Frequently Asked Questions About Maintenance & Cleaning
We've taken the questions we most often hear from homeowners like you regarding window maintenance/cleaning and had our engineers and experts answer themto help you learn more about how to maintain and clean your new Soft-Lite Gorell windows.
QUESTIONS ABOUT MAINTENANCE & CLEANING
- How do I maintain and clean my Soft-Lite Gorell windows and doors?
- Can items such as the hanging apparatus for mini-blinds and window and door coverings be attached to Soft-Lite Gorell products without affecting the warranty on the products?
- Can I stain Soft-Lite Gorell vinyl windows?
- The top sash of my new double-hung window won’t stay up—I put it up and then it slowly slides down. How can I keep the top sash in place?
- The top sash on my double-hung window just falls down when it is not locked. How can I fix this problem?
- I currently have Soft-Lite Gorell storm windows or doors. I am repainting my house and would like to repaint the storm windows/doors the same color. Do you recommend using the same paint—which will be applied by brush—or do you have another suggestion?
- How can I determine if my Soft-Lite Gorell windows have Glass Protector?
- I have 5300 Series double-hung windows with full screens. How do I remove the screens from the windows?
- Why is there moisture at the center of the window or near the bottom handle on the interior of my window?
- Why is there moisture on the exterior glass of my new windows?
- Can I order Armor Glass® Plus windows with krypton gas instead of argon?
- What is the best way to clean my Soft-Lite Gorell windows?
- We have a Soft-Lite Gorell hinged door with screen, and the screen barely fits over the opening. Is it possible to have it made a little wider?
- Where can I find U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain values for Soft-Lite Gorell products?
- Does Soft-Lite Gorell’s warranty cover holes in the screen?
- Who should I contact for service issues regarding my Soft-Lite Gorell windows?
How do I maintain and clean my Soft-Lite Gorell windows and doors?
You'll be amazed at how easy Soft-Lite Gorell windows and doors are to clean. Also, they require practically no maintenance. Use any window cleaner to clean the glass surface of Soft-Lite Gorell products that don't incorporate our Glass Protector® option. Premium-quality Soft-Lite Gorell vinyl comes clean with any mild detergent or simply soapy water.
To clean exterior glass surfaces of your Soft-Lite Gorell window or door that has been coated with Glass Protector, simply rinse with warm water and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Do not use cleaners containing ammonia or abrasive cleaners on products with Glass Protector.
Soft-Lite Gorell products typically require no lubrication. In rare cases where conditions do require lubrication of metallic parts, Soft-Lite Gorell recommends that you use light machine oil sparingly.
Can items such as the hanging apparatus for mini-blinds and window and door coverings be attached to Soft-Lite Gorell products without affecting the warranty on the products?
In general, you can attach these types of items to the vinyl frames of Soft-Lite Gorell products as long as they don't interfere with the operation of the products, such as drainage of water to the outside. Be certain to select only fasteners (screws, adhesives, etc.) that are appropriate for the weight and properties of the vinyl. Note also that nothing should ever be attached to the sill area of a Soft-Lite Gorell window or door. Depending on the situation, it is possible to void part or all of the product warranty by making modifications.
Can I stain Soft-Lite Gorell vinyl windows?
Soft-Lite Gorell vinyl windows are made with a specially formulated, top-quality vinyl that results in a smooth satin finish—which eliminates the need for painting or staining. In addition, Soft-Lite Gorell offers numerous colors and laminate wood-like finishes to provide homeowners with many options for customization. The surfaces of Soft-Lite Gorell products do not readily accept stains because they are too dense to allow the pigments to penetrate. Soft-Lite Gorell does not recommend painting or staining its vinyl products because it is also possible that paints, stains or solvents may damage the weather stripping, glazing materials and hardware parts.
The top sash of my new double-hung window won’t stay up—I put it up and then it slowly slides down. How can I keep the top sash in place?
Often times the top sash is not pushed completely in place to allow the retaining lip to engage the weather-stripping and hold it in place. Make sure the sash is completely raised to eliminate potential drifting. In addition, because Soft-Lite Gorell double-hung windows are made to provide remarkably easy fingertip operation, it is possible that the sashes will sometimes drop slightly. Soft-Lite Gorell recommends contacting your local installing dealer for any service needs.
