Double glazed windows have been used for many years as a cost effective way of insulating buildings and increasing energy efficiency and security. But we all know too well the annoying sight of water droplets and condensation building up between the panes of glass and how impossible it feels to get rid of.
Why does condensation form in double glazed windows?
Condensation is the result of a difference in temperature between the outside – which is usually colder – and the inside – which is warmer – surfaces of the glazed window. Condensation occurs when vapour is cooled to a certain temperature – resulting in water droplets appearing.
Double glazing units are typically made by two panes of glass being separated by a metal or plastic space forming a gap in which gas can be used or a vacuum created for insulation. The cavities between the panes of glass are usually sealed to the window frame using a rubber seal which prevents air escaping. However, over time the seal can fail, compromising the cavity and allowing warm air between the panes – resulting in condensation
Thanks to the wet winters and humid summers we experience in the UK – condensation is a common occurrence in our homes.
When it comes to cleaning your windows – be it giving your conservatory glass a new sheen or polishing up around the house – all know what it’s like to get those annoying streaks. So that’s why we’ve put together a fool-proof guide to getting those windows looks gorgeous, without spending all your time washing and wiping.
The basic ingredients of cleaning your home windows are high quality cleaning agents, durable cleaning materials and – the appropriate method! You also may need help getting that streak-free look and sparking appearance. If possible, you should schedule your cleaning work when there is no direct sunlight on the windows. This helps in getting the best of results as sunlight dries up the cleaning liquid before it can soak the dirt deposited on the windows.
Crack on the window-cleaning tunes… and let’s get going!
Window Cleaning Equipment
Scrub sleeve with a scrub pad and microfiber – needed for soaking the liquid and removing the hardest of soil and dirt deposits
Squeegee with rubber edged blade – to scrape the metallic and other non-glass surfaces of the windows
Washer – for applying chemicals to the windows. You may need multiple sizes for different window sizes.
Suitable sized bucket – for storing water and cleaning liquids. The length of the bucket should be such that you can dip the washer and soak it.
Extension pole of suitable length – for reaching the highest window in your home. The pole should be fitted with squeeze handles to apply extra liquid coating while scrubbing.
Towels and dry clothes – for wiping the windows dry. You may need 10 to 12 of them if you have large windows to clean in multiple rooms.
Window Washing Materials
Window cleaning liquid is the primary element
Cleaning soap – required for taking out the hardened soil and dirt particles which may not get removed with the help of liquids.
Vinegar, salt, baking soda, water, stain removers, anti infection agents and brightening agents.
Start with the internal cleaning of windows. This can be done any time of day as you will be able to reach them from within your home. First use the dry cloth to remove the dust deposition. This helps to avoid scratches caused by dust particles.
Wet the windows with water (and let it soak for about 2 to 3 minutes if you have time). Then you can apply the cleaning liquid and let it soak the window for another 2 minutes. Now wipe the window with scrub sleeve. Apply the soap on areas with hardened dirt. After soaking for about 10 minutes you can use the squeegee to wipe these parts dry. The squeegee wipes away most of the dirty water and cleaning solution leaving you with a window you can polish to perfection!
If you have windows that near the ceilings use the extension pole. Keep squeezing the handle so that maximum liquid spreads over the cleaning surfaces.
Apply the cleaning chemical and soak for about 2 minutes before wiping again with scrub sleeves. This will remove all the deep-seated stains. The most commonly used one is hydrogen peroxide or bleach. Mix it with water in the ratio of 1:4 in the cleaning bucket. You can carry the bucket around easily while moving in and out of your home.
Once you are through with internal cleaning you can follow the similar procedure for cleaning the external windows surfaces. Upper floor windows may need the use of a ladder or you may be able to do some of the cleaning from inside the house leaning out of the window. Whichever method you choose, be careful – your safety is paramount to any clean windows!
Finally, to get that streak-free look! Wipe all the windows with dry cloth after the cleaning procedure is complete – now this is the important bit – and ensure you polish in a circular motion to avoid streaks.
Now, enjoy your finished, sparkling windows!
Tiled conservatory roof or glass: which is the best conservatory roof replacement option?
There’s no question that a conservatory can add some much-needed space to a property, or provide a pleasant indoor space that connects you to the outdoors but, if your conservatory is over 15 years old, the roof is more thank likely in need of maintenance or complete replacement.
