In comparing aluminium and uPVC windows for homes and commercial buildings, uPVC may win on affordability, but aluminium beats it on every other comparison point. Aluminium is the preferred construction material for its energy efficiency, durability, appearance and enhanced security possibilities.
Aluminium is also more versatile than uPVC. Its thinness means you can have a higher ratio of glass to frame, and its strength allows it to hold larger panes of glass for a sleeker, more contemporary look. Aluminium windows are also available in virtually unlimited custom colours thanks to powder or anodised finishes, and they complement both modern and heritage homes.
They are considerably more expensive than uPVC, however, so once you have made this home improvement investment, you should know how to clean and maintain your aluminium windows.
What maintenance do my aluminium windows need?
First of all, your windows should be of the best quality and manufactured to the highest standard, like those supplied to the industry by ABS Ltd. They should also be fitted professionally by a specialist who will ensure they are properly adjusted. Depending on how heavily they are used, some maintenance will be required from time to time. However, once they are correctly fitted, your aluminium windows should need just the minimum routine upkeep.
Luckily, it’s very easy to carry out these activities yourself; there’s no special technical skill required.
Just once or twice a year, complete these steps to maintain aluminium windows:
- Check your windows and window frames for any dirt, grime or debris.
- Check all the fixings and gaskets to ensure the glass is still completely sealed and in place.
- Tighten any fixings, if necessary.
- Lubricate hardware and moving parts with a silicone-based lubricant sprayed onto a dry cloth.
- Turn the handle and open and close the window several times to evenly distribute the lubricant.
- Wipe away any excess oil or drips.
The main task for taking the best care of your aluminium windows is to keep them clean, and that’s something that you can do once every three months or so. If you live facing a busy street, near the sea where there is salt in the air or in another place where your windows attract a lot of dust, dirt or mud, then you might want to clean them more often.
How to Clean Aluminium Windows
If you have older aluminium windows, you might need a more thorough cleaning regime. But with the modern powder-coated finishes, such as those provided by ABS Ltd, then you can ditch the abrasives, scrubbers or other harsh cleaning tools. That coating doesn’t only provide the colour for your window frames, it also acts as a surface that provides protection from permanent marks and scratches.
Cleaning Modern Aluminium Windows
All you need is some warm water with a mild soap, a sponge and a soft, lint-free cloth, such as microfibre. No sponge? No problem! You can just use two cloths.
- Using the sponge or cloth, dampened with soapy water, wipe away any dirt or grease from the glass and frame. If you prefer, you can use a proprietary glass cleaner for the glass.
- Wipe away any residue with water.
- Using a circular motion, dry the windows and frames with the second cloth. Be sure the cloth has fully absorbed all moisture from the glass, frame, sealant and hinges to prevent any problems later.
- Stubborn grime that may have worked its way into corners or crevices, particularly on the sashes, can be brushed away with a soft-bristled brush. A vacuum cleaner with a small nozzle is ideal for removing every trace of grit.
- Don’t forget the insides too, including the hinges, tracks and moving mechanisms.
- Once your frames are dry if you wish you can apply a silicone lubricant, such as car wax, to leave them clean, shiny and protected.
Cleaning Older Windows
Older types of aluminium windows, particularly those that are not painted, may need a little more elbow grease. If soap and water isn’t as effective as you would like, you might want to try one of the proprietary cleaners on the market. However, it’s wise to test it on a small area first to see the effect it will have and ensure it doesn’t damage the surface. You might have to tackle more stubborn stains with some fine steel wool to polish them out.
What Not to Use on Aluminium Windows
When performing general routine cleaning and maintenance, there are a few things you should avoid so that you don’t damage your windows.
- Don’t use abrasives, wire brushes, solvents or harsh chemical cleaners on the aluminium frames.
- Avoid using WD40 or other solvent-based aerosol sprays, as their chemicals can be corrosive.
- Be careful when you are using special glass cleaners. Be sure you wipe every trace away to avoid it oxidising and leaving permanent stains on the metal.
- Investing in aluminium windows for your home can actually increase its value. With a good cleaning and maintenance routine, they will keep their quality and great looks for decades.