Care & Maintenance Instructions

Owner:  This product is factory finished.  Please handle with extreme care.  Protect all exposed surfaces from contact with caustics, corrosives, solvents, abrasions, impacts, wet packing material etc.  FAILURE TO DO SO WILL NULLIFY THE WARRANTY.  Before ANY CLEANING, review the Care & Maintenance Instructions (contact factory or print online).  Contact the local dealer with any questions or concerns. Fleetwood strongly recommends that all products be cleaned after installation and totally protected from construction debris and equipment. After confirming fit, storing screens away from construction is recommended.

1.0 General

Fleetwood recommends that professional cleaning companies be employed to perform the initial cleaning process.  Products should be cleaned when shaded, and never cleaned when temperatures are colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

1.1 As with any finished building material, aluminum requires reasonable care prior to and during installation and periodic cleaning and maintenance after installation. Although anodized aluminum possesses exceptional resistance to corrosion, discoloration and wear, its natural beauty can be marred by harsh chemicals, rough conditions or neglect. Such conditions usually affect only the surface finish and do not reduce the service life of the aluminum. However, the marks resulting from such mistreatment may be permanent. All surfaces, exposed to the atmosphere collect soil and dirt, the amount of which may vary depending on geographic area, environmental conditions, finish and location on the building. The owner’s attitude regarding surface appearance determines the type and frequency of cleaning required. Most aluminum windows and doors have some unfinished, exposed edges. Pay special attention to these areas to keep them clean. Corrosion will not crawl under anodized finishes but can crawl under paint if not cleaned. Regardless of the environment we suggest cleaning these edges every three months.

1.2 In both wet and dry climates, recessed and sheltered areas usually become more heavily soiled because of the lack of rain washing. Frequent and longer periods of condensation also occur in protected areas increasing the adhesion of the soil. This is particularly true of soffit areas on overhangs, bottom areas of fascia panels, sheltered column covers and the like. Periodic maintenance inhibits long-term accumulation of soil, which, under certain conditions, can accelerate weathering of the finish. The more frequently aluminum is cleaned, the easier and less costly succeeding maintenance is.

Door thresholds and window sills are especially susceptible to surface corrosion if not kept clean.

Factory recommends Edge Armor on coastal products, which will be painted. This will assist in the prevention of the spread of any corrosion which is not covered in the warranty. Corrosion can be prevented with regular maintenance but if you do notice any, please seek professional remedy. (See 2.3)
Installation Facts: Before installing Fleetwood aluminum doors/windows you need to be aware of a few potential installation mistakes.  Avoiding these pitfalls will maximize the longevity of your products.
1. Galvanic Corrosion:  Whenever dissimilar metals are placed in contact with each other, or in close proximity, there is a potential hazard for corrosion.  In the presence of an electrolyte such as moisture (especially salt water) the two metals are "bridged", forming an electrical couple.  Once the couple is created there is an exchange of electrons.  In layman's terms, one metal extracts mass from the other, thus causing corrosion.  If you have ever seen a white chalky substance on thresholds you have seen galvanic corrosion.  How can galvanic corrosion be prevented?
  • Isolate: Make sure the installer totally isolates dissimilar metals by placing inert materials between them.  This prevents the moisture from "bridging" the two materials thus failing the creation of an electrical couple.
  • Clean: Follow the Care & Maintenance Instructions and dry out these areas as quickly as possible to stop any electrical couples from developing.
  • Sacrificial Anode: In some situations the builder and or architect require the joining of dissimilar metals.  If steps 1 and 2 above are not successful we recommend the use of a material that is weaker than the other metals.  This will act as the anode, which will be robbed of its electrons instead of the favored metals.  Contact your builder/architect for more data on how to make this happen.
2. Caustic Corrosion: During installation it is imperative that your new Fleetwood windows and doors be protected from other chemicals that might damage the finish, hardware or glass.  Most common is stucco run-off and concrete splashing.  If not removed immediately, the caustic agents in these materials will irreparably damage your window and door. Exposed aluminum is especially susceptible to construction site chemical tainting which is why we require our products to be thoroughly cleaned immediately after installation.  Chemical attacks to the aluminum will initiate accelerated corrosion. Products can be masked with Shurtape PE 444 to protect finishes from caustic agents. Edge corrosion will not crawl under anodized finishes but can migrate under the surface of painted finishes if not removed and kept clean.

