Should You Re-Glaze Your Windows?
If your existing double glazed windows are getting old, the question may arise as to whether you should re-glaze them. Here in the UK we have a persistent problem with condensation that lasts for the best part of half a year, every year. This can cause degradation of your glazed windows over time and cause them to become ‘misty.’ Even with the modern innovations of today like uPVC frames and silica gel, most window suppliers will offer a 15-20 year guarantee, if you’re windows are deteriorating and you are within the warrantee or have insurance, you may be able to get them replaced, otherwise you will need to pay for replacements. Lets take a look at what causes condensation in double glazed windows.
Condensation On Double Glazed Windows
When gas or vapour turns into liquid, this is known as ‘condensation.’ Most know it as the layer of water that forms on windows early in the winter mornings, a cause for a number of problems including the spread of damp. Condensation forms as a result of the level of water in the atmosphere and can affect windows in winter and in a particularly humid summer. Condensation appears on the interior and exterior of your windows or even the cross section. It is common advice to air windows once a day in the winter to stop the build up of condensation from heating. It is also highly recommended that homeowners don’t dry clothes on radiators as this releases water into the air which causes the spread of condensation and damp. While this is good advice, it is not always practical and even with the best efforts to reduce condensation, it cannot be completely eliminated.
You may live in a property with poor air circulation meaning the moisture in the air can’t be cleaned. This can be reduced with a dehumidifier and/or extraction fans but this will minimise the problem, not solve it. The major problem areas in most homes are bathrooms and kitchens and the windows in those rooms are most likely to deteriorate the quickest.
It is possible to reduce condensation on the inside of your house by regulating the temperature of your rooms and taking the steps mentioned earlier in this article. As your windows wear with time, the heat from your property will transfer outside which in turn will lead to a cold home, the need to turn up the heating and keep it on for longer and of course, as a result, increased heating bills.
Condensation doesn’t always mean you have poor quality or worn down windows, in fact sometimes it is a sign the windows are doing their job and have been fitted well. Sometimes, a complete replacement of your existing windows is not necessary. A few simple fixes like replacing the draught seals can preserve the life of your windows and keep your carbon emissions down at the same time. If you live in rented accommodation you could try cheap but effective fixes like weather strips. You can buy weather strips for as little as £8 but it’s important you buy the right type. Nail-on weather strips work best on wooden frames and adhesive strips are best suited to metal or PVC windows. Rubber strips always work better than cheap alternatives like vinyl and foam tape, cost effective is good but you don’t want to go too cheap as you will just be wasting money.
As much as it is overlooked, you can’t ignore the value of a good pair of curtains for increasing energy efficiency, retaining heat and reducing the effects of condensation.
Another option is secondary glazing. Rather than replacing your double glazed windows, you could have a pane of glass and a frame installed to your existing window or windows. Secondary glazing is a good option if you are looking to keep costs down while making your home more energy efficient. It is also a good option if your property is a listed building. It might sound like a bit of an eyesore, but secondary glazing is in actual fact, very unobtrusive. It can be held in place with an inconspicuous light frame and to all intents and purposes, still allows your windows to function as normal.
There are two main types of secondary glazing
Noise Reduction Secondary Glazing
Draft Reduction Secondary Glazing
Noise reduction secondary glazing is suited to a busy area where any number of disturbances can cause your existing windows to vibrate. Anything from cars, motorbikes, trains, low flying aircraft and even just the neighbours mowing the lawn or nearby road workers using a pneumatic drill can cause a loud and highly disturbing rumble that resonates through your home. Noise pollution is a growing problem which can be significantly reduced with secondary glazing. The benefits of installing draft reduction secondary panes are not limited to the home but can also greatly benefit offices, schools and public service buildings such as library’s.
Draft reduction secondary glazing is a cost effective solution for older single glazed windows with poor seals and insufficient insulation. Many listed buildings have these types of window and cannot be double glazed making secondary glazing the best fit for improving energy efficiency.
