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How to maintain your pvc windows & doors
Have you got new pvc windows & doors installed recently or even for a few years. if so keep reading and you will learn how to make them last a lifetime. Plus what I mean by a lifetime is 30 - 50 years and not the consumers guarantee of 5 years which seems to mean lifetime now.
First what you need to know about your windows & doors is that they are made up of a whole lot of different parts which also have different guarantee's.
1 : Pvc section (Most Companies guarantee for 10 - 15 years)
2 : Section reinforcement (No guarantee - not needed but your windows do need reinforcement otherwise your pvc section will have no guarantee.
3 : Rubber gaskets (No guarantee but your windows need these to keep drafts out. But they will last for 20 years or more.
4 : Double / Triple Glazing Most of the older glazing will have a 5 year guarantee but a lot of the newer glazing will have a 15 - 20 year guarantee. But if your glazing is gas filled the gas will carry no guarantee because in most cases the gas will just leak out of your glazing unit within 2 years.
5 : Locks / Hinges / Handles These are all know as moving parts and only carry a guarantee of 2 years. But with a little care you should be able to make these last for 20 or more years.
Maintain your windows
1 : Pvc section The only thing you need to watch out for here is what you clean it with because some cleaning fluids will discolour your windows. The best thing to use is just warm water and washing up liquid, and if you are trying out a new cleaning fluid test it out on a place that won't be seen first.
2 : Section reinforcement Nothing you can do about this as it is inside your windows. What it is there for is to stop the pvc from warping & twisting when weather changes form hot to cold.
3 : Rubber Gaskets When cleaning the windows open all windows and give the rubber seals a clean as well. Because dirt can build up on these which will than result in drafts.
4 : Double / Triple Glazing Just clean this with any glass cleaner you will do no harm at all. What does happen to glazing sometimes is the seal breaks down and they can fog up on the inside. This is not anyone's fault it happens and this is what your guarantee covers. So if its does happen ring your supplier and they should change it free of charge.
5 : Locks / Hinges / Handles Now this is where most of the problems are with pvc window & doors. Anything that moves will wear down that's why there is only a two year guarantee with all moving parts. So what can you do to prevent this from happening. Simple really about once a year just give all hinges a quick spray of grease. You can buy a can of this quite cheap and it will do two things for you. 1 : It will keep all parts moving freely which stop things from wearing down and breaking. 2 : it will keep the air of the metal and stop things rusting.
Window / Door Handles will wear down no matter what. How long they last all depends on the quality of the handle. But they are cheap to replace plus very easy to change. So before you go calling a repair person have a look at the handle and you will see that the is only two screws holding it on. Just unscrew these and off comes your handle. Than just put the new one on it should take no longer than a minute or two.
Window Locks These can break every now and again but just like the window handle they too are very easy to change. First take off your window handle than unscrew the lock. Your espage lock should now come out. These come in a number of sizes from 200mm - 400mm - 600mm - 800mm - 1000mm When buying your new lock you will need to know two things the length and the back set. The back set is the distance from the front to the centre part where the handle goes through. Once you know these two things you will be able to buy your locks anywhere.
Door locks These can be a bit more tricky to change as there are so many different types of locks sizes and fittings you may be better of to call someone who knows what they are doing. The last thing you want is to be left with a door that you can't lock for the night.
Window hinges Depending on how big the sash is you might need someone with you to help you to change these. They are easy to change but can be awkward on your own. The only thing to watch out for is the position that you put them on. Sometimes they may not go on in the exact place as the old ones. But once you change one pair of hinges they are all the same after that and you will find they are quite easy to change.
Door Hinges These can be tricky to change depending on what type of door hinge is fitted. So again if you have no idea what you are doing. You might be better of calling in someone who does.
One of the main things to watch out for is if you let your windows open for long periods of time. This will allow dirt to build up on hinges and result in faster wear and tear. So if during the summer you do leave your windows open for long periods of time. All you have to do to stop the dirt building up is open and close your windows a few times every second day.