6.1 Maintenance and Cleaning
Timber framed or wooden frame windows need to be properly maintained to prevent deteriorating resulting in the need to replace the windows. Window maintenance is everything from painting to making sure that all the individual parts are functioning properly. (For instance sealing jointing)
The need to repaint windows often depends on the construction of the window itself plus numerous other are fitted into the facade and what direction they are facing. Windows that are facing south get worn more quickly since they experience larger differences in temperature, as during the day the are exposed to the warm sun and during the night they become really cold. This variation in temperature exposes the window to the extremes of climate and therefor maintenance becomes a more vital chore.
Most window manufacturers have different recommendations on when to repaint windows, a common norm is to repaint windows after 10 years and then follow this up every seventh year. This is backed up by research which has shown that this gap of time is sufficient in order not to damage the windows. As always though, it is best to check regularly to see when the windows need repainting
This is the normal procedure when it comes to repainting windows:
- Peel and scrape of the existing paint. Make sure to carefully check the corners and the lower parts of the windows as these parts often gets worn out first.
- Replace the damaged timber and wood if necessary.
- Fix and replace any glass, though make sure to paint the frame before attaching the new glass!
- Paint the whole window and not just a few selections.
- Carefully check the appearance and if the window has been taken out of the facade make sure it is sealed properly when refitted.
The following websites could be worth looking into:
- How to maintain your windows in seven easy steps
- How to maintain your walls, windows and doors to impress the home inspector
6.3 Cleaning windows
To clean a window can sound like the most basic chore at first but when explained most people realize that cleaning a window is not as easy as one would think. For instance there are a few windows out on the market today that cleans themselves. These windows have a certain coating that reacts in two different ways when exposed to sunlight. First the coating breaks down the layer of dirt through a photocalystic process and then when it rains the dirt gets washed away.
This type of coating is named hydrofilt which means that it attracts water. Hydrofilt coating spreads the water over the glass surface making sure no water drops are created. In order for this process to work UV-light need to be present. If this doesn't help one might have to clean it with soaped water and a normal soft kitchen towel. Though make sure the water is not to hot.
There are many different techniques to clean windows today. Normally use water and normal washing up liquid, sometimes it can be good to add a few drops of methylated spirit to get a more efficient blend. To scrape the window preferably use a normal rubber scraper.
An alternative method that can be used is to clean a window with tepid water and a normal cloth and then later on when the window is dry use a microfiber cloth and wipe it clean. The microfiber cloth should be rinsed under cold water and then squeezed dry before using it to wipe the window. This method give less "stripes and marks" on the window and is considered to be quicker.
Though the most common alternative is to hire someone to do the job. There are numerous places to look at if wish to hire window cleaners. Either go to The Master Guild Of Window Cleaners which is a non-profit organization founded by window cleaners, for window cleaners. The Guild is not like a normal trade association but rather a community based professional support group. This particular guild is run and maintained on a voluntary basis and the web address is: http://www.mgwc.org/
Another good place to look at can be the International Window Cleaning Organization. The International Window Cleaning Association is a non-profit trade 501(c)(6) association committed to raising the standards of professionalism within the window cleaning industry this organization can be found at the following address: http://www.iwca.org/
If living in the UK the federation of window cleaners might be the best place to look at, they are located at this address: http://www.nfmwgc.com/
Please note that all the URL's can be found in our links archive: Additional Links
The directory of triple glazing suppliers.