Home Maintenance: Your Guide to Protecting Your Double Glazing
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Home Maintenance: Your Guide to Protecting Your Double Glazing
Double glazing is an important investment for any UK homeowner, providing insulation and soundproofing benefits that are hard to ignore (even with energy price caps coming to help save us all from extremely high gas and electricity bills).
However, simply installing double glazing isn’t enough. As with any aspect of your home, maintenance is key to ensuring it lasts as long as possible.
In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about maintaining your double glazing, from regular cleaning to identifying and fixing any issues. With our expert tips and tricks, you can protect your investment and keep your home looking and feeling its best for years.
How Long Should New Windows Last?
On average, you can expect your double-glazed windows to last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. That’s quite a wide range, we know. It’s because the lifespan can be influenced by several factors, including:
- The quality of the windows
- How they were installed
- The climate in which you live
Additionally, certain factors can increase wear and tear, including:
- Harsh weather conditions such as wind, rain and extreme temperatures
- Exposure to direct sunlight and UV rays
- Improper installation or handling
- Failure to clean the windows regularly
To ensure your windows last as long as possible, you should consider regular maintenance. Cleaning the windows with a mixture of warm water and mild soap can help remove dirt and grime that can build up over time, whilst lubricating the hinges with a silicone-based lubricant can help improve mobility.
Professional maintenance services can also help identify and address any potential issues before they cause serious damage to your windows.
Common Issues with Double Glazing
While durable and long-lasting, double glazing isn’t invincible, and over time, issues can arise. Knowing what to look out for can help you stay ahead of any problems and keep your home in top condition.
If you notice that your windows are cloudy or look like they’re covered in condensation, you may have a fogging problem. This occurs when moisture gets trapped between the glass panels, usually due to a failed seal. Not only does this affect the appearance of your windows, but it can also impact their insulating properties.
One of the main benefits of double glazing is that it helps with home insulation. However, if you feel a cool draft coming from your windows, it may be a sign that the seals are failing or that the frames have been damaged. Addressing these issues quickly can help to maintain your home’s energy efficiency.
Cracks or Chips
Double-glazed windows are designed to be durable, but accidents can happen, especially if you open and close them daily or engage in certain activities near the windows. Whether it’s a stray ball or an unexpected storm, cracks and chips can occur in your window panes. Even the smallest damage can lead to more significant problems, so don’t put off getting it repaired.
Difficulty Opening or Closing
It may be a sign of wear and tear if you find it challenging to open or close your windows. This could be due to several causes, such as damaged hinges or misaligned frames, which can impact the security of your home. While this issue might not require replacing the window itself (instead of simply the hardware around it), it’s still worth checking out.
Condensation can be a common issue in any home, but it may indicate a problem with your windows if it’s happening often. Excess moisture inside your property can cause condensation on your windows, leading to water damage and mould growth. Addressing the root cause and improving ventilation can help keep your home healthy and dry.
Higher Energy Bills
Higher than usual energy bills could indicate that your double glazing needs attention. Windows that are not properly sealed can allow air to escape, causing your heating system to work harder and use more energy.
However, increased energy costs aren’t the root of the cause in this case, just an indicator that something might be wrong. As mentioned above, look out for draughts, condensation between the panes, and visible damage to the frames or seals to see if this is the cause of your higher bills.
Double glazing is great for those living in larger, bustling cities as it offers amazing noise-reducing benefits. However, if you’ve suddenly noticed that you can hear more noise and nothing’s changed in your neighbourhood, it might be a sign that your windows need maintenance, including solutions like replacing the sealant or fixing chipped glass.
Home Maintenance Tips for Double Glazing
Are you noticing one (or more) of the issues mentioned above? Don’t panic. There are several home maintenance tips you can follow to fix the issue or at least prevent it from getting worse before you can contact your window contractor to come and look.
To solve condensation problems, you must first identify the cause, which usually starts with checking for leaks. Use a tissue or a piece of paper to check for leaks around the window frame. If the tissue becomes wet, there is a leak that needs to be fixed.
Then, ensure your windows aren’t obstructed and can open fully. If you don’t have trickle vents, consider installing them to improve ventilation.
Finally, consider the age of your windows. It may be time to upgrade to more energy-efficient ones if they’re old. This is true even if you have double-glazed windows already, as technology has advanced in recent years, and contractors are more experienced regarding installation.
Scratches and Chips
Scratches and chips can make double glazing look unsightly and compromise insulation properties. If you notice these unsightly marks, use a soft cloth and warm, soapy water to clean the affected area. Avoid using abrasive materials or cleaning agents.
Then, prepare to sand the area. Use a fine sandpaper to sand the affected area. Be gentle and use light pressure, ensuring not to sand too deep.