It should be noted that while secondary glazing is a cheap and efficient alternative to double glazing, it does not compare in quality to double glazing. There are some drawbacks to secondary glazing such as the extra maintenance required to keep it clean. If you are on a tight budget, secondary glazing is a good option. If, however you can afford double glazing it is always better in most aspects from insulation to protection from UV rays and energy efficiency.
Depending on factors such as your location and budget, you can choose between secondary or double glazing. While secondary glazing wins out on cost and noise reduction, double glazing wins on pretty much every other aspect. If you are still unsure, arrange an expert consultation to determine the best fit for your property.
Why am I getting lots of condensation on my windows?
When the time comes to crank up the thermostat inside because of the plummeting temperatures outside there are many positive outcomes but also a few negative ones.
The main issue that we get asked a lot of questions about is that of condensation. When its warmer inside then it is outside this will start to occur. It really all boils down to humidity, when the humidity is higher inside you’ll find condensation starts to gather in abundance.
Because you’ll be wanting to keep the warmth in your home (and why wouldn’t you when it’s starting to freeze outside!) you also keep in the moisture that builds up, think cooking, showering and just generally breathing. During the summer months this surplus moisture doesn’t cause any issues and you’d be hard pushed to notice it, as it gets colder though it becomes all the more apparent.
The other factor that should be considered is that colder air retains less water vapour than warmer air which compounds the issue further come winter time. At this point we should say though, if you find areas of your home where condensation seems more than excessive (gathering on walls, wallpaper peeling away, damp patches) this could be indicative of much greater problem that requires a greater level of investigation to get to the root of the problem.
If you leave these types of issues to progress without any action being taken then you could have some serious structural issues further down the line.
Serious structural issues aside, the major concerns that should be raised with an overly damp home or property are the health ramifications. With mold comes airborne spores and some pretty nasty respiratory illnesses can occur, to cover just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re experiencing excessive amounts of condensation but have no noticeable signs of damp, the issue could come from a failed or failing double glazing unit. This will increase the amount of condensation no end whilst poorly regulating the heat you’re trying to retain.
By replacing any failed double glazing, you can prevent condensation from worsening, as well as improving your energy usage, which is important when energy prices are increasingly becoming higher and higher. The winter months mean most of us will be using the most energy we’ve used all year, so it’s important to do as much as possible to help save on these bills.
If you’re in need of any window repairs or require a full replacement of any failing double glazing before Christmas, give us a call and let us know. We will come out as soon as possible and let you know the best course of action, providing you with a prompt competitive quote.
How do I treat my doors for winter? We show you how
With winter now upon us it’s not just Christmas and festive cheer you should concern yourself with. The inevitable cold snaps can have a hugely detrimental effect on your home, specifically on any timber doors at your premises.
With the, at times rapidly, changing weather this can cause major stresses to the wooden doors and frames. If left unaddressed this will lead to degradation and quickly you’ll find leaks and cracks start to appear at the worst times possible.
In order to best pre-empt, treat and protect your doors from adverse weather conditions it’s wise to educate yourself on why they react badly in these situations.
The two main problems that your doors will face is the cold weather causing the timber fibres to contract, and then expand as the temperatures rise. Couple that with the increase in moisture and you’ll find your doors are being put under intense strain.
If there is one door at your property that you don’t want to be put under pressure to the point of failure, it’s your front door every time.
Since your door will only have a few millimetres of space between itself and the frame, a little warping from the cold and wet can quickly cause the door to stick and scrape, usually along the floor first.
This will lead to you having to pull increasingly more powerfully on your door to open it. Before long you will develop cracking around the hinges and you’ve got an expensive problem developing.
Another issue to look out for, albeit less common, is cracking on the internal side of the door. With the cold weather battering the front half of the door, no doubt you’ll have your heating on full bore on the inside. This battle of temperatures adds further strain and compounds problems further.
So what to do?
