Today’s homes are filled with products that make your home more efficient and less work, but you can’t ignore them entirely. So as you plan your chores and projects for the coming year, here are some to keep in mind.

Vinyl windows

Vinyl windows should get a yearly inspection. Clean window tracks of debris. Make sure weather-stripping is sound and making proper contact. Replace as needed.

When cleaning, never use abrasives, which can damage the window’s vinyl skin. If you need to lubricate a track, use pure silicone spray, not WD-40.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for caulking. When washing windows, be aware that bleach can discolor dark vinyl colors. And, remember, window films can void your warranty.

Vinyl Siding

Wash vinyl siding with a soft cloth or ordinary long-handled, soft bristle brush. For textured surfaces, use only a soft bristle brush to keep the grooves in the texture stain-free. For best results, start at the bottom of the house and work up and rinse the cleaning solution completely before it dries. If your house has brick facing, cover the brick so that it is not affected by the runoff.

Cover vinyl siding when using stains, sealants, and wet concrete as part of other home renovation projects. Certain insecticides or herbicides can potentially stain vinyl siding. Consult the product labels and/or the insecticide or herbicide manufacturer before applying.

Steel Entry Doors

To clean doors, wash with mild soap and water, rinse with clear water and wipe dry. Inspect weather-stripping to make sure it is clean of dirt and grit for proper seal. Wash with mild soap and water, rinse with clear water and wipe dry. Apply a light coat of wax and wipe off excess.

For scuff marks on painted finishes, use mild liquid cleanser rinse with clear water and wipe dry. If finish is accidentally scratched or chipped, clean as recommended above and use touch-up paint supplied or standard wood finish repair crayon.

To protect finish, spray and wipe with protectant (such as Armor-All®).

Care of Hardware on Steel Products:

Much like sterling silver, even the finest brass will react naturally to the elements surrounding it. To maintain, polish with a non-abrasive automotive or furniture wax. By keeping your hardware cleaned and maintained you will be rewarded with a long-lasting finish.

Tighten screws on lockset and hinges when necessary. Lightly oil hinges as needed. Wipe off excess.