Next, apply a resin repair kit to the sanded area following the manufacturer’s instructions. Leave the resin to dry before sanding gently with a fine sandpaper to level the surface.
If the scratch or chip is too severe, you may need to replace the glass entirely. It’s worth calling an expert before trying to do this at home. They’ll be able to assess the damage and offer the best solutions for your windows (and budget).
The sealant around your double glazing can wear out over time due to exposure to harsh weather conditions. A broken sealant can cause draughts and even lead to water damage. While not ideal, it’s usually a much simpler and budget-friendly fix than replacing your double glazing entirely.
If you notice a broken sealant, use a scraper or a cutter to remove the old sealant. Be careful not to damage the frame or the glass. Then, use warm, soapy water to clean the area thoroughly and allow it to dry.
Finally, apply a high-quality sealant to the frame following the manufacturer’s instructions. Smooth it out with a caulk smoothing tool to ensure no air gaps.
Finally, it’s essential to maintain the hardware of your double glazing. This includes checking the locks and handles regularly to ensure they are in working order.
Every six months, inspect the locks and handles of your double glazing. Look for any damage or wear and tear while also lubricating them to prevent them from becoming stiff or difficult to operate.
You only need a small amount of silicone spray or lubricant to lubricate these parts. Simply apply the spray or lubricant to the moving parts, and then use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess.
If you notice any issues, it’s best to call in a professional.
When to Consider Professional Maintenance
Have you implemented the home maintenance tips above to keep your double glazing in tip-top shape? If your DIY techniques didn’t do the trick or you’re noticing a recurring issue, it might be best to leave it to the professionals. Here are some scenarios where it pays to call an expert.
Broken Seal and Condensation
The tips above for fixing a broken seal should work in simple cases. However, if the sealant is broken past the point of a simple patch or if you notice extreme condensation dripping into your home, it’s best to call a professional, as they’ll have the tools and expertise to fix the issue properly. Fixing the problem yourself could lead to further damage and costlier repairs.
Another issue that may arise is window alignment. This is when the window doesn’t sit properly within the frame, causing it to stick or operate improperly. While it may be tempting to try and solve the issue yourself, a professional can diagnose the problem and adjust the window as needed, ensuring it’s properly installed and functioning correctly.
Water leaks can occur for various reasons, such as damaged seals or weatherstripping. If you notice water pooling around your windows or frames, it’s important to have a professional assess the situation (and quickly; water damage can lead to bigger issues). They can properly diagnose the issue and make the necessary repairs to prevent further damage to your home.
Accidents happen, and the double glazing may become damaged, resulting in broken glass. While trying and replacing the glass yourself may be tempting, it’s important to call a professional instead. They’ll have the proper tools and (most importantly) the safety gear needed to replace the glass without further damaging your window, frame, or yourself.
Finally, one of the biggest reasons to call a professional for maintenance is when DIY repairs have gone wrong. Attempting to fix an issue yourself without the proper tools or expertise can often lead to further problems and potentially dangerous situations.
Whether it’s a window now stuck open permanently or a larger issue with your double glazing, calling a professional can save you time and money in the long run if you’ve tried to DIY it only to make the issue worse.
Invest in Good Windows
Whether dealing with single, double or even triple-glazed windows, they’ll always require some upkeep to keep them functioning correctly. However, if you invest in good double-glazing from a reputable company like Apex Windows, you’ll have fewer issues to contend with.
Find a reputable company that:
- Sources its windows from reputable providers
- Is trained and certified to provide proper installation services
- Guarantees its work
The last one is a big factor. For example, at Apex Windows, we’re members of the GGFi Insurance Backed Guarantee Scheme (IBG), which we joined in 2014 in compliance with FENSA.
Our membership means that we’ve satisfied all the underwriters’ vetting criteria and that when you buy a product from us, we’ll automatically provide you with an IBG purchased by us.
Our Insurance Backed Guarantee covers a range of elements, ensuring you’re protected against discolouration of uPVC and the misting of glass units. The following issues and hardware are also covered:
- Gasket shrinkage
- Composite doors
- Locks and handles
- Future adjustments
- Much more!
The bottom line is that investing in good windows will always be a wise choice for your home. Not only will it provide you with increased energy efficiency, but it’ll also help to reduce noise pollution and keep your home more secure.
By choosing Apex Windows, you’re choosing quality and longevity, and you can rest assured that we’re here to support you for the long haul.
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Interested in double glazing? Whether it’s your first time installing double-glazed windows or you need to upgrade your current double glazing, our team at Apex Window can help you find the right solution for your energy, aesthetic, and financial needs.
Contact us to learn more about our products and services. Or, get started right now by entering your details into our instant quote calculator to see how much you can expect to pay depending on the number of windows you have and a few other factors.