It’s that time again: the leaves are changing colour, the nights are getting longer and winter is fast approaching. One of the most important tasks before the onset of winter is preparing your windows. If you don’t take steps to protect them, they can deteriorate and lead to energy loss in your home. In this blog post, we talk about how to properly winterize your windows to keep you warm and cozy all season long.
Protect windows from winter
Tight and efficient windows are particularly important in winter. Before the cold sets in, check that your windows are prepared for the effects of low temperatures. In the next part of the article we describe step by step the rules for proper winter protection of PVC windows.
Where and when to winterize windows?
The first step to successfully preparing your windows for the winter months is a thorough cleaning of the glass, moldings and seals. It’s important to do this job on a warm but not too sunny day, as hot crystals will cause cleaning fluids to evaporate quickly, leaving unsightly stains. In no case should the windows be cleaned in very cold weather.
The seals should be cleaned with a damp cloth or a mild cleaning agent (e.g. washing-up liquid). Avoid using caustic, alkaline or acidic agents (the agent must have a neutral PH value) or agents containing abrasive particles. The same rules apply when choosing detergents for plastic windows.
Winterize PVC windows
When winterizing windows, don’t forget the hardware. Well-maintained and adjusted fittings are the basis for comfortable opening and closing of windows, as well as their tightness and your safety.
Dirty material should first be vacuumed off or wiped off with a damp cloth (no washing-up liquid!). If you find difficulty opening or closing the windows, friction or insufficient sealing, the installation should be corrected.
Before winter it is also important to adjust the tightness of the windows by setting the correct pressure of the sash on the frame. An octagonal bolt is used for windows with Winkhaus hardware. The winter adjustment of the clamping pressure consists in putting it in a position that allows to obtain the highest possible clamping pressure and therefore a high level of tightness.
Below you can see the correct screw adjustment depending on the seasons.
After adjustment, the moving parts of the fitting must be lubricated with a suitable lubricant:
Fitting oil, grease or technical vaseline is used to lubricate the boltwork – necessary for the care of the hinges.
Prepare joints for the coming winter
Joints only perform their function well if they are flexible and stable. Special care products are used to keep the seals in good condition. They also protect the seals from freezing to the profiles, which could damage them when the windows are opened.
If the seals have lost their elasticity or are damaged, they must be replaced with new ones in the same way. We strongly advise against gluing in additional adhesive connections or replacing connections with supposed cardan joints.
Each manufacturer uses a certain type of seal, and only by replacing the old seals with the same ones can the tightness and proper functioning of the entire window be guaranteed. Choosing the right seals is not an easy task, it is better to consult the manufacturer directly. To do this, check the model, size and enter the information on the window label.
If your window seals are made from cut out strips of rubber, you can try replacing them yourself. However, if the seams are welded at the corners of the window, this task is best left to experienced installers or service technicians.
The keys to properly preparing PVC windows for the winter
Regular window cleaning and care is the recipe for many years of trouble-free and comfortable use. The main rules for proper winter preparation of PVC windows are:
- do it: take the time to protect your windows for each additional winter,
- Consider all the components of the window: plastic profiles or wooden frames, glazing, seals and fittings,
- Choose products that are specially designed for this task – different products are suitable for plastic windows, others for wooden windows. We do not recommend using strong detergents that can damage the finish of windows or hardware.