DIY Advice – UPVC Window Repairs
The benefits of fitting UPVC windows are fairly obvious, such as ease of cleaning and better draught proofing, along with a longer life span than wooden windows. But that does not mean that over time they will not break down or deteriorate, and so they need to be maintained.
When having your windows cleaned it is a good idea to also have the frames professionally cleaned at least once a year and to regularly use a UPVC cleaner to remove any build-up of grit or algae which may form, especially on horizontal surfaces.
UPVC or alloy windows also have moving parts that can break or malfunction, and if they are more than 25 years old it can prove difficult to source new parts. There are specialist companies out there that will deal in these types of repairs, but make sure that you give them as much information as possible. Look for codes or reference numbers on the product that will help the company identify the item and shop around for the best deal. There are now several websites that carry comprehensive lists of the various working parts found on windows and they often provide images to help you identify your part.
Another common problem with older windows is the breakdown of the double glazing seals. You will know this has happened when a cloudy patch appears on the inside surface of the sealed unit. When they are made, the glass units are hermetically sealed. This means that the air in between the two panes of glass is trapped inside, not allowing it to move. Modern sealed units are filled with an inert gas before sealing them, thus stopping the cold air from the outer pane from travelling to the inner pane. This also prevents the warm air inside the room from escaping through the glass.
Modern UPVC units are also fitted from the inside which makes them more secure as it can take less than 60 seconds for a professional to remove the beads and glass from the window. If you need to have the glass units replaced it is better to have a representative from the glazing company measure the openings as they will know what reductions to make to allow the units to fit perfectly. This also covers you in the event of any mistakes.
Most uPVC windows are fitted with friction stay hinges and these can become stiff or out of shape so it is important to maintain them. An occasional spray with a fine lubricating oil such as WD40 will help to keep them in good condition. If the hinges need replacing then check that the length and type match those you are removing, as there are several styles available. Most hinges are screwed into place but if you have older alloy windows these may be riveted, in which case the rivets would have to be drilled out and replaced with self tapping screws.
If you treat the maintenance of your windows in the same manner as you would your car, you may prevent major problems in the future and save a fortune in the process. So invest a little time over the weekend to check your UPVC or alloy windows.
Image credit: JJlosier