The upside of this being the case is that the materials available for use on conservatory roofs have developed significantly and you now have several options boasting various benefits when it comes to the conversion of your conservatory roof.
Whilst a glass roofed conservatory allows for a bright and airy sun room, tiled conservatory roofs are becoming an increasingly popular way of transforming what was once traditionally a summertime room, into a space that can be used all year round.
Here we consider the pros and cons of both glass and tiled roofs to help you decide on the best option for your conservatory roof replacement.
Glass or polycarbonate roofs
Most older conservatories are made with either glass or polycarbonate, both of which provide the much sought after benefit of a large amount of natural light. Bringing the outdoors in without having to put a gamble on the great British weather is certainly one of the major reasons why clear-roofed conservatories are so common these days.
But for all the appeal that natural light has, glass conservatory roofs are not without their disadvantages.
A glass roofed conservatory can be incredibly hot during the summer months and unbearably cold throughout the winter meaning the opportunities to enjoy this additional space are limited, with many conservatories ending up as storage rooms.
And whilst many of us enjoy the idea of letting natural light, many owners of glass roofed conservatories have complained of fading furniture and fabrics – since the sun naturally bleaches material – and have ended up installing costly blinds to rectify the problem.
These days however, technology makes it possible to purchase coated glass which not only has better temperature control properties – reflecting heat and light during the summer and insulating throughout the winter – but can self-clean too, meaning the prospect of regular upkeep when it comes to your glass roof is a thing of the past. You can see how this self-cleaning glass works in the cheesy but effective promo video below:
Although many of the disadvantages presented by glass or polycarbonate conservatory roofs can be rectified, this comes at a cost. But this investment is very much worth considering if you wish to maintain the enjoyment of natural daylight and a clear view of the sky above.
Tiled conservatory roofs
A conservatory roof conversion may seem like a major undertaking, but there are some very cost effective and surprisingly simple alternatives to having a glass or polycarbonate roof.
If you’re thinking about a complete conservatory roof replacement then tiles, or solid conservatory roof panels, may be an option that provides you with the transformation you are after, since many tiles and panels designed to slot together easily making the disruption of installation minimal. For instance, the new and innovative Ultraroof-380 tiled roofing materials are made of lightweight, highly-insulated tiles slot together quickly and seamlessly for effortless installation.
Converting to a solid conservatory roof can not only create a more permanent and ‘extension-like’ feel to the room but can also provide additional strength and support to the structure, meaning you get the benefits of an extension without the hefty investment. Why start from scratch when you can work with what you’ve got?
Without a doubt one of the main disadvantages of installing a tiled conservatory roof is the amount of light you lose. However, this type of conservatory roof generally provides much better insulation throughout the winter, whilst keeping the room cooler during the summer thanks to special thermal technology, allowing you year-round use of the space.
This might be a good enough trade off for many but if the loss of natural light really is that unappealing then the installation of some glass conservatory roof panels within the solid roof is another option – and nice compromise between the two. Plus, with the same benefits provided by coated glass – this is a low maintenance solution to a gloomy (get it!) problem.
Whichever material you decide on using to replace your conservatory roof, both have their advantages and disadvantages; there’s no doubt that a complete conservatory roof replacement is a major decision with not only cost to take into consideration but installation disruption too.
The best advice we can give you is to consider your priorities – be it a sun room or something akin to an extension – and discuss it with a professional who can advise you which option will best suit your requirements. Our team are always available to help offer guidance, so if you’re not sure what option might best suit you or your property, give us a ring anytime.
Have you got more questions about the replacement of your conservatory roof? Then why not get in contact with us for more advice. Found this article helpful? Why not share it on Twitter or Facebook!
Combine Functionality and Style with your Windows and Doors
When you think of interior design, the chances are that curtains, scatter cushions and wallpaper come to mind. However, doors and windows can offer stylish designs to transform the look of your house, too. Bring your home in Northampton to life with a range of beautiful double-glazed windows and clear doors.
Contemporary or traditional
Window frames and doors can do wonders for whatever decor you’re trying to create, so it’s important that you consider the different options available. You don’t want a faux-weathered, old-fashioned window frame amongst a room full of sleek, modern furniture.
Doors, in particular, are the first insight to the interior of your home. Choosing a door means choosing a first impression, so it’s important you make the right choice.