Thankfully, there’s a number of approaches you can take to counteract the awesome power of our wintery weather. So fear not, let’s have a look at some of our top recommendations
Firstly, make sure you treat your wood with a fresh coat of door wax or door sealant every year. It will soak into the wood and block the moisture creeping in and causing you issues. Prolonging the life of your door countless times over, and keep it looking as good the day you first laid eyes on it.
Before you start slathering on layer after layer of protective coating though, you’ll want to ensure that your door has been given a good clean and thoroughly dried. If you fancy giving your door a fresh lick of paint before you apply a protective coating, go for it! It will only further enhance the look and stability moving forward.
Whilst your giving your door the care and attention we’ve recommended, why stop there? Over time your hinges will loosen so take the time out to tighten them and check for signs of cracking or degradation of your hinges. These will also be affected by the fluctuations in temperature so don’t hesitate to replace them if they start to wear. At the prices you can pick them up for, it’d be foolish to leave them until its too late.
We hope these tips will keep your doors in a1 condition for years to come, if however you find that your doors are in need of a little more than some tender loving treatment, give our team a call today. We’d be happy to help whenever and wherever we can.
Get Creative With Our Door Designer
It is always more satisfying when you get to have complete creative control over a project, be it a renovation or a simple painting job. Getting exactly what you want, without compromise, can’t really be beat can it?
We certainly don’t think so!
For this reason we decided to offer our customers a unique opportunity to flex their creative muscles.
The way in which this has manifested itself is via our industry-leading, and incredibly easy to use Door Designer
Never has it been so easy to create a wealth of different designs so quickly from the comfort of your own home!
Put together as many designs as you’d like and then submit them to us from the same web page you created them on.
We’ll then have a look at your specifications and come back to with a competitive price we think you’ll find more than fair!
Are you up for the challenge of creating your perfect entrance door?
If so, you’re only 5 steps away from realising your vision, well 6 if you include clicking on the link to our Door Designer below.
Choose the style of door you’d like to work with. There are many options for you to choose from. Why not try out a few of your favourite styles and narrow them down after, or put them to the family vote!
Now it’s time to choose your front-facing colour. By front facing we mean the side of the door that your postman. You won’t be stuck for choice so again, a vote might be in order, this won’t dictate what colour the internal side of the door is because…
… you can have a different colour on the inside! This is perfect if you want to keep in tune with the colour scheme inside. Some people like to go for a similar colour as their hall as this creates the illusion of extra space. On the other hand a different colour gives complete contrast adding striking definition that you may prefer. Vote time again?
Steps 4 & 5
Now that the aesthetic has been decided on, all that is left is to decide which side you want the hinge on and whether the door opens inward or outward. Then you’re done!
All that’s left to do is submit your designs to us, via the tab on the right hand side of your screen.
It really couldn’t be any easier to get the entrance door of your dreams.
Now that you’re fully versed and raring to go, just click here to begin.
Need help choosing the right windows for you?
When the time comes to replace the windows, either at home or at any property, you shouldn’t be tied down to or limit yourself to the style of windows you currently have.
This, unfortunately, is all too common a practice and you may be missing out on the considerable benefits a change in form and function can offer.
With so much diversity currently available, in what was previously a pretty sparse marketplace there are a number of choices that will completely change the look, and quite possibly feel, of your home.
Regardless of whether you wish to stick with a traditional aesthetic, or something utilising cutting edge tech and modern finishes, it really is important look at all the options before stumping up your hard earned cash.
Take our Infinity Weld collection for instance, these relatively new additions to our window range offer many of the benefits of a traditional window whilst incorporating some of the most pioneering technology seen in this industry.
They can make a home look and feel very modern yet allow you the opportunity to blend them seamlessly into a period property.
With their cutting-edge sleek corner weld structure, they let you develop a unique design and style statement, and not just from the outside looking in.
