It's crucial that you know how to properly maintain roof windows to ensure their longevity. Many homeowners tend to place an emphasis on the upkeep of the interior and forget about roof window maintenance.
However, ensuring you stick to a steady routine throughout the year will allow your windows to remain in pristine condition. This will also avoid the need for costly repairs or replacements.
They are built to last, for example, most VELUX windows come with a 10-year guarantee. Although, in many cases, if they are kept clean and in working order, they will last far longer. VELUX Maintenance Kits are available to replace filters and foam pads.
These are specifically designed for their windows. If the originals are removed from a window, they will not be able to be washed and then reinstalled. Read on for find out how to maintain roof windows to get the most out of your new investment.
How to Maximise the Lifespan of a Roof Window
To get the most out of your roof lights you will need to ensure you sustain a maintenance schedule. This will ensure they remain in good working order. Don't worry, this doesn't mean performing these checks and cleans every week or month. Annually or every half-a-year should do the trick.
- Dealing with condensation: The best way to avoid this is to ensure your home is ventilated on a regular basis. You can do this by using ventilation fans in the bathroom and kitchen (or any room with excess moisture). Opening windows will also encourage air circulation. When they are in use, keep the doors closed and try to achieve a constant temperature of 68°F in the room.
- Air filter maintenance: The air filter found on a roof window should also be kept clean by removing the build-up of any dirt or dust. This will help to reduce condensation by allowing the air to circulate. The window must be opened to access the filter.
- Clean the flashing: This should be done at least once a year to clear away any excess leaves or debris to allow rainwater to flow without blockage. The same applies to snow and ice that may build-up during the colder months of the year.
- Pine window maintenance: White polyurethane or painted VELUX windows similar to VELUX GPU 0034 - Opaque Inner White are now the most common type of roof windows installed, but pine finish versions like VELUX GGL 3060 are also readily available to buy. We recommend that pine window frames are primed and lacquered at least every four years to ensure they remain in robust condition and fully weatherproofed.
- Polyurethane window maintenance: Standard household cleaning products are sufficient for cleaning polyurethane windows which are very easy to maintain after installation.
- Other areas: The hinges and closing mechanisms will also require maintenance over time and the annual lubrication of these parts will help to keep them in good working order.
What Do I Need to Maintain a Roof Lighting Solution?
In terms of the products required to clean a roof light, a standard glass cleaning product will prove to be good enough. In addition, you will only need a regular household detergent to wash the glass and frame.
Avoid using harsh cleaning implements with rigid or hard bristles and instead, use a soft sponge or cloth. These will not scratch the surface of the glass. If the window is subject to any chemicals or pollutants that have been transmitted nearby, then white spirit should be the only product used for cleaning.
To ensure the powder coated frame and glass remain unharmed, avoid using abrasive cleaners or products that feature chemical compounds such as chlorinated hydrocarbons and esters.
What are the Most Common Issues with Roof Windows?
When a roof window is installed into a flat roof, one of the more common problems is rainwater settling onto the pane after a sustained downfall. This can lead to condensation and, if there are any cracks or gaps in the flashing, water can escape into space below.
If a roof light hasn't been installed correctly, there is a danger the condensation could lead to 'leaks' from below the felt, coming into contact with cladding or flashing. This can allow condensation to fall downwards between the frame and the opening. There are occasions where this could be misconstrued as a roof leak when, in fact, the issue lies with how the window was initially installed.
How to Clean Roof Windows Correctly
A large majority of roof windows are not installed with self-cleaning glazing. However, this doesn't mean they can't also be kept in prime condition using manual cleaning methods. VELUX windows are designed to make maintenance as easy as possible. They can be rotated 180° to ensure ease of access when cleaning the pane. This applies to every VELUX system, from top-hung and centre-pivot to the Integra.
You can move the window into a convenient position for cleaning by rotating the moving part of the system (also known as the sash). To do this, pull down on the vent bar until you can see the sash has been fully rotated. To hold it in place, slide the barrel bolt into each of the slots located at the bottom. This will ensure the window remains safe and secure for you to begin cleaning.
Using a soft sponge/cloth and warm water mixed with a small amount of household detergent to clean the window, taking care to follow these guidelines:
- Avoid coming into contact with the silicone in the pane
- Remove jewellery and sharp objects that may scratch the window
- Always use water as the base for cleaning off dirt marks
- Never use any chemical-based products
- Products containing abrasive properties should also be avoided