Powder coated aluminium windows – a good choice!
Thank you for choosing to purchase aluminium windows. Your windows are factory pre-finished in long lasting electrostatic-applied powder coating. A combination of painstaking preparation, careful workmanship, and the latest technology have come together to bring you your powder coated windows and doors, in the decorator colours of your choice. Powder coating is one of the most durable colour coatings available and, with very little effort on your part, it will provide you with many years of excellent service.
We want you to get the full long-term benefit of choosing low maintenance powder coated windows. So, we have prepared this information sheet for you that details the few simple things you need to do to get maximum satisfaction from your investment.
Protect your joinery during construction
To maintain the factory finish, be sure to protect the joinery at all stages during the building process. It’s much easier and far cheaper to avoid damage than it is to try to repair it later.
The ideal is to install the windows and doors as soon as they are delivered to the building site rather than attempting to store them. Inspect the windows and doors for any damage before they are accepted. Handle the windows with new disposable nitrile gloves thus protecting the windows from any substances that may be on hands – such as sunscreen, sealants, paints, oils, solvents etc that can permanently damage the surface appearance.
Immediately after installation, mask both inside and outside of each window and door with approved masking tape and tough polyethene film to protect both the frame and the glass from damage. If instead you are using a paint-on proprietary protection product, make sure that product is certified as compatible with both the glass and the powder coat/anodising surface finish.
Protect the threshold of every doorway that will be used during the construction period. Use approved tough adhesive tapes that are made for this purpose.
Apart from the obvious possibility of physical damage, such as impact from other building materials, major damage can also be caused by concrete and mortar such as that used in brickwork, or plaster cladding. Water that runs over concrete and mortar is especially risky as it becomes alkaline and attacks both glass and frames if allowed make contact with it. Make sure all the mortar is sealed, and all the painting is completed before removing the protection.
The “final clean” before the building is handed over to the occupier must be undertaken with great care. Do not use scrapers on glass. Do not use any solvents other than water. Be very observant whilst cleaning so that any micro grit in not held in cleaning cloths creating scratches.
In summary: To keep the joinery in the same condition as it was delivered, protect it at every stage.
Regular washing is the key to looking smart
To maintain the good looks of your powder coated aluminium windows, each window and door unit needs regular washing all over – not just the parts that are sheltered from the rain. In fact, looking after your windows is very much like looking after a new car – a regular wash keeps your investment in smart condition.
Unless you are close to the seaside or are in a similar harsh environment, such as near an industrial area, washing down your windows about every three months should be sufficient. Simply use a good quality, soft bristled window washing brush as sold by general hardware stores. Some brushes have in-built detergent dispensers and connect directly to the garden tap. These brushes make it really easy to rinse off the detergent bubbles, which is a very important part of the care process.
If you choose to wash the windows by hand, simply use a dilute solution of mild pH-neutral liquid hand dishwashing detergent (available from your supermarket) and mixed in the same way you would to wash your dishes. Be sure to rinse off the window with a gentle spray from the garden hose, and dry the glass to avoid any marks developing.
What to do when washing a whole building
There are proprietary products that are formulated specifically for washing the exterior of buildings. Always check the product documentation to ensure that the product is suitable for contact with aluminium joinery and glass, and the follow the product instruction exactly.
If the product does not specifically say that it is suitable for contact with aluminium windows and glass, DO NOT USE THE PRODUCT.
A commercial cleaning company must provide you with the same written assurances – otherwise DO NOT USE THEIR SERVICES. There are many instances of commercial cleaning companies causing damage to windows and glass (and other parts of buildings), resulting in repairs that are extremely difficult and expensive.
A link will be provided here as we establish a list of suppliers who have tested their building cleaning products for compatibility with Aluminium joinery and glass.
What to do about paint splashes
Working around your house, painting overhead roof soffits and the like may cause paint splashes to mar the appearance of your windows. The best thing to do is to protect the joinery by masking it using a simple plastic drop sheet, such as those available from paint shops for a couple of dollars each.
If an accident happens act quickly and remove such splashes with a cloth soaked in water. We recommend the use of water-based paints to enable easy clean-up. Using any solvents on your joinery puts it at risk. Always immediately rinse off the area cleaned using clean water.
Be careful with sunscreen
We strongly recommend that you protect your powder coated joinery from the possibility of damage by some sunscreens. The damage occurs when skin which has sunscreen on it has touched the powder coated metal surface.
Research by the steel industry has found that when certain sunscreens containing semi-conducting metal oxides, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, come into contact with protective finishes, they can accelerate the degradation of that surface up to 100 times faster than is normal. This is thought to happen through a process involving free radicals in the sunscreen, which in the presence of sunlight, break down the chemistry of the surface protection, leaving behind the indelible images of the handprint. It is also known to affect paintwork on cars.
The remedy is simple: use gloves and/or wash hands after using sunscreen to avoid transferring it onto protective surfaces such as powder coated joinery, prefinished metal roofing, cladding, metal garage doors and the like. Thoroughly wash down with soapy water, and then rinse clean any surfaces that may have come into contact with sunscreen.