Unlike many windows and frames currently available, the inner and exterior framework colours can be individually personalised to create perfect synergy inside and out, perfectly able to reflect the unique characteristics of any property.
They also invite a great deal of natural light via the high quality energy efficient glass, that we use as standard, into any space you choose to utilise them. As such they are quickly becoming a firm favourite among builders of new homes and those looking to renovate.
With forty two unique colours and woodgrain finishes to choose from, and counting, if you want the classical look of timber but without the yearly maintenance and cost the Infinity Weld collection could well be the best choice for you.
Also well worth your consideration wherever ‘ticking all the boxes’ is concerned would be the new R9 collection. The pioneering grain wrap materials used can fool even the hardiest timber enthusiast upon close inspection.
The beauty here is that the R9 finish can be added not only to each of our window ranges but can also be incorporated into our door and conservatory ranges giving you the opportunity of perfect synergy across all aspects of a replacement, new build or renovation project.
As they say, seeing is believing so the best place to start your journey to new windows should be our Windows section on our website – found here. We have extensive galleries for our entire range and enough information on each style to help guide you to the perfect choice for you.
Sometimes though we appreciate it is better to pick up the phone and talk through your options, after all, decisions aren’t always clear cut.
If you’re looking to seek the advice of a time-honoured professional window company, one that appreciates and values your appetite for creativity whilst respecting your chosen budget, give our team of experts a call today.
We can arrange a proper consultation to ensure your exact specifications are met.
We are always here to guide you through every step of the process.
Why Buy An Orangery Or A Conservatory?
It seems that when the sun is out to play people want to find a way to be seamlessly in, and out, of their garden without being fully ‘indoors’.
Not a surprise then that when the mercury starts to rise, so do our enquiries for Orangeries and Conservatories, which is always nice!
As it’s that time of year again we thought we would take a look at some of the key reasons you should consider this wondrous home improvement for your property.
Increase Your Living Space
Firstly, it goes without saying that adding a conservatory or orangery is a fantastic means of providing you with additional space but what to do with that space?
All too often people think that they are solely for putting a collection of plants and a couple of wicker chairs in. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can use them for anything you like, it is only limited by your imagination!
Originally conservatories and orangeries were used almost exclusively to house and nurture exotic plants and fruits, and wicker furniture no doubt! This is no longer the case, despite some common misconceptions.
Treat this new space like any other and use it as you please. Fancy a light space to house an indoor pool? Wish to open up your kitchen and dining room to the splendours of your garden? Perhaps you want a place that the kids can keep their toys and games in?
Hopefully we’ve given you some inspiration but hopefully the point has been made too.
All of our conservatories and orangeries are bespoke so we can sculpt them to serve any purpose you desire.
Increase The Appeal & Add Value
In the not too distant future you may eventually find yourselves looking to sell up and move on up the property ladder. These things happen, and It’s only natural that you’d want a fast sale and a smooth transition to your new home. In that instance why not give your home the best chance possible?
Having an extended home, especially via a bespoke conservatory or orangery, is an incredibly sought after addition which can help make your property a much more attractive option.
I’ve recently seen research that suggests a conservatory or orangery can boost the value of a property by between 6 – 10 %, and depending on the quality of the craftsmanship and materials.
Thankfully here at Keswick Superglaze we only employ the finest master tradesmen and the best materials available.
If you’re not sure what will work best for your situation, why not speak to one of our experts here at Keswick.
Many thanks for reading and all the best!
UPVC vs Aluminium Windows – What’s the difference?
Opting to purchase brand new windows for the home is something you only usually do every few years or even decades (possibly even longer!). As such when that time arises and a window needs to be substituted, it is absolutely essential that you make an informed decision that is best for you and your property.
The initial part of this decision-making process will focus on selecting between double-glazing and triple-glazing, and determining what your type of window you think fits the bill.*
*With so many options available with varying functionality we’ll be putting up a special blog post dedicated to these shortly – find it here.
Lastly, you will need to figure out whether you want to utilise aluminium frame windows or UPVC windows.