If you want to attempt to reduce the sash drift, use a flat-head screwdriver to turn the built-in frame adjusters (located at the mid-height of the jamb). Turn just a ¼ turn at a time until the sash stays in position. Do not adjust the Phillips-head screws in the jambs. Soft-Lite Gorell also offers a tensioning pack that can be added by your dealer if necessary. This pack comes supplied with its own tool.
The top sash on my double-hung window just falls down when it is not locked. How can I fix this problem?
Soft-Lite Gorell windows employ one of the finest and most stable window balance systems in the world—constant force balancing. In rare cases, the connecting pivot bar can become dislodged from the balance shoe. This small bar—located on the bottom corners of the sash—must slide into the white nylon housing with the black cam located in the side of the window's frame. If it is not connected to the cam, use a Phillips screwdriver to loosen the screw, then retract the pivot bar. Align the bar with the black cam, insert it and tighten the pivot bar screw.
I currently have Soft-Lite Gorell storm windows or doors. I am repainting my house and would like to repaint the storm windows/doors the same color. Do you recommend using the same paint—which will be applied by brush—or do you have another suggestion?
Soft-Lite Gorell storm products are specially treated with a factory-applied, baked-on finish for a smooth and sleek appearance. Before you paint over them, Soft-Lite Gorell suggests stopping by a local paint shop and speaking with one of their managers. Most paint suppliers can provide a recommended procedure for repainting finished aluminum. Most likely, the steps and materials will differ from those used to paint your house. The most critical issue is to make certain that none of the paint solvents attach to the glazing gaskets or weather-strips.
How can I determine if my Soft-Lite Gorell windows have Glass Protector?
To determine if your new Soft-Lite Gorell windows have Glass Protector, spray the outside of the glass with a garden hose. If the window has Glass Protector, the water will bead up and run off—similar to the way it does on a waxed car. If the window doesn’t have Glass Protector, the water will spread out evenly and run off in sheets. Please remember that you should never use a glass cleaner that contains ammonia on any glass surface with Soft-Lite Gorell’s Glass Protector.
If your windows do not have Glass Protector and you would like to have it applied, contact your local Soft-Lite Gorell dealer.
I have 5300 Series double-hung windows with full screens. How do I remove the screens from the windows?
Soft-Lite Gorell engineers have designed these screens to fit perfectly. Screen frames feature heavy extruded walls, an integral lift rail, and a rigid horizontal spreader bar that’s securely anchored to the screen frame—resulting in extremely high-strength properties.
To remove the screen, grasp the lift rail at the bottom and the spreader bar in the center. Simply push to the left side and swing the screen outward. Please be careful not to force the screen out—excessive force will bend the screen.
Why is there moisture at the center of the window or near the bottom handle on the interior of my window?
Some moisture (condensation) on cold days at the meeting rail is normal and is actually an indication that your windows are performing correctly.
The condensation you are seeing on the window is simply water from the home’s atmosphere. Quite often, tightening up your home with new windows, insulation, siding or roofing changes the moisture vapor exchange rate of the home. This airborne water then becomes visible on any surface that will not absorb it—such as vinyl, glass or ceramic. It is the same concept as fog on a bathroom mirror or frost on a car window. Neither the mirror nor the car causes the problem; they simply let you see the moisture present. There are several ways to minimize this condensation, such as lowering the humidity in your home, increasing air movement within your home, or increasing the air exchange rate from interior to exterior.
For more information, click here to read “Condensation Causes and Cures.”
Why is there moisture on the exterior glass of my new windows?
This is a testament to how well your high-performance glass system is working!
Condensation occurs when moist air comes into contact with cool surfaces—such as glass—and the dew point temperature is reached. Low-emissivity glass is designed to reduce heat conduction through the glass unit, thus holding heat in your home on cold days. With this improved performance, the surface temperature of the exterior glass remains cool—and the moist air in contact with that cold outer glass turns into condensation. This is not a fault of the insulating glass—it actually indicates how well the Low-E glass is working. The moisture will evaporate once the sun warms up the outside glass surface.
