Managing Window Safety And Ventilation In High-Rise Properties

Managing a high-rise building, whether it’s a residential block, student accommodation, or part of a housing association, comes with its unique set of challenges. Among these, maintaining the integrity and functionality of windows is not only essential for the comfort and safety of occupants but also critical for the building’s overall well-being.

If you’re facing window issues that seem beyond the reach of your current maintenance team or contractors, it’s crucial to understand you’re not alone. This article aims to shed light on the common challenges associated with high-rise window repairs, the importance of specialised expertise in tackling these issues, and how Mila Maintenance can be your go-to specialist for these complex tasks.

The Challenges of High-Rise Window Maintenance

High-rise buildings, by their very nature, present a unique set of challenges when it comes to window maintenance. Accessibility, safety, and the technical complexities of modern window systems can turn a seemingly straightforward repair into a daunting task. Issues such as sealant degradation, mechanical failures, and wear and tear from exposure to the elements are common. These problems not only compromise the window’s functionality but can also impact the building’s energy efficiency and the occupants’ comfort and safety.

The Risks of Inadequate Window Maintenance

Neglecting window maintenance in high-rise buildings can lead to serious consequences. Faulty windows can pose a risk to safety, particularly in terms of falling glass or failing frames. Furthermore, poor ventilation and insulation can result from compromised windows, affecting the health and well-being of residents by promoting damp and mould growth, and leading to increased energy bills due to heat loss.

With any window lack of maintenance will invariably lead to parts failing in the future.  If windows move out of alignment or stiffen due to lack of lubrication residents need to use more force to operate them.  This extra force further pushes the window out of alignment.  So the resident must use even more force.  A negative circle of events until a part breaks and needs replacing.  This may take place over a number of years.  At the early stages the window could have been adjusted back to tolerance, the window lubricated and the problem solved.

The Critical Risk of Falls from Windows

One of the most harrowing risks associated with inadequate window maintenance in high-rise buildings is the potential for falls. Tragic incidents, such as those highlighted in recent reports, underscore the dire consequences of neglecting window safety. In one case, a family has been driven to advocate for improved window safety measures following the loss of a loved one, who tragically fell from a high-rise window. Another distressing event involved a toddler found injured after a suspected fall from a high-rise building window.

These incidents serve as a stark reminder of the critical need for secure, well-maintained windows in preventing such devastating outcomes. It’s not just about maintaining the building’s aesthetic or functional integrity; it’s about safeguarding the lives of those within.

Risk of falling Windows

Faulty windows can pose a significant risk, particularly in terms of falling glass or failing frames. Real-life incidents underscore the gravity of these risks; for example, a tragic event occurred when a man was fatally injured by glass falling from a high-rise building in London, as reported by The Independent and Evening Standard. Such incidents starkly highlight the potential for harm that inadequately maintained windows can cause, not just to building occupants but to passersby as well.

The Vital Role of Ventilation and Safe Window Operations

Effective ventilation is paramount in high-rise buildings to ensure the health and well-being of occupants. Windows play a crucial role in this process, allowing the free flow of fresh air into properties. However, without proper ventilation, condensation can accumulate, and mould can grow, especially around window frames and in hidden corners behind furniture. Mould is not only unsightly but also releases allergens and toxic substances that can cause health issues such as watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, rashes, and exacerbate respiratory conditions like asthma.

Yet, the operation of windows in high-rise buildings presents its own set of challenges. Given their exposure to the elements, windows can be subject to gusts of wind, making open window sashes a potential hazard. Tilt and turn windows, for example, can become extremely dangerous if left in the fully open position; a gust can cause the sash to blow open quickly, posing a danger to people inside and often leading to hinge damage. To mitigate these risks, it is recommended that windows in high-rise buildings are restricted to no more than 100mm opening. This precaution reduces the risk of windows fully opening unexpectedly and minimizes the chance of falls from open windows.


Speak to Mila if you have any issues with High-Rise window repairs that you manage.  Mila are the experts for this kind of project.  We have over 30 years experience and access to the best window supply chain in the market.  Our engineers are fully training for working at height, harness working and protecting residents when carrying out repairs.  Our simple model is called SAFEKEEP.

Survey (S): Detailed Checks with Tailored Reporting

Our engineers conduct meticulous checks on your windows and doors.  Firstly for correct operation. Then for compliance with health and safety regulations.  Thirdly, signs of water and air ingress. We also consider any additional factors requested by our clients to furnish landlords with a detailed report. Not only does this report spotlight areas that need fixing. It also serves as a tangible audit trail, showcasing safety precautions undertaken. Finally, the report proposes potential enhancements for the windows.

Adjust (A): Preventing Small Issues from Becoming Major Ones

The emphasis here is on proactive care. Windows require continual small adjustments to windows and regular lubrication.  This prevents minor issues from spiraling into bigger, costlier problems. Guarding against more significant repairs and, worst case, complete window replacements.

Fix (F): Swift and Uncomplicated Solutions

Our approach to fixing is straightforward and effective. Once a problem is identified, our team ensures it’s repaired efficiently.  We prioritise the safety and functionality of the windows and doors to uphold the comfort and security of our residents.

Enhance (E): Advancing Beyond the Basic Functions

Enhancements go beyond mere fixes. It could involve elevating ventilation to combat issues like mould or damp. Or escalating the energy efficiency of windows. Or upgrading security features. In every enhancement action, the objective is to boost the existing functionality. Enhancements may also prolong the lifespan of your installations.

KEEP: Keep your Windows and Residents SAFE

By engaging in long-term contracts, landlords can spread repair costs over an extended period. They gain preferential access to Mila’s responsive repair services. The ‘KEEP’ phase protects your window and door investment.  It is the scheduled programme of future safety audits.  This provides a steadfast availability of a repairs service when it’s needed.  It’s how you KEEP your resident’s windows operational over the long-term with all safety measures functional.  It’s how you prevent small problems becoming large expensive ones.

Learn more about how SAFEKEEP can benefit your properties. Contact Mila today to request our High Level Window Maintenance Brochure

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