause of damaged doors and windows though, is neglect. In fairness, everyone is guilty of that. At some point, we’ve all put off a DIY job and then realised three months have passed and it’s only got worse. However, if you can get into the habit of regularly cleaning and maintaining your house, it’ll prevent problems from building up in the long run. 

General Maintenance

Here at Reading Trade Windows, we encourage all our staff to set aside two or three Sundays every year for basic maintenance. It doesn’t take much effort or require any specialist knowledge, but this is what we recommend:

Lubricate The Mechanisms

First, make sure the mechanisms are well-lubricated. Use a lithium-based lubricant on the handles and other moving parts. It’ll stop the metal from grinding against itself and reduce wear and tear. Don’t use WD-40 as contrary to popular belief, it will dry them out and cause more harm than good. It’s also worth dusting a key with graphite powder and sliding it in and out of the lock, it’ll ensure the cylinder keeps working.


We’d also suggest cleaning doors and windows regularly. Aside from the fact they’ll look nicer, it’ll stop the grime from building up and the colour from fading. It only requires a bucket of warm soapy water, a sponge, a squeegee and a hose, but it can do wonders.

a lady is opening the bifold door

Routine Checks

That aside, keep your eye out for your door not sitting in the frame properly or things getting caught in the frame. If things don’t feel right, check the screws and tighten any that might have come loose. And if you notice any small draughts, make sure the weather seals haven’t come out of place. They’re relatively easy to slide back into alignment. 

All of these jobs are comparatively straightforward and you certainly don’t need to be a DIY expert to complete them. If your customers know how to maintain their new doors and windows, they won’t have as many repair bills to worry about and it’ll save them a lot of stress too. 

If you’d like to know more about maintenance advice you can pass on to your customers, or have any questions about our windows and doors, you are welcome to contact us. You can email us at or call us on 0118 338 1600. We’re more than happy to talk. 

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About Chris
Chris has been with Reading Trade Windows for many years and has worked in the fenestration industry for even longer. His experience makes him a valuable asset to the team, and he is always happy to show his news, views and advice here on our blog.