So on to the age old question that has plagued mankind since the dawn of premium quality windows…
UPVC Windows or Aluminium Windows, which one is best for me and why?
To make life easier we’ve divided the important functions and factors to consider in order to make your decision making process easier, offering you with a clearer insight in to how both UPVC and aluminium fare:
Is there a difference in cost, and if so, why?
The budget you have available will no doubt impact your choice and for those looking for a more cost effective solution UPVC windows edge aluminium windows.
UPVC Windows are more cost effective to manufacture and as such those savings are passed onto you.
If budget is tight then UPVC may be the front runner right from the off.
Which one requires the most maintenance and attention?
They’re virtually on level pegging when it comes to just how much love, attention and maintenance they’re going to need.
As with the most things, UPVC and Aluminium require a wipe and a clean every once in a while. Just a gentle once over with a moist, soapy, soft fabric cloth to eliminate any grime and dirt that may have built up.
Thankfully that is pretty much your lot on the maintenance front. Very easy indeed.
Durability – Which is the hardest wearing frame!
Aluminium is the stronger of the two, as you might have imagined, however don’t let this put you off of UPVC altogether. It is an incredibly durable, strong and secure alternative, hence its immense popularity.
Do either compromise on style?
Thankfully not! You’ll be able to find a wealth of styles and finishes for both materials.
It used to be that you were limited to a white finish with UPVC but now they can be foil wrapped in just about every colour imaginable.
You can even opt for textured frames to mimic the look of woodgrain (Timber alternative).
There isn’t really a vast amount of difference between the two, it really comes down to personal preference it most instances.
The Aluminium frame is considered a more premium product but you may prefer the look and feel of UPVC.
The best way to make an informed decision is to get hands on with the products and see which works for you.
Why not give us a call and we’ll be happy to walk through the options with you.
Just Some Of Our Latest Kitchen Work
It always makes us beam with pride when we receive praise for our hard work, so don’t be shy, just let us know!
It really does make the whole thing that much more worthwhile knowing that we put smiles on faces whilst enhancing your homes.
As such when we received our latest kitchen testimonial, which we have a bonus scheme in place for by the way, we thought we’d upload the photos sent from another happy customer.
Regarding the aforementioned bonus scheme, if you provide us with a testimonial upon completion of your work we will pay you £50!
It really is as simple as that 🙂
Common Garage Door Issues & Fixes
As Spring rolls into Summer one thing is a certainty, and it’s not what you might think! Yes there will be sunburn, BBQ’s and beer gardens, and maybe even a little jaunt on your jollies BUT for us there always comes an influx of people calling about their Garage doors. I told you it wasn’t what might think!
There’s a number of reasons for this but I think the main two are the fluctuation in heat and the greater use many Garage doors getting during the summer – Getting out your bikes, BBQ, lawnmowers, your garden furniture or whatever else you might store in there during the colder months.
We’d like to run through a couple of the more common issues that we see occur and how best to deal with them.
Rollers & Tracks not in alignment
This is probably the most popular issue we come across and can be a serious one to. Either side of your garage door (internally) are a set of tracks which house the rollers allowing your door the glide up and down.
Over time you can find that the tracks bend causing one or both rollers to leave the track. If you’ve tried to open your garage door and it has a new found ‘swing’ to it, as opposed to a rigid motion, this is almost certainly the case.
If you see gaps between the rollers and tracks, or bends in the tracks, the security of your garage door is completely compromised.
Once the roller has left the tracks any would be burglar can simply push their way in, particularly concerning if you have an adjoining door from the garage into your home. Under the cover of the garage, someone breaking in via the adjoining breaking into your home becomes almost impossible to detect.
If your rollers are still in the racks yet your find the operation of the door rubs or slows down at certain points, this occasionally can be an easy fix. Inspect your tracks to look for any signs of warping or bends in them.