2.0 Care Category

2.1 Storage - Products Awaiting Installation

1. Remove products from all packaging and inspect for quality and confirm that all were shipped as ordered (sizes, configuration, finish type, hardware, etc...).

2. If products cannot be installed immediately, store in a dry, cool and clean location.

2.2 Immediately After Installation

1. After construction, hire a professional to remove all panels so you can have total access to the frame and panels. Perform Cleaning Procedure 1 (section 3.1).

2. Repeat each month during the construction process (or as needed).

2.3 Recurrence Plan (Determine your Warranty Required Maintenance Plan)

a. Quarterly Maintenance (Required if within 3 miles of Salt Water): Cleaning Procedure 1

b. Bi-Annual Maintenance (Required if within 6 miles of Salt Water): Cleaning Procedure 2

c. Every 10th Year Maintenance (Minimum required on all products): Cleaning Procedure 3

Note: Door thresholds and window sills are especially susceptible to surface corrosion if not kept clean. Prior to adjusting the roller on ANY door you MUST first remove the weight of the panel.

Special Care Warranty (5 Years): If the Special Care Warranty was purchased and any warranty claims are filed, Homeowners are required to furnish invoices showing that the Quarterly Maintenance has been followed.

Edge Armor Warranty (10 Years): Fleetwood recommends Edge Armor on painted coastal products. This will assist in the prevention of the spread of any corrosion, which is not covered in the warranty. Edge Armor is not available on products which are thermally broken. Edge Armor does require the appropriate Care & Maintenance procedures.

3.0 Cleaning Procedures

3.1 Procedure 1 (Quarterly)

3.1.1 General: All exposed frame and panel surfaces should be rinsed by lightly spraying with fresh water. DO NOT use high pressure devices. Using a car wash brush, clean all surfaces (including Glass) with mild soapy water, e.g. dish soap, and rinse; ensure all weep holes are free of blockage.

Drying is not required but recommended. It is especially important to not allow stucco or other materials to set on the anodized finish.  These building materials are caustic and will "eat" the finish.

NOTE REGARDING SCREEN MESH: To clean fiberglass screen mesh, remove the screen frame from the window or door and lightly spray with water to remove dirt, debris and especially salt residue. If additional cleaning is required, use mild soapy water and a car wash brush to gently remove dirt and debris.

If after cleaning some surface debris still exists we recommend the following Advanced steps:

3.1.1.2 Glass Care (Advanced*):

3.1.1.2.1 Masonry stuck to the glass (stucco, concrete...) should be knocked off before any pressure is applied with brushes. Soak these areas with water and use a fingernail or plastic putty knife to jar it from the glass surface. Razor blades are not a recommended tool to use on glass but we do recognize that window cleaners may choose more aggressive techniques to clean glass, including the use of razor blades. In such cases, the use of razor blades should be limited to the affected area using water to help it glide. Scraping should be done in one direction only with a new blade. Never scrape in a back and forth motion.

3.1.1.2.2 Use a non-ammonia based cleaner designed for glass surface cleaning. Apply moderate pressure, in a circular motion, on the areas needing cleaning. Your glass may not be safety glass (tempered or laminated) therefore do not apply too much pressure to the glass. Serious injury can result from broken glass.

3.1.1.2.3 If the above efforts are unsuccessful, use isopropyl alcohol, applying moderate pressure, in a circular motion, on the areas needing cleaning. Your glass may not be safety glass (tempered or laminated) therefore do not apply too much pressure to the glass. Serious injury can result from broken glass.

*Refer to the GANA "Proper Procedures for Cleaning Architectural Glass Products".

TIP: STICKERS CAN BE EASIER TO REMOVE IF SOAKED BY WATER FOR FIVE MINUTES BEFORE.

