uPVC Doors & Windows Maintenance – A Complete Guide
In recent years, uPVC has become one of the most popular materials used in modern doors and windows. After all, doors and windows made out of uPVC are tough, durable, and most importantly, non-toxic. They also add to the visual appearance of your property. Even though uPVC is known for its versatility, much like other materials, it is also susceptible to expansion.
Before we get into what causes uPVC to expand and how we can prevent uPVC doors and windows from expanding, let us get to know a little about uPVC –
What is uPVC?
uPVC is an abbreviation for Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride. It is a form of plastic that is hard and inflexible; which is why it is also popularly known as rigid PVC. Its rigidity is what makes it apt for construction purposes.
Why Does uPVC Expand?
uPVC is a sturdy material and known to withstand wind and rain, but it suffers from heat expansion like all plastics. When exposed to extreme heat, uPVC expands that is why, you may notice that during hot weather, your uPVC doors and windows become a little stiff and are not opening and closing properly. Scientific reports suggest that uPVC frames can expand by up to 2.4cm at 40°C. However, as the temperature cools, you will find that your uPVC doors and windows go back to their original condition without retaining any permanent damage.
How to Prevent uPVC from Expanding?
The expanding or swelling up is uPVC’s natural reaction to heat, so it is nothing to be concerned about. It won’t cause your uPVC windows or doors to break. But it can cause temporary difficulty with opening and closing your doors and windows. This can be a cause of discomfort for some homeowners. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that you can do but wait till the plastic cools down and retracts. If you can’t wait for the uPVC to retract by itself then there are a few small tips that can help you reduce the expansion:
#01 Spray Cold Water
You can cool your uPVC doors and windows down by spraying the outside and the frame with cold water. You can also try to pat the frame down with a cold, damp cloth. By applying cold water, the uPVC will cool down, and it will start to retract quicker.
#02 Adjust the Hinges
Another quick way to make sure that your uPVC door and window close properly is by adjusting the hinges. uPVC doors and windows have easy hinges that can be adjusted in case of heat expansion. By adjusting them, it will become easier for you to open and close. However, this is only a quick fix, as once the uPVC door or window cools down, it will again go back to its normal form.
#03 Remove Dirt and Debris
You should make sure that you get rid of any dirt or debris that builds up or gets stuck in the alcoves and gaps of the window frame. No matter what type of window, you should clean them properly, preferably with a soft brush to reduce the chances of scratches or damage. To avoid condensation from building up on the glass panes, you should also clear the debris from the drainage slots between the external sill and the bottom of the window.
#04 Clean using Warm Soapy Water
When you are carrying out your routine cleaning, make sure to wipe your uPVC doors and windows with warm soapy water. This is because uPVC is sensitive material, and it doesn’t gel well with many cleaning solvents and cream cleaners. Products like solvents, cream cleaners, bleach, etc. are abrasive and can end up damaging the glossy finish and the surface of your uPVC doors and windows. Even after cleaning, if the doors and the windows are still dirty and are covered with smears or stubborn marks then you can use a uPVC cleaner. Before using a cleaning agent, it is always better to check with the manufacturers’ recommendations.
#05 Use a Wipe
Routine cleaning of uPVC doors and windows is vital; but, it is also crucial to pay attention to what you are using to clean them with. The cloth or wipe that you decide to use must be soft and smooth. Do not put excessive pressure on the doors and windows, and try to be as gentle as possible while cleaning. Refrain from using newspapers or scouring pads to clean your uPVC doors and windows as they can scratch the surface and leave marks.
#05 Clean the External and the Internal Glass
To make sure that your uPVC doors and windows are in their best shape, make sure to clean the internal and external glass. Spray glass-cleaner liquid and then wipe the internal glass with a clean cloth until the glass-cleaner liquid has been completely wiped off then buff the glass until dry and polished perfectly. Do the same for the external glass as well.
#06 Keep a Check on Your Blinds
If you are thinking about installing or have installed blinds or curtains then make sure to leave at least a 15mm space between the window and the blinds. This will provide airflow; otherwise, there is a chance of mildew or mold build-up.
#07 Regular Check-up
One of the important things that you can do to take proper care of uPVC doors and windows is to check their condition at times. The locking points and hinges of the uPVC doors must be checked from time to time so that you can make sure that they haven’t become stiff. If you find them stiff, then they should be lubricated. You should also ensure that the metal segments pivot; essentially all moving parts of your uPVC doors and windows are greased twice a year. Regular removal of dirt and occasional lubrication of hardware can ensure that your uPVC doors and windows continue working properly for a long time.
When to revamp or replace your uPVC windows?
Can’t figure out if you need to revamp or replace your uPVC windows? Be on the lookout for these signs to increase their lifespan and ensure that you get the most out of your uPVC doors and windows.
