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How to look after your New Doors and Windows

Maintaining your investment

The following makes certain recommendations as to the manner in which you should care for your new windows, doors and conservatories.

Following these guidelines will assist in keeping your installed units looking good and working efficiently for many years to come.

Fortunately, unlike traditional wooden frames that require regular intensive maintenance such as painting, uPVC only requires basic procedures to ensure years of trouble free service.

Cleaning

GLASS: Warm soapy water or a good quality glass cleaner is suitable to remove dirt from all variations of glass sealed units (exception Rytec Clearshield- refer to manufacturer's instructions)

Pvc Frames: Warm soapy water should be suitable for general cleaning but for stubborn marks lightly rub with creme cleaner. DO NOT use on every occasion, as this will remove the shine from PVCu. NEVER use Abrasive Cleaners and on no account should steam cleaning be used.

Polycarbonate and Upvc Roofing may be cleaned in the same manner, DO NOT use cleaning agents containing organic solvents, ammonia or anionic surfactants. Ensure that your gutters and drains are clear of leaves and debris. It is recommended that roof panels are washed every four months to remove grime.

Gaskets and Seals: following cleaning with a mild non-abrasive detergent, check that all gaskets and seals are correctly located around the frame and openers. Replacement of gaskets should only be carried out by the installers.

Lead:  As with any new lead work, when exposed to rain it will start an oxidation process which shows as white or mottled staining. When this process is complete, the lead will be dark grey in colour and will no longer stain. This process will take a few months to complete.

Lubrication

Windows: All hinges and locking points should be kept clean and clear of dirt. Quarterly application go light oil such as WD40 is recommended. The tightness of all screws should also be checked. The scissor mechanism of friction hinges should be periodically checked and lubricated, as should all pivot points and moving parts of espagnolette locks.

Resdential and French Doors:  All moving areas of the lock should be given a quarterly application of light oil. The Keeps (located within the frame) should be given a coating of petroleum jelly or similar. Clean and oil all external metal parts. Hinges and letter plates should also be given an annual application of light oil. DO NOT lubricate the locking cylinder (where the key is inserted) as it is packed with special grease.

Sliding Patio Doors: Lightly oil locking cams and ensure the bottom sliding track is clean and free of debris. DO NOT lubricate the actual track! DO NOT lubricate the locking cylinder (where the key is inserted) as it is packed with special grease.

Lock and Hinges: Twice a year after cleaning, spray light oil into all the locks and on to any metal to metal contact surfaces around your doors and windows. This will help to keep them operating smoothly.

NEVER leave metal objects on cills or rebates in case they rust. Rust stains are one of the few marks Upvc cleaner will not remove.

Drainage Holes: After a heavy shower of rain, you may find some water in the bottom of your door and window frames. This is nothing to worry about as this will drain away through the drainage holes. A visual check is all that is required to make sure there is no build-up of debris.

Draughts: To ensure a draught free door, please remember to keep the door in the locked position. (Handle pulled up on closing). This will achieve a tight fit to the draught seals.

Building work: As with any new building work, a period of ‘drying out’ is necessary. Please ensure maximum air circulation and ventilation during this process. To test if a floor is dry lay a carpet square on the floor overnight. If the floor is dry when the carpet is lifted, then the process is complete. Never be tempted to use electric or gas fires to speed-up the drying out as this is dangerous.

Condensation

Condensation is related to the way we heat, ventilate and insulate our homes. In days gone by, most homes had one or two chimneys: allowing up to four ait changes per hour. Doors and windows were generally less well fitting than they are today. This natural ventilation was the very process that prevented condensation.

Energy efficient homes are far more likely to suffer from condensation – because anything that keeps warm air in will also keep fresh air out, creating the ideal conditions for condensation to form.

Condensation can be controlled by providing a natural ventilation to change air on a regular basis and maintain an even temperature. This is achieved though ventilation units with are controlled by humidistats, an airbrick, or by opening a window. Please remember that the airbrick must be open to achieve good results.

Prevent water vapour finding its way out of Kitchens and Bathrooms, close adjoining doors and leave a window open after cooking or showering to allow a change of air. Extractor fans and cooker hoods work well for this purpose.

If you find dark mould spots forming, treat the affected areas immediately with a solution of household bleach or Milton Fluid. This will kill the mould spores and prevent them from spreading to other areas.

External Condensation

From time to time, we receive enquiries about the appearance of external condensation on glass. This phenomenon is a natural occurrence and not a fault in the glass or window. 

Moisture condenses out of the air onto a cold surface that is said to be below the dew point. The dew point varies with the air temperature and the amount of moisture it contains. Particularly in spring and autumn, the glass temperature can fall to a low level during the night and the dew point can be comparatively high in these seasons. The glass temperature can be below the dew point under these conditions and moisture can condense onto the surface.

The more thermally insulating the glass is, the lower the outer pane temperature is likely to be and the greater the risk of condensation on the external surface. In northern European countries, where levels of thermal insulation are higher than in the UK, the phenomenon is understood and accepted.

There is not much that can be done to avoid the risk of condensation to the outside. In many cases the condensation does not last long. A little heat from the sun warms the outer glass enough to evaporate the moisture and a gentle breeze or wind will help.

You may notice that not all of the panes are affected by early morning condensation, even in the same window. Subtle differences in orientation and the position of objects outside the window can change the surface temperature of the glass to the point that one pane suffers and another does not. Any object such as a canopy or tree blocking off the window to a clear night sky will also reduce the effect. 

A plus point is the knowledge that your windows are keeping the heat in as they are designed to do, proving that you have a superior insulating glass product.

Misting

Misting within the units is not normal and means a break down of the unit, you should therefore contact you supplier.