uPVC continues to hold its position as one of the most popular materials for windows and it’s not difficult to see why. Replacement windows made from uPVC are the most cost-effective option and offer excellent insulation and security. They are also very durable and weatherproof as water cannot penetrate them. uPVC windows are also very low maintenance and unlike wood windows, they will never need painting or varnishing. However, no windows are entirely maintenance-free! White uPVC can easily become grimy and needs regular cleaning to keep it looking good while a little attention to the latches, locks and hinges will help to avoid unnecessary window repairs. Read on to discover our top maintenance tips.
Maintenance tips for uPVC windows
Cleaning the glass
The window glass will probably need cleaning every 6 - 12 weeks, depending on the location and the weather. Choose a dull day as it’s hard to avoid streaks when cleaning windows in direct sunlight. Start by wiping away excess dirt with a damp cloth and then spray on a proprietary glass cleaner, working it into the corners with a soft cloth. Then use a clean, dry cloth for a final polish.
Alternatively, you can use E-cloths to clean the glass. These usually come in sets of two: dampen the first one with warm water and use it to clean the glass, then use the second, dry cloth to polish it to a gleaming, streak-free finish.
Cleaning uPVC window frames
uPVC frames are easy to clean but there are a few points to bear in mind to keep them looking their best. It’s best to clean them twice a year so that mould doesn’t get a chance to grow and dirt doesn’t build up too much. Start by opening the windows and brushing away any dirt that might cause scratches, then use a hose or a vacuum cleaner to remove it. White uPVC can be prone to staining, so always use white cloths when cleaning it.
You don't need to use a uPVC cleaner to wash the frames, just add a few drops of washing up liquid to a bucket of warm water and use this to wipe down the frames. Avoid using any abrasive cleaners as these can scratch the surface of the uPVC. For heavy soiling, use a specialist uPVC cleaner which you can buy at a hardware shop; however, make sure that you don’t get any on the silicone seals as it will cause them to lift away. If the seals have worked loose from their grooves, gently edge them back into position straight away or the window could be damaged when it is next closed.
You should also avoid using anything abrasive when cleaning woodgrain effect uPVC window frames but just use warm water with a few drops of mild detergent. Although the woodgrain effect might look very realistic, it must not be sanded or polished like timber as this would damage the finish. It’s also essential to make sure that nothing rusty ever comes into contact with uPVC as rust stains are impossible to remove from this material.
If the silicone seals are damaged, they should be replaced as the windows will no longer be able to keep out draughts or water effectively. Old and damaged frames can also be given a new lease of life by recoating or spraying, although this is a job best left to the specialists.
Maintenance of working parts
All the working mechanisms of your windows, including the handles, latches, locks and hinges, should be lightly oiled every six months. This is especially important in the colder months to minimise any damage from rain, snow and ice. For locks, spray a little oil onto the key before inserting it into the lock. Be careful not to get any oil on the glass. If window hinges are too loose after they have been oiled, look for the tightening screw and give it a few turns.
At Bergson & Eaton, we offer a comprehensive range of high-quality uPVC, aluminium and timber windows in styles and designs to suit every house. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth carrying out window repairs or are considering replacing your old windows, please call us for more information or drop into our showroom and have a chat with our expert team, where you can also get a cost calculator to help you work out the total price.