How You Can Properly and Easily Maintain (and even Restore) Crittall Windows
Your windows serve as the eyes of your building's façade, and they play an essential role in keeping your indoor environment safe and comfortable as well. Therefore, when we build our homes, it's crucial to choose various elements wisely – and this, of course, includes the windows. If you have chosen Crittall windows or the windows have been a part of the home when you purchased your property, you should know that those types of windows are designed to last for decades – even centuries, in many cases. But, as with other home fittings and elements, it's essential to maintain them as well. So how can you efficiently and adequately maintain (and even restore) your Crittall windows? Here's what you should know.
Windows with metal frames were first introduced in the middle part of the 16th century, and they were indeed quite popular until the 1800s. Even today, metal windows are a standard in many properties, not just within the UK but in other parts of the globe. Before the 1800s, windows with metal frames were crafted and made individually with cast iron, steel, or wrought iron. This involved a lot of skill and expertise from the craftsmen – and it resulted in some of the most beautiful, uniquely-designed windows, too. But thanks to Henry Bessemer, the ingenious innovator of steel production in the middle of the 1800s, metal windows quickly became a product that was widely available commercially since it could already be mass-produced.
During this time, Crittall Windows took centre-stage and became renowned as a metal window frame manufacturer – and its name has become synonymous with windows with metal framing since then.
What to look for: common issues
The good news is that with the proper care and maintenance, your Crittall windows may well last for a hundred years or more if they have not done so already. However, it is essential to check the window frames' coating and ensure that the coating is sufficient; if not, corrosion can occur and ruin the window's fabric. It is more often the case with ungalvanised metal windows (usually before the 1950s), and you may be able to see more signs of rusting or corrosion on such windows.
Another potential issue is fracturing (especially in cast iron) due to flaws in casting or impact, as confirmed by Crittall windows UK specialists like Metwin. They are also experts in Crittall window repairs. Finally, remember that steel or wrought iron can suffer from distortion due to forced closures of window casements with a buildup of paint.
What you can do
You can avoid the degradation and corrosion of your Crittall windows by performing regular maintenance. For instance, you should regularly check the casements used for opening and ensure that they are dirt- and grit-free and free from insect infestation and flaking paint. In addition, make it a point to lubricate the pivots and hinges at least once a year so they can work smoothly. However, keep in mind that it wouldn't be good to lubricate friction-based window hinges since they may end up swinging too widely or freely.
Another thing you should do is inspect the weather seals and remove any paint traces, as this can cause weather seals to fail. Finally, inspect the mastic and putty every year, and remove and replace it as necessary.