3.1.1.2.4 If stubborn debris remains, carefully apply a light coat of lacquer thinner to a rag and apply moderate pressure until debris is gone. Do not allow any chemicals to touch the vinyl, rubber or plastic surfaces.

WARNING: IF LACQUER THINNER IS USED, READ THE MANUFACTURER’S WARNING AND INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE USE.

3.1.1.2.5 As a final effort to remove stubborn debris we suggest using a polishing cleanser designed for hand cleaning that contains pumice (e.g. "Fast Orange Hand Cleaner").

3.1.1.2.6 The final step is to once again follow step 3.1.

3.1.1.3 Anodized Finishes (Advanced):

3.1.1.3.1 Use isopropyl alcohol, applying moderate pressure, in a circular motion, on the areas needing cleaning.

3.1.1.3.2 If debris remains, carefully apply a light coat of lacquer thinner to a rag and apply moderate pressure until debris is gone. Do not allow any chemicals to touch the vinyl, rubber or plastic surfaces.

WARNING: IF LACQUER THINNER IS USED, READ THE MANUFACTURER’S WARNING AND INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE USE.

3.1.1.3.3 As a final effort to remove stubborn debris we suggest using a polishing cleanser designed for hand cleaning that contains pumice (e.g. "Fast Orange Hand Cleaner"). Only use a moist cotton cloth to apply the cleanser because abrasive instruments e.g. Scotch Brite pads may scratch the anodic surface.

3.1.1.4 Painted Finishes (Advanced):

3.1.1.4.1 Use isopropyl alcohol, applying moderate pressure, in a circular motion, on the areas needing cleaning.

3.1.1.4.2 As a final effort to remove stubborn debris we suggest using a polishing cleanser designed for hand cleaning that contains pumice (e.g. "Fast Orange Hand Cleaner"). Only use a moist cotton cloth to apply the cleanser because abrasive instruments e.g. Scotch Brite pads may scratch the anodic surface. First, test for colorfastness in an inconspicuous place.

WARNING: DO NOT USE ANY CHEMICALS OR OTHER SUCH SUBSTANCE THAT CAN REMOVE THE COLOR OR GLOSS OF THE PAINT.

3.1.1.5 Vinyl Products (Advanced): we recommend the use of "Fantastic" Cleaner.

WARNING: DO NOT USE CLEANERS CONTAINING AGGRESSIVE ORGANIC SOLVENTS BECAUSE THEY COULD AFFECT THE SURFACE APPEARANCE OF THE VINYL.

3.1.2 Components: After cleaning (Section 3.1) review the Care After Cleaning (Section 3.2).

3.1.3 Subsill & Sub Sillpans: Make sure all drain pipes are free of debris that can prevent the proper drainage of water. If any blockage exists flush with water.

3.1.4 Unfinished Edges: Most aluminum windows and doors have some unfinished, exposed edges. Pay special attention to these areas to keep them clean.

Note: Every 10th year, perform Procedure 3.

3.1.5 Proceed to Section 3.2 (Care After Cleaning)

After following the Care Cleaning instructions, Fleetwood products may require some care immediately after cleaning.

3.2 Care After Cleaning (Required)

3.2.1 Anodized Finishes: Applying car wax to clean, dry anodic finishes is a good way to prolong life and enhance appearance. Follow the wax manufacturer's instructions.

3.2.2 Painted Finishes: Applying car wax to clean, dry painted finishes is a good way to prolong life and enhance appearance. Follow the wax manufacturer's instructions.

3.2.3 Components: After cleaning (section 3.1), it is important to make sure all major components are working properly and are properly lubricated (if applicable). Stainless steel parts exposed to the elements are to be kept clean and dry. Because stainless steel relies on the passive protection of chromium-oxide, it is imperative that all exposed stainless steel be kept as clean and dry as possible. Door thresholds and window sills are especially susceptible to surface corrosion if not kept clean.

