Owners of commercial properties are expected to keep their windows and doors in a safe, secure, and operational condition. However, exposed to heavy use throughout their lifespan, problems can occur – particularly if they are not professionally serviced regularly. A programme of regular maintenance will keep your windows and doors in optimum condition for an extended lifespan of between 20 and 30 years, and help you identify and remedy faults at an early stage.
In this guide for businesses and commercial landlords, we explain the benefits of window and door maintenance for commercial properties, how this relates to fire safety, and how your assets can be serviced to protect against premature failure.
The Benefits of Commercial Window and Door Maintenance
1) Lower Lifetime Cost of Ownership
Regular service and maintenance can avoid unnecessary expenditure by identifying and remedying problems as they emerge, thereby saving you money in the long run. High-quality doors and windows are an expensive investment, so it makes sense to maximise their operational life. Minor faults can be addressed, and components can be replaced individually according to need. Investing in small-scale proactive repairs and maintenance reduces your total cost of ownership by extending the life of each asset (and individual component) and avoiding the need for premature replacement.
2) Improved Safety for End-Users
Windows and doors must offer exceptional strength and safety for employees and members of the public – sudden failure could be catastrophic in some circumstances. Regular maintenance will ensure that all components are correctly installed, undamaged, and safe, mitigating any risks and protecting all those who use the premises.
3) Enhanced Security
Commercial buildings depend on robust security. Filled with expensive and desirable equipment, they can become a magnet for criminals, with a recent survey of UK police forces revealing over 103,000 burglaries of commercial properties in a single year. Doors and windows are the most obvious entry point to any building and, if poorly maintained, the chance of a successful break-in is magnified. Regular maintenance ensures that security flaws are identified promptly so corrective action can be taken, securing your building and protecting vital assets.
4) Improved Brand Image
The adage may be to never judge a book by its cover; in reality, however, customers will often judge a business by the condition of its premises. Windows and doors that are tired or broken portray your business in a negative light, leading customers to wonder what else may be neglected. Regular maintenance can create the right impression from the moment a customer arrives on your premises, so you don’t lose sales before they even step through the door.
5) Fast and Efficient Repairs
No window and door maintenance service is beneficial if the wait for repairs is long, during which further damage in this time could occur, your property could be at risk of burglary, or wind and rain can infiltrate the building. By working with Mila Maintenance, you can be assured of a prompt and responsive service, so any problems will be quickly rectified.
Why is Window and Door Maintenance Important for Fire Safety?
The Fire Safety Act (2021) and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Orders 2005 place specific obligations on property owners and premises managers to ensure that people and assets are protected by effective measures. Failure to observe these could lead to enforcement action by Fire and Rescue Services, or prosecution through the courts.
A designated Responsible Person should conduct regular fire risk assessments and maintain an active fire management plan. Because windows and doors play a vital role in creating a safe working environment, it makes sense to include their service and maintenance in the fire management plan to reduce the risk of a widespread fire.
There are three areas upon which Property Owners, Premises Managers, or the designated Responsible Person should focus:
1) Fire Doors
Successful fire control depends on up-to-date and resilient fire doors. Resistance to smoke, heat, and flames depends on your fire doors being in optimum condition and manufactured to a certified standard. In cases where substandard fire doors have been installed, the consequences have often been catastrophic, as in the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster.
2) Emergency Exits
In commercial buildings, it is vital that occupants can escape quickly when a fire breaks out. Smoke can be disorientating, especially when people are in a state of panic and power outages have disrupted lighting. A fully functioning emergency exit door is the lifeline that occupants need in an emergency, as it allows them to evacuate the building quickly before the fire takes hold.
Regular maintenance of fire exit doors will prevent problems from occurring when they are most needed, while protecting your business from prosecution if they are found to be inoperable or faulty.
3) Escape Windows
All buildings are required by law to have escape windows to provide people with an easy way to evacuate should emergency exit routes become blocked or impassable. Escape windows must conform to certain specifications, such as the size of the opening, and must be correctly functioning.
It is far from ideal if problems with escape windows only emerge at the point of evacuation. Regular maintenance will ensure that windows are compliant with current regulations and in proper working order so, in the worst-case scenario, you can be confident that occupants of the building will have additional means of escape.