Are your gorgeous wooden floors starting to look patchy and discolored? The problem is not with the flooring but your old uPVC windows. Over time, your uPVC doors and windows may start to lose their UV-resistant properties, leading to fading of curtains, carpets, floor, and other furniture. You can either revamp your uPVC windows with an extra low-E coating or opt for a replacement for maximum utility to avoid such issues. You can even use restoring products to revive the shine of your sun-damaged uPVC windows.
Falling Safety Standards
uPVC doors and windows are often equipped with double or triple glazed panes and galvanized steel frame reinforcements to ensure maximum protection for you and your family. Certain windows are manufactured with an anti-crowbar feature and internal glazing to prevent burglars from breaking in by removing the glass from the outside. They are also designed to be fire-resistant to prevent mishaps during a fire hazard.
However, worn-out uPVC doors and windows struggle to keep up with these safety standards. They may not lock as well or may get stuck, resulting in reduced safety. Moreover, double-glazed uPVC windows can start getting fogged or misted, further reducing their strength and performance. In such cases, revamping your windows would involve simply replacing the glass panes instead of the entire window.
Apart from their unique functional properties, uPVC doors and windows have emerged as the preferred choice due to their aesthetic appeal. Their sleek and minimal designs can transform the look and feel of your space. An elegant uPVC sliding door or a classic uPVC casement window at the entrance can set the premise for a lavish and sophisticated space. uPVC doors and windows go through constant wear and tear to keep your space looking classy at all times. This can cause them to deteriorate and lose their appeal over the years.
They may be low maintenance but cleaning them regularly can significantly improve their lifespan. While cleaning them, opt for high-grade glass cleaners and steer away from abrasive cleaning cloths as they can remove the glossy coat and do more harm than good. You can even revamp your worn-out uPVC doors and windows by painting them in a new color. Add a pop of color to instantly brighten up a room and liven up your space’s interiors as well as exteriors.
Rising Energy Bills
Another reason for the growing popularity of uPVC doors and windows is their energy efficiency. They are equipped with remarkable thermal insulation features to regulate indoor temperature for an ideal environment. They trap the warm air indoors during the winter season and prevent the heat from entering your space during sweltering summers. Certain glass manufacturers design uPVC doors and windows with multi-chambered panes to minimize heat loss and also install frames with a double sealing and EPDM gasket to seal the area between the window glass and the body.
However, if your old uPVC windows are cracked, chipped, or dented; they may not be able to function as efficiently as before. You will have to deal with expensive utility bills as they lose their energy efficiency and cannot provide thermal insulation. You may even spot dust and dirt slipping through the cracks and spoiling your home. Moreover, your windows become susceptible to breakage as they cannot handle the harsh weather and impact anymore. In such situations, it is best to replace your uPVC doors and windows.
Why Opt for uPVC Doors and Windows?
Even though uPVC doors and windows tend to expand, they are still a popular choice among designers and homeowners. Extreme durability and robustness are some of the many reasons for the widespread popularity of uPVC doors and windows. With a long life expectancy of about 40 years, uPVC windows can withstand harsh weather conditions such as heat, cold, wind, rain, sleet, and snow. They are also equipped with UV, chemical, saltwater, high-impact, moisture, and infestation resistant properties to keep your space looking immaculate at all times. Also, apart from being durable and tough — uPVC requires very little maintenance. It doesn’t rot, flake, peel or corrode. All it requires is a wipe down with a household cleaner when it’s dirty. It is also dust-proof, termite-proof, and moisture resistant. Another major advantage of installing uPVC doors and windows is the thermal insulation that uPVC provides.
Besides offering stylish aesthetics and impeccable functionality, uPVC doors and windows are also crucial for maintaining the structural integrity of your space. Hence, it is vital to restore your uPVC doors and windows to their pristine position by revamping them from time to time. Unfortunately, in some cases, they may be well beyond repair and rejuvenation. In such cases, replacement may be the only option.
uPVC frames paired with Low-E glass can provide excellent heat insulation and can keep your home warmer during winter and cooler during summer, thereby reducing your usage of artificial heating and cooling systems, helping you save significantly on energy bills. uPVC is also intrinsically a non-toxic material, making it an eco-friendly option. uPVC doors and windows also provide insulation against outside noise. They are usually equipped with multi-point locking systems, providing a high level of security to your property. Moreover, uPVC doors and windows have galvanized steel reinforcements, making a break-through nearly impossible.
When it comes to choosing the material you want to use for your door and windows, it all boils down to your personal choice.
If you are looking for experts to help you with top-quality uPVC doors and windows solutions, then AIS Windows is your one-stop source. We at AIS Windows provide cutting-edge windows and doors solutions for residential and commercial purposes. We offer a variety of innovative and elegant uPVC doors and windows designs. Not only this, but with us, you can also get our designs customized to match your style, theme, and preference. Our experts will give you 360-degree support, right from the stage of product selection up until installation, even after-sales support.
So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today!