Can I order Armor Glass® Plus windows with krypton gas instead of argon?
Soft-Lite Gorell carefully engineers each glass system to provide the best performance and offer the finest long-term value available. Studies have shown that krypton gas performs at its best in sealed air spaces of 0.3 inches or less. When you fill a larger space with krypton, its weight adversely affects the performance. Armor Glass Plus has an air space of over 0.5 inches, so we at Soft-Lite Gorell have found argon to be the best choice for optimal thermal performance and value.
What is the best way to clean my Soft-Lite Gorell windows?
Soft-Lite Gorell products are known nationwide for their ease of cleaning—because they require less time and effort to clean than other windows. Use any window cleaner to clean the glass surface of Soft-Lite Gorell products that don’t incorporate Soft-Lite Gorell’s Glass Protector option. Premium-quality, super-smooth Soft-Lite Gorell vinyl comes clean with a mild detergent and warm water.
To clean exterior glass surfaces of any Soft-Lite Gorell product that has been coated with Glass Protector, simply rinse with warm water. If especially dirty, add a little vinegar and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Do not use cleaners containing ammonia or abrasive cleansers on products with Glass Protector.
To remove any stubborn marks from the vinyl surfaces of your window or door, Soft-Lite Gorell suggests using Barkeepers Friend. This mild abrasive will usually remove any marks, but it may leave a white film that can then be removed with de-natured alcohol.
If you accidentally use the wrong cleanser on windows with Glass Protector, Barkeepers Friend can—with considerable effort—be used to fully remove the Soft-Lite Gorell Glass Protector option from the glass surface. It can then be re-applied by obtaining a Glass Protector Rejuvenator kit from you local Soft-Lite Gorell dealer.
We have a Soft-Lite Gorell hinged door with screen, and the screen barely fits over the opening. Is it possible to have it made a little wider?
Soft-Lite Gorell swing doors feature unique top-hung vinyl screens that provide a perfect color match as well as easy operation. In the case of 3-lite doors, they’re offered in standard sizes, and you can set the stop position by adding a stop in the top track. Soft-Lite Gorell can build custom-sized screens as a replacement part if you desire, but a larger screen width will reduce the clear opening of the door when the screen is in the open position.
Where can I find U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain values for Soft-Lite Gorell products?
Soft-Lite Gorell manufactures a myriad of ENERGY STAR® qualified products that provide excellent thermal efficiency. To qualify for the label, these products were tested to meet stringent criteria established by the National Fenestration Ratings Council. U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain data for most Soft-Lite Gorell products can be found on the NFRC web site at www.nfrc.org.
Does Soft-Lite Gorell’s warranty cover holes in the screen?
Soft-Lite Gorell does not warrant the screen cloth for holes. However, Soft-Lite Gorell’s screen cloth is easily repaired by re-rolling new cloth into the existing frame. Many dealers offer this service.
Who should I contact for service issues regarding my Soft-Lite Gorell windows?
Soft-Lite Gorell is highly selective in choosing window professionals to offer, install and service its products. Soft-Lite Gorell strives to select dealers that share its business philosophy of offering the highest-quality products and unparalleled customer service.
You should contact the Soft-Lite Gorell dealer from whom you purchased the windows and doors. They will be able to address any product questions or installation issues you have. If that dealer is no longer available or you don’t recall the name, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the Soft-Lite Gorell job number and Soft-Lite Gorell will locate the dealer for you.
The Soft-Lite Gorell job number is a unique number assigned to each order of windows Soft-Lite Gorell manufactures, similar to a serial number. To locate this number, you must locate the permanent sticker that Soft-Lite Gorell applies to all windows it builds. In a vertically operating window, you will need to lower the top sash to reveal the hidden sticker. The sticker will be in the top of the window frame section, in the pocket that the top sash was in. On a horizontally operating window, you will need to open the primary sash to reveal the sticker in the top of the window frame. There will be a series of numbers on this sticker. You are looking for either a six-digit number beginning with 0, 1 or 2 OR an eight-digit number beginning with 2 or 3.
You can also locate the Soft-Lite Gorell job number on the back of the warranty you received when you registered your products.