Caring for Your Windows in the Winter
The cold weather has well and truly arrived. As we turn up our central heating and light our fires to stay warm, this can have an impact on our windows.
As technology improves, so does the quality of our windows. That said, windows still require upkeep so they can continue to provide the best performance for years to come. The experts at Sheerwater Glass have shared their tips and advice for keeping your window at their best.
There is sometimes a belief that window condensation is a sign of poor design and inefficiency, however, this is generally not the case.
Think about what happens when you take a cold can out of the fridge and place it in a warm room, or you fill up a room temperature glass with an ice cold drink. When left for a period of time, these cold drinks will pull moisture from the warmer air and settle on the outside of the glass or can. The same process happens with window condensation.
External condensation in winter is a sign that your windows are doing their job of trapping the cold outside and keeping your home warm. “Condensation on the OUTSIDE of windows is normal at this time of year,” says Mark McClugage, Director at Sheerwater Glass. As explained in this helpful blog by Pilkington, condensation on external surfaces has become more common as the energy efficiency of windows has improved over recent years.
There is no need to be concerned about external condensation, and this is something that will dissipate as the temperature outside increases or when sunlight hits the windows.
Internal condensation can sometimes occur as a result of reduced ventilation – something we mostly experience in the winter months. As temperatures drop outside, we tend not to open windows and doors as often, in an attempt to keep our homes warm.
However, letting some fresh air into a space can help to reduce this problem. “Allow a little ventilation into the room by putting the windows onto night vent” explains Claire, who works in the windows department at Sheerwater Glass.
A night vent is a locking system that allows you to increase the amount of air flowing through your window while keeping it closed and secure. To find out more about keeping your windows safe, check out our Summer Security blog for helpful advice.
Bathroom and Kitchen fans can help to minimise excess moisture that may not be able to escape your windows or doors easily. Running these during cooking or showering, and for about 20 minutes afterwards, is usually advised.
General Window Care
The glass on a window is not the only thing that needs attention during winter. Handles, locks and joints can sometimes seize up in the cold, but there is a solution. “Lubricate locks, hinges and any other moving parts,” suggests Gordon, Director at Sheerwater Glass. Cleaning and lubricating your window hardware can help improve operation and reduce the locking of window joints.
Damaged windows with air gaps or broken joints/hinges can be troublesome during winter. If you suspect your window may have air gaps that are allowing cold air into your home, there is a well known trick to help identify them. Hold a lit candle a safe distance from your window frame and run it slowly along the joins between the glass and the frame. If the candle starts to flicker, this could be a sign that there is air escaping in through your window.
If you suspect this may be the case, simply contact our team for advice. We offer a range of window repair services to help repair and maintain windows without the need to replace them. Should a replacement be required, we will then suggest the most suitable options.
In instances where condensation is building up between the panes of glass, double glazing repair or replacement may be required. Our teams will always work to ensure that windows are thoroughly inspected and never replaced glazing or units unnecessarily.
If you suspect your window or door may require repairs, or if you’d like advice regarding window care then contact our team, who will be happy to advise.