Window cleaning: What do you have to pay attention to? Until the late 1950s, we built only wooden windows without a window seal, but with simple glazing. If the glass broke, the glazier was notified, who took the measurements and cemented the new pane into the window frame. Window putty is a mixture of linseed oil varnish and whitewash and requires two to four weeks to dry completely. But after five years at the latest, the putty begins to crumble because it was exposed to all weather conditions on the outside of the window. At that time there were no real window seals, but you could already buy a self-adhesive rubber window seal.
The triumph of the window seal
With the development of thermal glazing or insulating glazing. 2 panes form the window surface at a small distance from each other, and the triumph of window seals began. In today’s new buildings, triple-glazed windows are installed. An advantage for the tenant or owner. A lot of effort for the craftsman, because the window sashes have become heavier and heavier over time. You can’t tell by looking at the plastic windows. In order to be able to bear the load of the glass, square bars are installed in the sashes of the windows.
Which window seals are there?
Basically, the first thing to distinguish is what material the window is made of. So that the right seal can be seamlessly attached between the window frame and the window sash. To ensure that no cold can get in from the outside and no heat can escape from the inside out.
Types of window seals:
- glass plant seal
- glazing bead seal
- casement stop seal
- center seal
- Window frame rebate seal
Today, stop seals and center seals are common as window seals for plastic windows. As a combination of rebate and center seal, the triple seal has also become increasingly popular. Wooden windows are still available today, albeit with rubber seals, but they require special care. To make the wood weather-resistant, these should be painted at regular intervals. In addition to metal windows, which are also available, easy-care plastic windows have conquered the market. Anyone who now assumes that every window has a standardized rubber seal is completely wrong. Every window manufacturer has their own ideas about how their rubber seals should look and so it is not surprising that there are over 250 different-looking rubber seals for windows.
Window seals have to withstand a lot
Window seals are stressed not only when opening and closing but also when the window is closed. When the window is closed, the window seals press against each other. Every crumb of dust or dirt, no matter how small, rubs against the rubber and makes it rough. Old PVC seals in particular suffer scratches on the surface as a result. When the window is open, the sun shines on the seals and heats them up. In winter, the seals not only have to withstand the cold but also the constant heating air. This can lead to condensation forming, the ideal breeding ground for mold. Therefore, after cleaning the windows, it is important to also clean the window seals.
When do window seals need to be replaced?
Over time, seals lose their function, so it is advisable to regularly check their condition, especially in older windows. If window seals are no longer intact, external influences can cause the window seal to become porous, shrink or lose elasticity and deform in some other way. In addition, even when the window is closed, drafts can occur or even rainwater can penetrate the interior, which reduces chemical and mechanical sealing properties. With the following tips and tricks, you can check the condition of your seals and prevent leaky windows.
- Test: Take a close look at the sealing material to see if it has become porous, has lost or shows mechanical damage. Also, check whether the seal has shrunk and gaps have arisen as a result. If one of these defects applies, the window seal no longer works optimally and should now be replaced at the latest.
- Test: Take a sheet of paper and clamp it between the sash and the frame. If you can pull it out easily when the window is closed, the seals are no longer developing enough contact pressure. Because without sufficient contact pressure, drafts can easily find their way into the interior of the room. The window seal must then be replaced.
- Test: Put a candle on your windowsill, if the burning candle flickers, drafts will get in and the seal will no longer serve its purpose
Window cleaning in 4-5 steps
- To do this, remove dust and dirt from the rubber seals with a damp, soft cloth. Normally there are window seals on both the frame and the sash of the window.
- Never use an acidic window cleaning agent. Nothing is more damaging to tread rubber than acid.
- The window seals are then carefully dried.
- In order to ensure the elasticity of the seals, it is advisable to grease the seals, either with penetrating oil from a spray bottle or with a silicone spray. The penetrating oil has the advantage of being much thinner than normal oil or machine oil.
- For the summer months, it is advisable to sprinkle the window seals with talcum powder. In high heat, the rubber seals often stick together. This can lead to damage when the windows are opened.
By the way: What applies to the sealing rubber on the windows also applies to every car or truck. These vehicles also have rubber strands in their door and window areas, which also need to be cared for so that they remain elastic and do not become brittle.
If you entrust the cleaning of your company’s windows to a professional, you will not only have a clean window with cleaned window seals but you will also be informed whether it is advisable to replace the window seals. Contact us for a non-binding consultation.