With the rising cost of energy and soaring concerns about the impact of fossil fuels on the environment, keeping your building’s windows in optimum condition is an important way to reduce consumption of electricity and gas for your residents. However, when you’re trying to balance your social housing building maintenance budget, it can be a tricky decision whether window repairs or replacement is the best solution to fuel inefficiencies in the buildings under your care.
In this short guide, we address some of the main window maintenance considerations you should give thought to, to ensure you get best value and service from your building’s windows.
How Often Should Windows Be Replaced?
Typically, double glazed windows in social housing need to be replaced every 20 to 30 years, although the lifespan of an individual window depends on its quality and how often it is used, and if the windows receive regular maintenance. Regular maintenance can extend the life of windows by 10 years or more.
Often a broken part does not mean that a window requires replacement, rather that routine maintenance is needed, is a problem with the hardware, such as a broken lock, hinge, handle, vent or balances can often be replaced. Over time windows can move out of alignment which can affect the operation of the window and prevent a tight seal from being achieved when closed (or it may be difficult to open the window at all). Adjustment of the windows is often possible to bring it back into alignment and with lubrication should be fine for at least another 12 months.
Condensation is one of the most common problems that affects the performance of double glazing. The biggest issue with condensation is when it forms between the two panes of glass; this shows that your double glazing has failed, and it will not be keeping your home as warm as it should so will need to be replaced. But in many cases it is just the Double Glazed unit that needs to be replaced and not the full window.
Some signs that a window needs replacement include:
- If window frames have become warped or discoloured.
- If glazing is thinner than later versions and the energy performance rating is poor.
- Water leaks around the frame, chips, holes and scratches in the frame or casement.
- If the window hasn’t been installed properly in the first place.
When Is The Best Time To Replace a Window?
Window repair and maintenance can take place at any time of year, but it’s best to act quickly when a problem becomes apparent to prevent long-term problems from developing.
However, replacing windows as part of a facilities maintenance schedule during the spring and summer months offers important advantages. Firstly, new units will help to reduce spending on energy once the colder weather arrives in the autumn, and it will be easier to maintain a steady room temperature as heat will not constantly escape through the degraded window.
Secondly, summer delivers longer daylight hours and calmer weather, so window and door contractors can complete the project over fewer days, thereby reducing your installation costs.
How Can a Trouble-Free Installation Be Achieved?
The key to well-fitted windows is to plan and prepare effectively. Measuring accurately is crucial, as a window that has been correctly measured will be easier to install and will deliver the best performance. Mismeasured windows aren’t the end of the world, as adjustments can be made to ensure they fit, but large gaps may remain that require sealing, risking the infiltration of water or air.
Also, planning for the quality of the interior and exterior finish will also help to ensure that window replacement progresses smoothly, and that excellent long-term performance is achieved. Working with an experienced and professional door and window maintenance company can make the difference between a successful project and an unsuccessful one.
Contact Mila Maintenance For All Your Window and Door Replacement Needs
To find out more about our expert window and door replacement services, please get in touch today.