Maintaining Your Sunroom

Sunroom patio area with transparent vaulted ceiling, wooden dining table with colorful chairs. Exit to backyardA sunroom is a relaxing place to enjoy the sunshine and a view of the outdoors. Naturally, you want to keep it looking its best.

The spring is a good time for a thorough cleaning. Here are some tips to help you care for your sunroom:

General Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

  • Pick a cloudy day to clean sunroom frames, windows, and glass roof/ceilings. The sun can dry your cleaning solution faster than you can wipe it off, leaving hard-to-remove streaks.
  • Do not scrape any type of window with a razor blade.
  • Check your manufacturer’s recommendations. Some sunroom materials may have special cleaning requirements.
  • Trim surrounding trees and bushes regularly to prevent cleaning/maintenance problems and damage to the exterior of the sunroom, such as: scratches on the glass roof and windows; fallen branches on the roof; sap, needles, and leaves on the roof and in gutters; bird droppings from perching birds; pollen stains.
  • Regularly clean and remove any debris from your sunroom gutters to prevent gutter overflow and clogging of the downpipes.
  • Use a light machine oil for lubrication of handles, locks, deadbolts, and hinges on the doors and windows of your sunroom.
  • Make sure when cleaning you don’t dislodge the weather seals in your windows and doors. If this happens, put the seal back in place immediately so it doesn’t get damaged when you close the window or door. Replace any damaged seals right away.

1.  Glass Roof

  • Clean and dry the glass roof first so that drips don’t fall on lower sections you may have just cleaned.
  • Never walk or stand on a glass or glass alternative roof. Place an A-frame ladder on flat ground, or rent scaffolding to reach otherwise inaccessible sections. Never lean the ladder against the frame, windows, or gutters.
  • Carefully remove debris so as not to scratch the glass. Use an extension pole with a brush attachment.
  • Gently spray the glass roof with a garden hose to remove any dirt.
  • If dirt remains on the glass, attach the extension pole with the brush to a garden hose, and using a mild dishwashing detergent in water, scrub the surface gently. Make sure the solution is mild — too much detergent will result in residue streaks on the glass. Do one section at a time.
  • Follow-up with a squeegee on an extension pole, pulling it towards you. Wipe areas of the glass where spots or streaks remain, or are still wet, with a microfiber cloth attached to the extension pole.
  • Don’t use a squeegee for glass alternative roofs, as they may scratch the surface. Rinse after washing, and then use the microfiber cloth on the extension pole to dry the section. Also for these types of roofs, don’t use cleaners containing ammonia, bleach, or chlorine.

2.  Outside Frame

  • Start cleaning the outside frame using a soft extension brush, sweeping away as much dirt as possible.
  • Use a garden hose to spray down the metal or vinyl frame. Don’t use the highest setting, or a power washer, because a forceful spray could damage the sealant and cause leaks.
  • Next, use a soft cloth or brush and mild dishwashing detergent in warm water to remove light debris. For hard to reach spots, use the extension pole/brush combo with your garden hose. Rinse well. Never use steel wool or scrubbing sponges that can scratch the frame surface. For more stubborn stains use a non-abrasive cleaner. Avoid solvent-based or abrasive cleaners as these can also scratch the frame.

3.  Outside Windows

  • Use an A-ladder if you can’t reach the upper portion of the windows.
  • First, remove as much dirt as possible using the garden hose on a lower setting
  • Next, use a mild dishwashing detergent, and wash a section at a time. For glass windows, use a squeegee, and wipe the section dry with a soft cloth. Or you can wash with a sponge, rinse, and wipe dry with a soft cloth.
  • For vinyl and acrylic windows, wash using a soft cloth or sponge with a mild dishwashing detergent, and rinse frequently to get rid of any dirt that may scratch the window. Don’t use cleaners containing ammonia, bleach, or chlorine.

4.  Screens

  • Remove screens and place on a flat clean surface. Wash using a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly, and let dry completely before reinstalling.

5.  Inside Ceiling

  • Clean the ceiling first so that drips don’t fall on lower clean surfaces.
  • Use an A-frame ladder to reach the ceiling. Wash it in sections. Dip a soft cloth in a mild dishwashing solution of warm water, and wash the glass or glass alternative section and frames. Rinse well, and dry with a soft or microfiber cloth. Alternatively, use a very soft brush on an extension pole to do the washing and rinsing. Then wrap a soft or microfiber cloth on the brush to dry the ceiling.

6.  Inside Frame

  • Wash the inside frame with a mild dishwashing mixture and a soft sponge or cloth. Rinse completely, and dry with a soft cloth.

7.  Inside Windows

  • Wash the inside glass windows a section at a time with a mild dishwashing detergent in warm water and a soft sponge. Use a squeegee and wipe each section dry with a soft cloth. Or, if not using a squeegee, rinse after washing, and wipe dry with a soft cloth.
  • For glass alternative windows, wash with a mild dishwashing detergent, and don’t use a squeegee. Rinse often to get rid of any dirt that may scratch the window. As with the glass alternative outside windows, don’t use cleaners containing ammonia, bleach, or chlorine.

8.  Door

  • Fiberglass doors are low maintenance and will not warp, rust, split, or rot, but the finish can disintegrate over time. Clean these doors regularly by rinsing them with a soft cloth and water, and if necessary, use a mild detergent.
  • Steel doors can be cleaned with a mild detergent, rinsed, and dried using a soft cloth. These doors have paint finishes that can crack, split or deteriorate. If this is the case, clean the door and let it dry. Then, lightly sand, prime any bare metal and apply a matching paint.

Regular maintenance of your sunroom will keep it looking fresh for many years to come.  For repairs that need attention from a pro, call the experts Sunshine Sunrooms at (972) 243-5390.

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