What Are The Main Parts of Your Windows and How Can They Be Maintained?
Poorly performing windows pose many operational and health and safety challenges that can be easily overcome with high-quality professional maintenance.
In each window there are common components that need to be serviced and maintained in an appropriate way, which is why working with a professional commercial window installer, such as Mila Maintenance, is the best way to achieve reliable results.
Modern uPVC, hardwood, or aluminium window frames offer excellent longevity and durability, even when exposed to the changing climatic conditions the UK is experiencing. Due to their robustness, most window frames will continue to meet the original manufacturing specifications long after installation.
Retaining them will also save vast amounts of raw materials, reduce the impact on the environment, and avoid the cost of erecting scaffolding on taller buildings as refurbishments can be carried out from inside.
Seals and Gaskets
Over time, seals, and gaskets – which are essential for resisting draughts, leaks, and noise pollution – will lose their elasticity. This can affect the quality of life and work for occupants in commercial buildings as well as causing further degradation of sealed glass units.
Seals and gaskets can be quickly and easily changed by a qualified maintenance expert, without damage to the window frames. Removing the windows is also unnecessary, so the work can be carried out with minimal disruption to daily life.
Window hardware, such as locks, may corrode after a decade, making it harder to open or close the window securely. This can put undue pressure on other components within the window unit, such as seals and gaskets, which may be unable to function properly or even fail prematurely. Safety or security risks are also possible if the window cannot be locked properly.
At Mila Maintenance, we will:
✓ Check all hardware components to ensure they are operational.
✓ Replace worn parts with high-quality components.
✓ Lubricate all moving parts.
✓ Ensure locking mechanisms are secure.
Windows do not need to be removed off site for maintenance work on hardware, reducing inconvenience and allowing a faster turnaround on repairs.
Safety restrictors are a recent invention so, if your commercial windows were installed before 2010, they may not have been fitted. These devices, which are easily installed without removing any part of an existing unit, limit how far a window can open, thereby preventing an accidental fall from height.
Restrictors are particularly suitable for commercial settings such as:
- High-rise offices
- Shopping centres
- Shops above ground level
- Leisure centres
- Conference/business event facilities
In an emergency, the restrictor can be easily deactivated by hand to allow the window to open fully, for example to facilitate a rescue from an upper floor. Without restrictors, any fall from height could result in prosecution of the business under Health and Safety Law and severe reputation damage. By installing safety restrictors, you can improve the safety of your property and prevent avoidable injuries and deaths to occupants.
Glass technology has improved rapidly in recent years, so many sealed units no longer offer the high levels of performance that they did at the time of installation. Failed seals are a common problem which allows moisture to accumulate within the double glazed unit. Thermal efficiency is also likely to be far below modern standards.
At Mila Maintenance, we can replace your sealed units without having to update the window frame. All work is completed internally, so there is no need for external scaffolding or platforms which causes a rise in cost and inconvenience.
By upgrading your windows’ sealed units, you will benefit from:
✓ Better thermal insulation, keeping rooms cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
✓ Lower energy bills, as less heat can escape during cold weather.
✓ Enhanced soundproofing for more pleasant and conducive working conditions.
Older ventilators have been overtaken by more advanced models that offer improved thermal and acoustic performance. Without sufficient airflow around rooms, damp can build-up which can cause poor working conditions and health problems.
Replacing ventilators is a cost-effective and straightforward task. Disruption is minimal as windows do not have to be removed. Modern ventilators improve airflow in addition to thermal and acoustic enhancements.
How Mila Maintenance Can Help
Mila Maintenance offers comprehensive safety risk assessments to ensure that your commercial windows and doors are safe and compliant and provide cost-effective ongoing maintenance to keep them in excellent operational condition. As certified window and door maintenance contractors, we have extensive experience of supporting businesses and commercial landlords, and pride ourselves in delivering a thorough service to ensure your building’s occupants and assets are safe.
Contact Us Today
If you would like to ensure your commercial windows and doors are legal, compliant, and durable, please contact Mila Maintenance today on 0808 100 8881 or send us a message and one of our friendly team members will respond.