How to care for your HDB flat's windows and make them last

PHOTO: KDOT

Because wear and tear is a thing.

Windows are one of those key home features that are so commonplace that it's easy to forget that they are there, which is fine - so long as you don't take them for granted.

A set of poorly-maintained windows could lead to a whole slew of problems: shutting them would be a struggle every time, things would get wet due to leaks, and in the worst case, someone could get seriously injured due to a falling pane.

So, for reasons of comfort as well as safety, follow these 3 simple steps - Check, Clean, Change - to keep your windows in good shape!

TYPES OF WINDOWS IN HDB HOMES

Before we dive into this maintenance guide, here are the 3 main types of windows you can find in most homes:

a. CASEMENT WINDOWS

PHOTO: Yujia Interior Design

Casement windows are windows that open on hinges, pivots, or friction stays. They are usually found in living areas, bedrooms, and sometimes in bathrooms.

b. SLIDING WINDOWS

PHOTO: Urban Habitat Design

Sliding windows need no introduction, these classic fixtures are typically located in the living rooms, bedrooms and yards of older HDB units.

c. LOUVERED WINDOWS

PHOTO: D5 Studio Image

You can recognise louvered windows by their parallel glass panels that can be angled to allow air to pass through freely. They are mostly found in bathrooms and at kitchens/yards.

Now on to the steps to keep your windows in tip-top condition…

For casement windows:

• Keep a lookout for broken, loose and/or corroded rivets and screws where the hinge assemblies are.

• Check for any cracked glass panes.

• The same goes for the rubber gaskets that hold the panes in place, which may come loose due to heat and moisture.

• Clean hinges, tracks and other moving parts by removing dirt and debris that hinder smooth movement. Don't forget to oil them too!

• Check for any bent or damaged moving parts, especially the friction stays, which prevent your windows from slamming shut.

For sliding windows:

Similar to casement windows, check to see if every panel moves smoothly on its tracks, and ensure the safety stoppers are in place as well.

• Use a small brush and/or soft cloth to clear away any obstructions on the tracks.

For louvered windows:

• For louvered windows with lever locks, check to see if they are functioning by locking and unlocking them.

• If the panes are too stiff, apply some lubricating oil to the pivots to keep them moving smoothly.

• Check that the clips/clamps holding each glass pane are secure, as they prevent the panes from falling out.

Finally, if you find any part(s) of your windows loose or damaged, be sure to engage a BCA-approved contractor to have them repaired or replaced!

This includes items such as cracked glass panes, loose gaskets and/or defective parts. For window replacements, make sure that of the same size, colour, and type as your pre-existing ones.

This article was first published in Qanvast.

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