French doors are great for delivering a traditional look. The attractive and graceful design has stood the test of time for years and would complement an older, more traditional decor perfectly.
For a more modern look, you can install sliding patio doors that are protected with uPVC plastic and double-glazing. The smooth, sliding action of the door, combined with the durable glass, makes such doors both practical and attractive.
One of the best ways to stay cozy when it starts pouring down with rain is a conservatory. Installing a conservatory offers a great deal of extra storage and living space, and is perfect for entertaining guests or relaxing at the end of a busy day.
Again, a conservatory can add a lot to the overall style of your home, whether it be a modern contemporary look with sleek curves or a more traditional style with spike bird deterrents and French doors installed.
Bespoke conservatories help complement your home’s unique look, as well as provide an elegant solution to your space problems.
Double-glazing is a must
Nothing kills a cozy atmosphere quicker than an unwanted draft. Keeping the right temperature within your home is crucial for maintaining a calming vibe. Whatever kind of design you decide on for your window frames, it’s important that you install them with double-glazing.
Double glazed uPVC windows are not only thick and sturdy enough to withstand any harsh storms or accidental football impacts, but they also save you a ton of money on your heating bill.
According to information gathered by the Energy Savings Trust, replacing your single glazed panes of glass with double glazing can annually save you an average of £155.
Energy statistic: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/energy-efficient-windows
Not only are double-glazing windows energy efficient, but they’re also really easy to look after. They require little to no maintenance, aside from an occasional wipe-down.
It’s more than a window
Windows and doors are an extension of your home’s look. Energy efficiency and safety locks are great for keeping the bills and burglars at bay, but choosing any old design when fitting your windows can spell disaster for your decor.
Make use of reliable double-glazing windows, and fit them into window and door frames that are going to make your interior spring to life, because it doesn’t have to be a choice between one and the other.
Have you been inspired by the ideas in this post? We’d love to see your results – contact us or message us on Facebook with your pictures and we’ll feature the best of your submissions on our blog and social media!
Double glazing salesmen were once an institution in and of themselves. But now, double glazing is commonplace, and for good reason. The efficiency savings gained from double glazing are very significant and can save you a lot of money on your energy bills.
However, possibly the most important reason for donning double glazing is the reduced impact they have on the environment. By making your house more energy efficient, and therefore using less power to heat it, you’re reducing your carbon footprint.
It’s important to explain how double glazing works in order to fully understand its benefits. Double-glazed windows have two sheets of glass with a gap in between. This gap, which can sometimes be filled with gas, creates an insulating barrier which slows down heat trying to escape your house.
The efficiency rating of double glazes window varies, but luckily there’s the BFRC rating to show the efficiency of different windows. The BFRC rate the efficiency of the whole window, and some window manufacturers also show the energy efficiency of their windows on a scale of A to G.
Double glazing also varies in terms of the materials used. Broadly speaking, there are three types of materials used for the frames: UPVC, wood, and aluminium. UPVC is the most thermally efficient, but might not fit with the aesthetic of your house as they normally come in white. Wood, however, might fit in better with your house, but it requires more maintenance and can swell. Aluminium is hardwearing, but again might not fit with the aesthetic of your house. It’s also the least thermally efficient.
The Energy Saving Trust endorses double glazing as a means of saving energy and outline a number of things you should look for. It highlights three areas which are important when buying double glazing.
The first of these is the glass used. Low-emissivity (Low-E) glass is the most efficient and works by having an invisible coating of metal oxide on one of the internal panes. This means heat and light are easily allowed in, but heat can less easily escape.
The second thing is to do with the gaps between the panes of glass. More efficient double glazing will fill the gap between the panes of glass with a gas such as argon, xenon, or krypton.
The final thing to look out for is pane spacers. These keep the panes of glass apart, and for maximum efficiency, you should look for pane spacers containing little or no metal.
All of this has a big impact on the environment. Not only does double glazing improve the energy efficiency of your home, and therefore require less energy to heat it and keep it warm, they are also often highly recyclable. uPVC and aluminium frames are both highly recyclable, and wooden frames have an even lower environmental impact because of the manufacturing process involved.
So for a great way to move towards a greener and more energy efficient home, install double glazing in your home and reap the benefits of greener, cheaper living!
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