How To Maintain Your Windows

The beauty of uPVC windows is that they are incredibly durable and low maintenance. If you want them to perform at their best and last for as long as possible, we recommend that you carry out routine maintenance on your windows at least twice a year, or more frequently in high exposure areas. Don’t worry, this isn’t as daunting as it sounds, as our handy tips about how to maintain windows will show you. 

Looking after locks and handles 

If you look after your window locks and handles, they will keep you safe and secure for many years. Always close your windows fully before operating the handles to prevent any strain on the lock mechanism. Never force your windows open or you could permanently damage the entire unit. 

Most of the time, windows won’t open because there is an obstruction or a build up of residue, so check for this first. 

If you have a key for your window, insert it and push the button in. Then turn the handle and push to open. To close the window, pull it shut, turn the handle down and then lock with the key. This might sound very simple but you’d be amazed how many people don’t follow these steps!

Cleaning your windows 

Keeping your windows clean is an essential part of maintenance, so they’re gleaming all year round and you’ll prevent future issues.  Whether you clean your windows yourself or hire a window cleaner to tackle the job for you, it’s a good idea to make window cleaning part of your household routine. 

You’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t involve any fancy equipment, but there are products that you should definitely avoid. 

Do not use: 

  • Scouring pads or steel wool 
  • Glass cleaner on any parts of the uPVC
  • Cream cleaners or sponges that might scratch the surface
  • Bleach, methylated spirit, white spirit or WD40
  • Ammonia or caustic-based cleaning products

Assess your windows

Before you start, estimate how much cleaning is required. Can you remember when you last cleaned your windows and are there any marks or a build up of dirt? This can help you decide whether to use good old fashioned soap and water, or whether you might need something a little stronger. 

Cleaning your window frames

It’s a common mistake to just concentrate on cleaning the glass when it comes to maintaining double glazed windows. Open the window as wide as it will go and brush around the inside of the frame with a duster or brush. This will help to shift any build up, and you can then finish with a blast on the vacuum as the finishing touch. We would advise doing this three or four times a year. 

Cleaning your window channels  

Window channels help secure window frames and hold window glass in place and are often missed as part of window maintenance. Cleaning window channels means there is less chance of stiff or seized up windows which then refuse to open. Keep moving parts well oiled using a spray on lubricant that is silicone-based.

Cleaning window glass

Although there are a variety of glass cleaners available, using them can result in discolouration of your uPVC. Instead, just use soap and water which is more gentle but still effective. To prevent streaks, wipe in an even pattern using a dry (and clean!) cloth. 

Cleaning uPVC window frames 

Don’t forget to clean your window frames regularly with a mild liquid detergent (that is non-abrasive) and warm water. We should point out that white internal uPVC can discolour if it is exposed to cooking fumes or cigarette smoke for a long time. Baby wipes can help shift this unsightly colouring, or a designated uPVC cleaner might do the trick. 

How to clean vertical slider windows

To safely clean the glass from inside, open the bottom sash to approximately 10cm and slide both catches inwards to release the top of the sash. You can then pull this in and rest it on its restrictor for safe cleaning. Keep the locking mechanisms in good condition by applying light oil.

How to clean tilt and turn windows

Cleaning tilt and turn windows is very simple as you can do this without having to go outside. Before you start, close the window and turn the handle past the closed position another 180 degrees to the upright position. The window will now hinge so you can clean it from the inside. Only use this window position for cleaning and not for ventilation. Keep all strikers and locking points running smoothly by regularly lubricating them with light oil.

How to maintain uPVC windows – drainage 

If you find water in the bottom of your window frame after heavy rain do not panic! This is completely normal and the water will either evaporate or disappear through the drainage holes in the base.

How to maintain uPVC windows – condensation

Condensation on windows is caused when moisture in the air collides with a differing temperature on the glass. To prevent it, reduce the moisture in the air by: 

  1. Opting for double glazed windows
  2. Opening windows even if it’s just for half an hour a day 
  3. Fitting an extractor or ventilation fan 
  4. Investing in a dehumidifier 
  5. Drying washing outside, or in a well-ventilated room inside

Find out more about preventing condensation on windows here

How to maintain window hinges 

Don’t forget the hinges when it comes to maintaining your windows. By cleaning the mechanism and tracks you’ll keep them dirt-free and moving easily. Regularly lubricate metal parts with light oil, and if you need to increase the friction turn the turning screw clockwise, and anticlockwise to decrease. Some egress hinges allow you to slide the vent sideways for external cleaning from the inside. 

Keep your room ventilated 

If your windows have a trickle ventilation unit at the top of the frame you can open and close this to control ventilation and help reduce condensation. 

How we can help

We’ve been providing quality windows for over 40 years and are here to assist if you’re looking to replace yours. Our A-rated windows are accredited by the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) for their energy efficiency and are available in a wide range of colours and styles. We offer a 10 year guarantee on all the products manufactured at our site in Bristol and installed by us, to give you complete peace of mind. 

If you need any help or advice, then please get in touch

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