Windows - Other Materials

You may have a house with PVCu or aluminium frames. Even if we would like to replace them, most of us have other more urgent projects demanding our savings.

These windows suffer from a range of problems:

  • moisture in sealed units
  • broken fittings
  • poor security
  • yellowing or staining

Specialist companies, usually calling themselves 'Window Doctors' or a 'Window Surgery', deal with many problems and give these windows an extended life, perhaps while you save up for wooden windows.

If you want to paint aluminium window frames, you must avoid the sides of the frames, or anywhere that will come in contact with other parts of the frame when you close the window.

To prepare the aluminium, use very fine steel wool, ideally 0000 grade, to remove light oxidation from the frame's outside surface. If they are badly oxidated, apply a gel designed to dissolve aluminum oxidation.

Then wipe the frame clean using a cloth slightly dampened with white spirit. Make sure every speck of dust is removed.

Apply a primer formulated for galvanized metal with a brush. One example is Dulux Quit Rust Galvanised Iron Primer Plus. When the first coat dries, apply a second coat over any surfaces not properly covered.

When the primer has fully dried, apply two top coats of an enamel paint for exterior use. An example of a water-based product is Dulux Aquanamel High Gloss. A more traditional solvent-based product is Dulux Quit Rust Enamel.

Heat and Noise Insulation

To increase the insulation of single-glazed windows, you can choose between 'double-glazing' and 'secondary glazing'.

Double-glazing usually consists of two panes of glass with a 15mm gap between them. The panes are vacuum sealed into a single unit that is fitted into the window frame.

Secondary glazing is a separate window fitted to the inner window frame. The gap between the outer and inner windows is therefore much wider than in double-glazed units. The advantages of secondary glazing are:

  • it does not interfere with the exterior windows
  • both noise and heat insulation is greater by virtue of the larger gap
  • it is often cheaper than replacing the original windows
  • it does not involve the destruction of the original windows