UPVC, or Un-Plasticized Polyvinyl Chloride windows look great and have a stronger structure than traditional windows. But although they’re long-lasting, weatherproof and don’t need repainting, they should be checked and cleaned regularly.
Most people wouldn’t dream about not servicing a car, and your windows are the same. In this article, Dakota Murphey shares some useful tips to help you look after your UPVC windows.
It’s a good idea to check your windows at least two or three times a year to make sure there are no problems. Start by examining the hinges and locks and, if necessary, apply some lubricant such as WD-40. This will keep the locks and hinges moving easily and stop them from stiffening up.
If you don’t have the time, or if your windows are too high up to access safely, it may be best to hire a professional maintenance company like MC Property Maintenance to carry out the inspection and do the cleaning for you.
To avoid any future maintenance problems, you should clean the window frames regularly. Get rid of any debris, dust and dirt, as well as any dead insects, leaves etc., by using a soft cloth or a feather duster, or a combination of the two. It’s a good idea to clean your window frames at least twice a year – the more you do it, the easier the job will be each time. First, open the windows and with an old paint brush, loosen the dirt and dust and cobwebs, then use the suction hose of your vacuum cleaner to clear any debris away.
Now, mix some washing-up liquid in a bowl of warm water and with a soft white cloth wipe down the window frames, especially round the edges where the window rests inside the outer frame. It’s not a good idea to use a coloured cloth because sometimes the colour can run and come off on the white plastic of the window.
Also, avoid using any harsh chemical cleaners or abrasive sponges, cloths, and creams. DO NOT use abrasive materials like scouring pads and ammonia-based cleaners, because these can damage the UPVC material. Solvent cleaners can be purchased from most home improvement stores.
If the dirt is particularly stubborn, try a top-grade solvent PVC cleaner, which can usually be purchased from your local hardware shop, but be careful not to use it on the silicone seals as these may become damaged and lift off the surface.
Ideally, you should clean the glass every month or so. It’s not a good idea to clean your windows in direct sunlight as you might find you end up with a streaky finish. You should first give the glass a good rub down with a damp cloth to remove excess dust and dirt. Once this is done, you’re ready to begin, you have two options of cleaning, one that employs a traditional glass cleaner, and the other the increasingly popular specialist cloths known as e-cloths.
If you prefer to use a glass cleaner, look for one that is non-smear and apply it directly to the glass with a good quality cloth that won’t leave any fibres behind, working the cleaning liquid into all the corners of the window. Now take a clean, dry micro-fibre cloth and carefully polish the glass so it shines like new. If you want to make up your own cleaning liquid. There are several formulations on the Internet, but just be careful not to use anything harsh which might damage the UPVC.
E-cloths are great if you want to avoid using any cleaning products – for glass, e-cloths come in a pack of two, one for cleaning and the other for giving a perfect shine.
After a heavy rain shower, you might find water pooling in the bottom of the window frames. Normally, the water should just drain away through the drainage holes in the base of the frames but it’s a good idea to check that nothing is blocking these holes.
If the locks of the windows become stiff, spray them with WD40 as this helps to keep them operating smoothly.
Clean and lightly oil the moving parts.
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