Stainless Steel Track Insert And Hardware Components (not available on all products): Keep clean of dirt and grease. We suggest using a polishing cleanser designed for hand cleaning that contains pumice (e.g. "Fast Orange Hand Cleaner"). Only use a moist cotton cloth to apply the cleanser because abrasive instruments e.g. Scotch Brite Pads may scratch the anodic surface. Always apply light and uniform pressure, moving the cloth in the same direction as the grain of the stainless steel. Use extreme care not to scratch painted or anodized finishes.

Sash Balances: Must be completely dry before this next process. Remove balances from frame (hire a professional or follow installation instructions) and spray white lithium grease into all metallic areas and re-install the balances. Replace if damaged or corroded.

Roto Operator Lever & Base:  Wax all exposed metal, painted or plated finishes; making sure to follow the wax manufacture's instructions.

Roto Operator Arm(s) & Gear(s): Cover exposed, unfinished metal surfaces with a thin coat of household oil. For cracks and seams, use the straw applicator and insert liberal amounts of white lithium grease on all metal surfaces, especially the gears. If the arms are made of stainless steel, follow the instructions above for "Stainless Steel."

Butt Hinges & 4-Bar Hinges: Inspect hinges for damage and verify proper function. Wipe down hinges with a cotton cloth to remove dirt build up and then lubricate using a dry type silicon spray. Check to ensure fasteners have not loosened.

3.2.4 General Product Operation: All operable windows and doors should be inspected for proper operation at least once a year because buildings settle. Hire a professional to adjust the product as needed.

Note: Door thresholds and window sills are especially susceptible to surface corrosion if not kept clean.

3.3 Procedure 2 (Bi-Annual)

3.3.1 Perform all steps as defined in Cleaning Procedure 1 (section 3.1)

3.3.2 Frame & Panels: Make visual inspections around the installation looking for:

  • Water leaks around frame
  • Making sure all weep holes are free of blockage
  • All components are properly working

3.3.3 Glazing Vinyl: Inspect for gaps or damage. Black silicone sealant can be used to correct small gaps due to normal shrinkage.

3.3.4 Proceed to Section 3.2 (Care After Cleaning)

After following the Care Cleaning instructions, Fleetwood products may require some care immediately after cleaning.

3.4 Procedure 3 (Every 10 Years)

NOTE: SEALANTS AND WEATHER-STRIPPING BREAKDOWN OVER TIME. EVERY 10 YEARS A COMPLETE INSPECTION IS REQUIRED IN ALL FRAME CORNERS.

3.4.1 Perform all steps as defined in Cleaning Procedure 1 & 2

3.4.2 Glass: Inspect each lite:

3.4.2.1 For insulated glass check for moisture between the panes and any cracks or runs. Report any such findings to the Authorized Dealer through whom you purchased the products.

3.4.2.2 For laminated and annealed monolithic glass, check for cracks or runs. Report any such findings to the Authorized Dealer through whom you purchased the products.

3.4.3 Frame & Panels: Hire a professional glazing contractor to perform the following tasks:

3.4.3.1 Inspect all exposed sealant in each frame corner and reseal if needed with a compatible sealant.  On all sliding door products, the stainless steel track insert must be removed to properly seal.

3.4.3.2 Check newly sealed joints, after drying, for water leaks.

3.4.3.3 Remove all glaze-to-frame glass and replace glazing tape, vinyl and sealant and re-glaze.

3.4.3.5 Clean out all sub sillpan drain pipes.

3.4.4 Proceed to Section 3.2 (Care After Cleaning)

After following the Care Cleaning instructions, Fleetwood products may require some care immediately after cleaning.


IMPORTANT NOTE:

  1. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL VOID ANY MANUFACTURERS WARRANTY WHETHER STATED OR IMPLIED.
  2. Warranty not valid without valid Fleetwood Order Number.

**Dealers are required to provide a copy to each customer**

Care Recurrance Plan (Section 2.3) ______  Fleetwood Order #___________  Original Ship Date: _______

Print Fleetwood Dealer Name: _________________________________________________________________

Print Home Owner(s) Name(s): 1. ____________________________________________
2. ____________________________________________
 
Home Owner's Signature: ______________________________________ Date: ______________
 
PO BOX 1086 * Corona, California  92878-1086 * Ph (951) 279-1070

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