Window Maintenance


The following window maintenance details are applicable to all our Radial window range. Please contact us if you need further advice.


Frame Cleaning

Selection of Cleaner

Non-alkaline detergent and warm water may be safely applied to any of the aluminium finishes using a soft cloth or sponge. Nothing harsher than a bristle brush or nylon pad should be used. If there is any doubt, a few moments testing the cleaner on an unobtrusive area of the aluminium is advised. For sample testing, the cleaner should be in the same concentration and be applied in the manner intended for the job. It should remain in place for some time enabling it to dry, after which the area should be inspected for stains or for softening or dissolution of organic finishes.

Steel wool, strong acids and alkalis and abrasive cleaners should never be used.

Frequency of Cleaning

The accumulation of atmospheric grime makes it necessary to clean the surface of aluminium regularly to maintain its appearance. In badly polluted industrial, marine or city locations it is recommended that cleaning be carried out once every three months and in relatively rural locations once every six months. Frame cleaning can usually be conveniently carried out when the window glass is cleaned.

The frequency of cleaning will also depend upon the standard of appearance that is required. It may be, for example, that windows which can be closely inspected at ground level will need to be cleaned more frequently than windows at a higher level.

Providing the recommended frequency is maintained it should never be necessary to use cleaners, which are more aggressive, a non-alkaline detergent in warm water in concentrations which can be handled with bare hands. After application these cleaners should be removed with clean water and the area wiped dry.

It is wrong to assume that if cleaning is carried out less frequently than recommended the surface of the aluminium can be restored with the occasional use of more aggressive cleaners. Such cleaners could damage the finish, the metal, the glazing and sealing systems and even the glass. Such practice should therefore be avoided.

Seals Used for the Perimeter Joints

Generally the mastics and sealants available have a shorter life than of the windows and will therefore require periodic inspection. Where the seal has deteriorated it should be raked out and replaced using either the same type of material as before or a superior one which is compatible with any remaining material left in the joint.

It should be noted that the life of some sealant materials can be extended by the application of paint or varnish, but some sealant, e.g. silicones, should never be painted. Material normally used is Arbosil 1096, 1090 or, in some instances, 1081 silicon sealant produced by Adshead Ratcliffe Limited, chosen for their performance and low maintenance requirement.

Glazing

Re-Glazing – Standard Windows

Standard windows are gasket glazed and are easily re-glazed on site re-using, usually, the original materials. By careful removal, glazing beads will be re-usable; however, if replacement parts or additional information is required, Midland Alloy should be contacted direct.

Maintenance of Glazing Materials

Where the glazing systems consists of compounds or sealants and deterioration has occurred, any defective material should be raked out, replaced or made good as appropriate using either the same material as before or a superior one which is compatible with remaining materials.

Hardware

General

Windows which are not in frequent use should be opened and closed periodically to check the operation of the hardware e.g. handles, hinges etc. Twice a year is sufficient for this exercise.

Some types of hardware are designed to operate freely whereas others are designed to remain in a required position by friction. The former may need an occasional application of light oil on the rotating or sliding surfaces, others, together with freely operating hardware which incorporates plastic bearing surfaces should not be oiled (i.e. Friction Pivots).

Cleaning the Hardware

Metal polishes should not be used on hardware. Where necessary it can be cleaned with a mild detergent as used for the frames.

Seals & Gaskets

Depending on the type of opening light, the weather-seals may be of Neoprene, PVC, woven pile or EPDM extruded material, generally slid into grooves in the frame sections as the window is manufactured. Designs and sizes vary considerably and fitting a different type of weather-strip may cause loss of water-tightness or an increase of air infiltration. Production applied weather seals are easily replaced in situ by the use of simple hand tools.

Where a seal or gasket has become damaged or has deteriorated we can supply spares and it is advisable to employ a firm which specialises in window remedial work to ensure that the correct materials and applications are used to ensure the continued performance of the window.

For ease of window operation, flipper gaskets on opening windows should be lubricated after the 3 or 6 monthly cleaning periods with either a silicone solution (Ambersil F111/200) or a silicone emulsion (85/76, available from CGP Chemicals Ltd, Tel: 01283 511101) or equivalent.

Adjustments to Windows

Top hung windows may periodically require adjustment to project friction stays, located in the jambs of the outer frame. The slotted screw in sliding shoe of each stay can be lightly tightened to increase stiffness of the opening vent. Friction should be enough to hold window in open position and easily allow opening and closing.

Horizontal opening windows can be periodically maintained by adjusting the rotational friction at the pivot hinges. This is achieved by tightening the Allen keyed screw on the glass side of the hinge. Only tighten the screw so that the window will hold in open position. Do not over tighten the screw.