Modern UPVC doors and windows are in most of Bristol’s homes, but they are not completely maintenance free. UPVC lock and hinges really benefit from a little TLC which can help their long term condition. Follow the tips below and you will be able to minimise the wear on your UPVC fittings for a longer product life.
1. Oil the working parts
Oil the locking strip on the edge of the door or window at the very least annually (it’s best every 6 months). Here’s where all the bolts and other locking parts operate. Open the door or window and use the handle through full normal rotation up and down to work the oil into all the moving parts. If any of these parts have failed its likely best to call out your local locksmith for UPVC lock repairs.
Important note about oils.
Don’t use sticky traditional oils like WD-40. WD-40 is great for purpose: it displaces water and oil really well, but if left in place WD-40 will eventually make your lock stickier. The problem is oils like WD-40 go sticky over time and collect dust and gunk deep inside the lock. You are better off using modern silicon or PTFE lubricants. AA Lock & Key locksmiths prefer to use “APECS DRY LUBE” a professional lubricant specifically designed for lock fittings. This goes on wet, cleans the lock out, displaces moisture, but then dries to a non-stick dry coating. WD-40 also does a DRY PTFE lubricant and GT-85 is a similar product, and you might find these more generally available.
2. A quick clean
Thankfully, UPVC doors and windows are much lower maintenance than traditional wood products. However, a regular once over of your door, windows and frame with some soap and water makes a long term difference in preventing the build up of any dirt or grime. It’s possible for muck to build up over time and cause problems for door or window mechanisms.
To clean the frames and panels of your UPVC doors and windows, you only need a soft sponge and warm soapy water. Don’t use anything abrasive as micro-scratches will only encourage grime to take hold. The soap doesn’t need to be fancy it can be normal hand soap or washing up liquid. Just be thorough and clean all around all the surfaces. Remember to start from the top and work your way down. Finally, dry the surface with a soft cloth.
We really recommend avoiding harsher chemicals (certainly anything with ammonia in it) or any kind of solvent as they might damage UPVC or other fittings, and you shouldn’t need them to shift the dirt. Same goes for any door furniture hardware attached like handles, knockers, hinges, letterbox, etc. Here you can buff to a shine once clean and dry.
3. Other bits
Inspect the seals when you clean. The rubber seals can be a little trickier than the UPVC itself. Here it’s best to be really careful with chemicals, as even some non-abrasive ones may cause the seals to peel. So again, soapy water works great. Grime can build up in the corners, especially on the external side, but be careful not to poke too hard at them.
Ventilation control should be maintenance free! Some UPVC windows are fitted with a simple trickle ventilation unit, found along the top of the frame. This is built so that you can control ventilation and minimise any build up of condensation. You can open or close most ventilators by moving a control to the left or right. No maintenance is required.