Gary Warby, Managing Director of Premier Windows, draws up a list of 9 window and door maintenance tasks to complete in time for winter
The saying goes that ‘you should fix the roof while the sun shines’ – and it doesn’t only apply to roofs. It’s really important, going into winter, to run some basic maintenance and performance checks on your windows, doors and conservatory. If there are any niggling issues, you can tackle them before the weather turns and they become a problem.
1. Check window and door frames for damage or wear
Window frames are in the front line when it comes to protecting your home against the elements. So how do you prepare your windows for Winter? Check to make sure frames are in a good state of repair. uPVC windows generally require less maintenance, but if you have timber windows or doors make sure that they haven’t warped, shrunk or softened in the corners, particularly along the putty line where it meets the glass. Replace any rotten timber with a suitable filler. Sand, re-paint or varnish if any damage is present.
2. Inspect window gaskets before Winter hits
Gaskets are just as critical in defining the performance of your windows. Make sure that wooden and aluminium window gaskets are in a good state of repair and still firmly attached to frames and sashes. Loose or damaged gaskets in uPVC windows are less of a problem, as they’re co-extruded with frames which means they are less likely to dislodge or become damaged.
3. Carry out basic maintenance on windows and doors
All windows and doors need a little TLC to keep them in perfect working order, even low maintenance uPVC windows. As a general rule, all moving parts of the window, such as locking mechanisms, handles and hinges, should be oiled with a 3-in-1 or graphite-based lubricant at a minimum of once every three months to maintain optimum performance over their lifetime.
4. Make sure the window and door sashes are operating correctly
Window and door sashes (the parts that open) can drop or loosen over time. You’ll know because you’ll either feel a draught where it meets the fixed frame or feel it catch as you open and close it. This means that the window gasket isn’t being properly compressed, which can compromise the performance of your window. A professional window installer can easily adjust this as long as your door or window is in otherwise sound condition.
5. Check window units for any signs of damage
The insulated glazed unit that sits inside the frame is critical in defining the thermal efficiency of your windows. If you notice that it’s misted on the inside, it means it has failed and the special energy-efficient gas which dictates its performance has ‘escaped’. The window is now only filled with air. This will slash its performance levels, which means higher heating bills this Winter, so you need to act now and get it replaced.
6. Is your home properly ventilated this Winter?
With Winter on the horizon, it can be tempting to batten down hatches and wait for Spring, but you need to keep your home properly ventilated, even during winter. High-performance, energy-efficient windows are fitted with trickle vents, which provide background ventilation, preventing the build-up of moisture inside your home. If it’s not properly ventilated, it can lead to increased humidity inside your property and associated problems, including the growth of black mould, some variants of which can cause significant health problems. The good news is this can be avoided even without trickle vents through regular opening of windows. Alternatively, trickle vents can be retrofitted.
7. Vacuum window and door tracks and make sure drains are clear for Winter
Your windows and doors feature a series of in-frame or over face drainage channels. These are there to allow any water build-up to drain from the window or door and away from your property. They can, however, sometimes become clogged with dirt or the detritus of everyday life, such as shed hair, if you have a pet. It’s really important that, going into Autumn and Winter, these channels are kept clear, particularly bi-folding, inline sliding patio and entrance doors. So, give them a really good vacuum, removing any debris.
8. Window and door security checks for Winter
It’s important that your home security is up to scratch due to the darker evenings. If you have an older timber or uPVC panel door, all that stands between your property and an intruder is a solid and well-placed kick. Even some older high-security composite doors have a historical vulnerability. Also, make sure that any windows are locked, with the keys removed, when you’re not at home.
9. Should you replace windows and doors in the winter?
If you have older windows and doors, perhaps 15 or more years old, you may want to consider their replacement, particularly if they’re single-glazed. Autumn is the perfect time to put your house in order. You’ll benefit from your investment throughout the winter ahead and many more to follow. The average three-bedroom house saves up to £200 in heating bills a year after replacing single-glazed windows with double or triple-glazed windows.
Quality windows and doors in Buckinghamshire this Winter!
If you find something that it’s time for a window or door replacement this Winter, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our fantastic team are more than happy to discuss your options with you. Together, let’s get your home ready for Autumn and Winter!
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