If this is the case you may be able to grip the affected area with pliers and manoeuvre the track back into place. Using a rubber mallet can also help smooth out the affected area.
If the door won’t move at all because of an alignment issue involving the whole track and / or the roller(s) have come off the tracks, then these types of problems shouldn’t be something that you attempt to fix yourself. It can even be quite dangerous to attempt due to the tension in the springs and cabling.
Torsion Springs, Tension Springs & Cabling Issues
Following on from our warning message regarding the danger associated with torsion springs , if you’re around when these break you will most certainly know about it! The bang generated from a torsion spring breaking can sound like a firework has gone off in your garage!
If a spring is broken, give us a call to come and have a look. Anyone other than a professional trying to fix this does so at their own risk, it can be very dangerous. We really can’t stress that enough!!
Garage doors have tension springs and cables that help your garage door smoothly, slowly and safely open and close. If they tension springs or cables fail, you’ll find that your garage door loses the ability to transition smoothly, often falling shut with a loud bang
With no counter balance allowing for smooth operation you run the risk of crashing the door down on top of yourself, a pet or somebody else. At best this is excruciatingly painful.
The springs and cabling all have a certain amount of ‘cycles’ before they are likely to fail, much like a car after a certain amounts of miles have been racked up on the clock. Bear this in mind and look to have your garage checked over once things start to run less smoothly.
We are always here to assist, advise and even replace the garage door should it be needed. We’ll ensure that you get the right advice and remedy at the right price, always.
Is the Kitchen the ‘Heart Of The Home’ and if so, why?
It’s a strange thought but ever since we launched our new kitchen range its something I’ve spent a fair bit of time mulling over. Maybe its just me but I’d never heard the phrase before, that was until I visited a long term customer to measure for a new Kitchen design.
Whilst going through some options she looked up at me, smiling broadly, and said ‘I don’t mind paying more when it concerns the heart of the home’. It took a moment to fully understand what she meant by it if I’m honest! When I got back to the office I asked if anyone else had heard the saying before and was of course greeted by a resounding ‘Yes’.
Being primarily a Windows, Conservatories (and Doors) company in beautiful Cumbria, I’ve naturally always put a lot of focus into the importance of these areas. For me, a conservatory has always been my favoured destination in the home. A great spot to relax, unwind and soak in the rolling countryside whilst comfy and warm, I love it! If we weren’t spoilt by such a breathtaking local landscape though, would I be as enamoured? Like I say, this phrase really got me thinking!
Fast forward a few days and I was at a friend’s party talking with an architect and he added more (Intentional pun alert!) ‘food for thought’. He mentioned that when contracted to design a bespoke home the client generally ends up building the house around the kitchen. He was also quick to add that this is, and will always, be the most expensive room in the home.
Once you’ve totted up the various appliances, cabinets, worktops, multitude of electrical points, plumbing, ventilation (and more) you’re well into the biggest portion of the budget. Even if you spent a small fortune on a cinema room or pool room, or whatever really, the kitchen would always trump it in the end with frequent supermarket trips and running costs.
He went on to say, quite smugly if I’m honest, ‘Look at where we’re standing right now….’ (We were stood in the kitchen, where the vast majority of the guests were too) ‘…there must be a reason why people always end up in the kitchen at parties.’
It’s fair to say he had a point, and one very well made!
I’ll admit it, I may have understated the important role the kitchen plays in my, and all of our lives. Not just the obvious food prep and social aspect but also in the fact that this is largely where we deal with most household waste, is also commonly the jumping off point for cleaning the house and you’ll hear that around 70% of getting fit is in the kitchen, not in the gym.
Ultimately credit is given where credit is due and I’ve seen this household space in a new light over the last few months. Don’t understate its importance like I did and show it the full respect it deserves when you’re planning or seeking a new kitchen.
As my mum used to say ‘The kitchen is where boys are made men and girls are made ladies’.
I wasn’t entirely sure what she meant by that as a kid. Rest assured, I finally do.