Care, maintenance, protection and adjustment of windows
What you need to know to enjoy the features of your windows for years.
Windows perform an important function in every home. Modern and energy-efficient solutions are now available on the market. It is worth remembering, however, that in order for windows to function for years to come as they do immediately after installation, they need to be cared for regularly.
When to remove window film?
The windows always arrive on site covered with a special protective film. Window installers do not remove the film during the window installation process, especially if other renovation work is in progress. Therefore, the decision on when to remove it remains with the property owner. The question is when is the best time to do this?
It is recommended to remove the film no later than one month after installation. The longer the protective film remains, the more difficult it becomes to remove as it can bond with the profile. The process of adhesion of the film to the profile is enhanced by exposure to the sun. When windows have been purchased but not installed (i.e. not exposed to UV light or high temperatures), the recommended time to remove the film is 2-3 months after purchase .
What to do if the film has been left on the windows for longer?
Sometimes there is a situation where we have not read about the consequences of late removal of the security film from the windows. How to deal with it then?
The most important thing is patience; removing the remaining film in a hurry can cause serious damage to the profiles, which will be impossible to salvage. It is worth getting formulas and agents adapted to a given surface, e.g. PVC. The chosen formula should be applied gradually and rubbed in with a soft cloth. This can take a long time. Of the recommended methods, you can also use a high-pressure cleaner with a water heating function, protecting the frame beforehand. Another solution is to use a steam heater.
Abrasives, caustics and solvents that can damage the coating should be avoided.
How to secure windows on a construction site?
Window joinery is an extremely important element allowing to close the raw state of the house and start finishing and plastering works. However, windows remain vulnerable to damage by professionals who concentrate on their work. Glazing, profiles and fittings don't stand up well to dust, dirt, sand and mortar, which can't be avoided, so it's worth protecting your windows.
Painting foil or transparent stretch-type foil will work well for protecting windows against plastering and other finishing work. It is advisable to use a working handle for the duration of construction, and to install the target handle once the work is complete.
It is very important to secure HST type terrace windows. In order to avoid unpleasant situations, e.g. the construction crew drives a wheelbarrow full of sand over the HST aluminium threshold. The aluminium threshold and the travel of the bogie rollers on the low threshold rail together with construction dirt can lead to numerous abrasions and scratches. You should therefore close the terrace exit and remove the handle.
If it is necessary to use a wide passage (HST door), it is necessary to secure the threshold and the door and to remove any sand or dust that has entered.
Checking windows after finishing work
When all the finishing work is finished, check the window seals and if any dirt has entered clean them - by washing with warm water and a mild detergent. The drainage and venting openings and slots should then be inspected and, if necessary, also cleaned.
The next step should be cleaning the moving parts of the window, with emphasis on the hinges, and oiling them.
Windows installed as shells should be readjusted once the remaining work has been completed
How do I clean dirty windows?
Any safeguard can sometimes fail. How to deal with a situation in which windows covered with foil have been stained by paint, plaster or glue? The best solution is to take immediate action, in which case the dirt can be removed using warm water and a mild diluted detergent (e.g. soap, washing-up liquid). The use of harsh cleaning agents and detergents that scratch the surface is not recommended.
What to do when water and mild detergents fail? There comes a need to reach for stronger formulas.
It is crucial to choose a liquid that is suitable for the material the joinery is made of. In the case of PVC and aluminium, it must be remembered that the formulas must not have a PH other than natural. Acidic and alkaline cleaners can damage the texture of your windows. Gasoline, thinners, acetic acid, nitro solvents and other chemicals which dissolve PVC must not be used for cleaning PVC profiles .
Whatever the material, try to avoid excessive scrubbing. Clean surfaces patiently and gently.
Adjustment and maintenance of windows
Another important aspect that will significantly prolong the life of our window joinery is window adjustment. Window adjustment consists in changing the pressure of the sash against the frame or aligning its position. Signs that should indicate the need for adjustment are the emergence of difficulties in opening and closing, a handle that is difficult to move, gusts of wind (leakage). It is also recommended that adjustments be made seasonally, i.e. twice a year before summer and winter.
As a result of temperature, the material shrinks or expands and the same is true of your windows. In summer during hot weather your window "gets bigger. If the sash is pressed tightly, this can cause the frame to rub when opening, as well as excessive tightness (poor air exchange). In winter, however, at low temperatures the window "shrinks", which can cause leaks and the escape of warm air to the outside. The solution to this problem is precisely seasonal adjustment, reducing the pressure of the frame against the sash in summer and increasing it in winter.
You can make the adjustment yourself or call a service technician.
Below you will find an instructional video from Winkhaus:
Lubrication of fittings
When adjusting the fittings, it is also worth remembering to regularly lubricate the moving parts, i.e. hinges and locking points.
Lubrication will protect them from excessive dust and dirt accumulation and ensure easier and smoother operation. For self-lubrication, it is best to use a solvent-free agent such as fitting maintenance oil, silicone grease or technical petroleum jelly. Such products can be purchased in convenient bottles with an applicator or aerosols with a tube, allowing for precise application of the product. Detailed information about the joinery components that require lubrication can be found in the manufacturer's instructions.
Lubrication of moving parts should be carried out at least once a year.
Window gaskets are an extremely important element, very often neglected in the process of care and maintenance. Rubber elements in your windows are exposed mainly to evaporation - gaskets under the influence of temperature and other factors harden, lose their elasticity and as a result break and start letting air through. The maintenance of gasets should start with a thorough clean. Window cleaner can be used for cleaning. Apply it to a cloth and wipe the rubber thoroughly, including the underside. You can also use moistened wipes. To reach difficult areas, cotton buds are great. Once you have thoroughly cleaned the gasket (frame, sash) you reach for the gasket cleaner. They will work well for automotive, sanitary and window gaskets. It should be applied locally with a cloth in order to preserve the elasticity of the rubber.
Proper window maintenance is much more benefit than effort. It requires spending just a few hours once or twice a year, significantly affecting the life of the window joinery. Maintenance and servicing will ensure that your windows last longer, as well as lower heating bills.
Window cleaning equipment
Of course, in addition to the maintenance of windows, regular cleaning is an indispensable element, so at the end we have gathered for you some interesting solutions that make the process easier, especially in case of a large glazing.
However, let's start with a universal tip that will work for both the use of machines and manual window cleaning. It's good to choose the right time of day and weather for window cleaning. Cleaning windows in full sunlight causes the cleaning product to dry quickly on the glass, creating streaks and smudges. It is best to clean windows at moderate temperatures when they are not in sunlight.
Pressure washer for window cleaning
A window cleaning device that is extremely popular is the pressure washer. The washer uses steam power in the cleaning process. The tank needs to be filled with water, which is then pushed out as steam through the unit. For large windows or those that are high up (such as skylights), choose a model with a telescopic rod. For small or medium sized windows, a narrow suction cup or wide strip will suffice.
Window cleaning robot
The window cleaning robot is another of those 21st century devices designed to help us save time on household choresThe window cleaning robot uses a vacuum motor that, when the robot is started and applied to the window, makes the device stick to the glass The role of the cleaning person is actually limited to this action. Window cleaning robots can operate dry, or you can soak the cloth supplied with them in detergent. It all depends on individual needs. Many window cleaning robots also have a control function from a smartphone. The minimum working area of such robots depends on the model (e.g. HOBOT 198 35cmx35cm)
Examples of robots