The most demanding time of the year for building structures is winter. A dangerous combination of harsh weather conditions, including very low temperatures and strong wind, rain and snow poses a threat for the window joinery in our homes. That is why you should adopt the necessary measures before the winter hits. A window that is well-prepared for the winter will cause the reduction of heat loss, which in turn will decrease the heating bill and extend the product life. Otherwise, you may lose up to 25% of the energy used to heat the building through unsealed windows.
Begin with cleaning
Start you window’s maintenance with the simplest job, i.e. cleaning. It is crucial to clean the windows before the winter comes, since the dust constitutes a medium for microorganisms that slowly but consequently destroys the protective film of the window profile by making microscopic pores in the frame surface through which dirt penetrates the product.
The right choice of cleaning agent is also vital. The cleaning fluid to be applied to PVC windows should be carefully selected since it cannot contain strong chemicals, solvents or abrasive substances. An inappropriate cleaning agent may cause damage to your window, for example though discolouration or scratches on the profile. A branded cleaning agent or a mixture of washing-up liquid and water might be a safe solution. We recommend you to clean your windows with a small amount of the cleaning substance and a soft, seamless cloth.
The gaskets, especially those made of EPDM, may possibly be destroyed by concentrated cleaning agents and oily preparations. It is enough to use a plain washing-up liquid. In addition, take care not to spray the glass panels too much during cleaning. You should remove any residual fluid from rubber elements with clean water.
Perform an inspection of the fittings
As soon as the windows are clean, you may proceed to the inspection of the window’s condition. Begin with checking if all moving parts and fittings are working properly. Should you notice that the window does not open or close easily or is unsealed, screw down the fastening bolts or replace the faulty elements.
You may check the sealing pressure using a very simple method. Get a sheet of paper and slide it between the sash and the window frame. The fittings need to be adjusted if the paper can be taken out easily when the window is closed. The multi-point locking fixtures in modern windows have a range of sealing pressure. The sealing pressure should be adjusted accordingly, depending on the time of year. Thus, you may avoid the problem of insufficient thermal insulation in the winter and inadequate air exchange in the summer.
Moreover, to make sure that the fittings are in good working order, you should lubricate them once a year with industrial-grade petroleum jelly.
Take a close look at the gaskets
Another group of elements of the window that should be checked are the gaskets, especially those in the bottom section of the frame, as they are particularly exposed to weather conditions. Gaskets in appropriate condition are flexible and they immediately return to their original shape when deflected. They also provide resistance to low temperatures. Lubricate the gaskets with silicon grease or industrial-grade petroleum jelly in order to maintain their properties. Grease with rubber, by creating a protective film, will provide excellent protection for rubber elements against frost and moisture. If you notice, though, that the gaskets are crumpled, porous or fractured, we recommend you to replace them. Bear in mind not to install gaskets during frost.
Enjoy your window for the lifetime
Following the above listed hints will guarantee that your window performs its chief function in the winter by keeping the heat inside. What is more, a good condition of the joinery elements and the extension of product life may be ensured by regular maintenance.