How to maintain your steel windows
Steel windows are very low maintenance. They are not prone to cracks or bowing and, as long as you select windows from a reputable manufacturer that have been properly hot dip galvanised, and coated with a strong polyester powder paint, they will not rust. Steel is one of the strongest and most durable materials available for window frames which, when correctly designed and constructed, can provide longevity for years to come.
At Clement Windows, we recommend that you make yourself aware of some basic maintenance techniques to ensure you get the most from your steel windows. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the key maintenance tips to consider when caring for your steel windows.
Keep your steel windows clean
This may sound as if we are stating the obvious, but we cannot emphasise how vital it is to keep your steel windows clean!
It’s important to note the differences between cleaning the glass window surface, a polyester powder paint finish or bronze, brass and lacquered fittings. As with anything, the cleanliness and durability will vary depending on your geographical location and surrounding environment (i.e. industrial areas, air pollution), prevailing wind conditions, or how well your home is protected by other buildings.
- When cleaning the glass windows, you should use around a thimbleful of mild detergent to five litres of warm water to wipe down any soiled areas, before rinsing well with clean water and drying off carefully. Do not use any materials with an abrasive surface, as this may cause damage to the surface of the glass.
- Similarly, for polyester paint finishes, using a solution of mild detergent and warm water should be all you need to keep your window exterior clean. Where your windows may be particularly heavily soiled, you can overcome this with commercially available cleansing liquid. Please note that nothing harsher than a mild diluted white spirit should be used for cleaning and under no circumstances should abrasive cleaners or materials be used.
- If you have dark bronze or dull chrome fittings on your window, you can keep these clean by regularly wiping over them with soapy water. Every six months should be often enough to maintain your fittings.
- Brass polished and lacquered fittings require more attention in that they should be polished with a good quality wax polish every two weeks or so. Your lacquer-coated fittings will fade over time, but this will not affect the usability of your windows.
Ensure moving parts of the window are well oiled
You should aim to lubricate any moving parts of your steel windows, such as the handles, peg stays, hinges and bolt locks, using a light oil. We recommend doing this a minimum of every six months, although this may need to be carried out more frequently depending on the conditions of your surrounding environment.
Peg stays (the part of your steel window that allows the window to be kept open at a pre-defined distance) should always be located on the stay pin when the window is open to prevent unnecessary movement of the casement or damage to the window.
The surface paint of your hinges may begin to flake or peel over time due to the movement of the hinge. As with traditional brush applied paint, the polyester powder may begin to flake, but this will not be detrimental to your window. It is thoroughly recommended to keep the hinges well oiled.
Keep vents and drainage holes clear
You should check any drainage holes and slots regularly, particularly during spells of bad weather, to ensure they are clear.
Ventilation areas must not be covered or blocked up under any circumstances, otherwise this may lead to condensation and mould or cause damage to the window frame which cannot be resolved under your warranty.
Maintain silicone, mastics and putties
If your windows use tape or silicone sealants, you should check these for any splits forming lengthways between the compound and glass or frame. This usually signals a need to replace the sealant with the same product. You may find that silicone and mastic will discolour over time, but this is nothing to worry about as it does not affect the performance of your windows. Under no circumstances should these sealants be painted.
Deal with any condensation and mould
The best way to deal with condensation is to prevent it from building up in the first place. If your windows are frequently affected by condensation, which can be very common in particular types of building, it’s important to ensure they are regularly wiped down. If possible, keeping rooms well heated or ventilated can help to reduce condensation.
Some buildings that may not have good heat distribution systems will experience dew forming on window exteriors. Again, the best way to avoid a build-up is to ensure regular cleaning of the exterior glass.
We can provide you with a GGF Condensation leaflet for advice if your home or building is frequently affected by condensation. You can get in touch with us here.
A build-up of condensation can lead to the growth of mould on the silicone or painter’s mate surrounding the glass or frame. It may be possible to remove the affected material and replace it, but we cannot accept any liability where mould occurs; therefore, we always recommend sticking to your maintenance routine and, if you find your windows are affected by condensation build-ups, adjust your routine to ensure your windows are checked more frequently.
Carry out regular recorded checks
Ultimately, the key to maintaining your steel windows is through regular checks. For windows within your everyday home environment, we recommend cleaning and checking them every six months.
For every check you carry out, keep a written record of maintenance and cleaning, because this will assist in the event of a warranty claim.
If you have any questions regarding the maintenance of your steel windows, or would like a copy of our Operating & Maintenance Manual, please contact the office and a member of the team will be happy to help.