The Spot On Your Exterior Windows That You're Probably Forgetting To Clean

Windows are the eyes of the house and are able to turn the dingiest rooms into light-soaked spaces. Not only that, but they're the portals that connect your interior with the great outdoors. While you might be proud of your dedicated window cleaning efforts and the resulting sparkling clean panes, there is one particular spot on the exterior of windows that often gets overlooked. It's not anywhere on the glass or in a hard-to-reach corner and can usually be found beneath the sill. 

Called the weep hole, it's a minuscule opening that's easy to gloss over. Although grimy window panes are more obvious to the naked eye — natural light loves to point out all those streaks and dust — keeping the weep hole is still important. If it gets crusted over with dirt, moisture, rain, and mold can become an issue. This quick guide will share more about the purpose of weep holes and the best ways to keep them clean.

Where is the weep hole on a window?

Don't be alarmed if you've never heard of a weep hole before. It's a relatively tiny part on the outside of windows that's easy to miss. As its name implies, it is an opening where moisture and rainwater can fall from, preventing leaks and water accumulation in your windows (and in turn, your home). They'll either be a slot or hole and are normally found beneath the sill on the left or right-hand side. 

Clogged weep holes defeat the purpose these small drains are meant to fulfill, so it's important to give them a little TLC when you're washing your windows. So how do you clean a weephole? The Maids recommend using a toothbrush to shimmy out debris and then filling your tracks with warm water and a baking soda solution to clear them out. Pressure washers, hoses, and compressed air can also be helpful.

These functional parts aren't limited to windows either. They have uses in other parts of your home, as Masonry Solutions points out. Retaining walls and exterior walls of your home may also have weep holes to maintain the drainage flow. They're small but efficient and it's worth keeping them clean. 

Other places to clean on your windows

There are many interior and exterior components of a window. The parts can also depend on what types of windows are installed in your house. In general, windows have lots of small crevices, cracks, and hidden components. This means there are plenty of places for dirt, dust, grime, and dead bugs to accumulate. While a weep hole may not be a component you ever considered cleaning (or even knew existed), there are a few other areas you should be mindful of, too. 

Window tracks are prime territory for collecting dirt. This is the area the window closes on top of. Whether it opens vertically or slides horizontally, remember to wipe of the sides of the track as well. When cleaning this out, don't forget to brush off the narrow line of weather stripping, which can gather cobwebs, mildew, and dust. Removing any screens and using compressed air, a vacuum, or a hose is often the simplest way to access these tight areas. The tops of rails and sash locks and the muntins (the sides of the frames that are around panes) can also gather dust and are easy to miss if they sit higher than eye level.