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Home tips: How to maintain and care for your windows

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Design: IDISID
 

The windows in your home can deteriorate over time because they are exposed to weather elements 24/7. If not maintained properly, they can fall off and result in serious injury, or worse. As the owner or occupant, you are responsible for the upkeep of the windows in your home. Homeowners and tenants can face a fine of up to $10,000 (or even a jail term) if a window falls from their unit. To promote window safety, the Building and Construction Agency (BCA) and Housing & Development Board (HDB) have teamed up to observe Window Safety Day every June 6 and Dec 12. It encourages everyone to be socially responsible and to clean, check and change (if necessary) their windows at least twice a year.


CHECK, CLEAN AND CHANGE

Follow these simple maintenance tips for your specific type of windows:

Casement windows

- Check that the rivets are not broken or corroded, and that the screws are not loose or rusty.

- Use a cloth or brush to clean dirt from moving parts such as the hinge and friction stay, hinge tracks, sliding shoes and pivot points. Lubricate them afterwards (do this at least once every six months). 

- Check all glass panes for cracks and ensure that they are not loose. Replace if needed.

- Change all rivets from aluminium to stainless steel. Tighten loose screws to prevent windows from suddenly slamming shut.

Sliding windows

Check that the safety stoppers and angle strips are in place or not damaged. Replace if worn out.

- To make sure the window panels slide smoothly, always clean the tracks using a small brush and soft cloth to remove dirt or any obstruction along the tracks.

- Replace any brittle or broken gasket with a new strip, and ensure that it is fixed tightly into the inner frame.

- Check glass panes for cracks as well.

Louvred windows

For adjustable louvred windows, check that the lever lock works properly, and that the glass panels are secured firmly by the glass clamps and not cracked.

- For fixed louvred windows, ensure that the timber frame and shielding plate are in good condition. Repaint the frame if
the paint starts to peel. Check that the glass panes are secure and have no cracks, too.

 

SERVICE DIRECTORY
For a list of approved window contractors for your window repair and replacement needs, check out www.bca.gov.sg/window_safety or www.hdb.gov.sg/window_safety.

 

Tip:
Wash windows on a cloudy day, or early in the morning. Direct sunlight will dry your cleaning solution too quickly, causing streaks on the glass. Spritz vinegar-water solution on the glass, and use a microfibre cloth, squeegee or handful of newspaper to wipe and buff up the glass.