Maintenance of Steel Windows
Crittall steel windows, properly maintained can be expected to last the life of the building. Simple measures, such as having the metal frame surfaces washed down at the same time as the glass is cleaned, and undertaking an annual inspection of working parts, gaskets, weatherseals and joint sealants, will do much to ensure their trouble-free performance.
This fact sheet gives general guidance on taking care of steel framed windows and doors so that they will continue to give years of satisfactory service. Where materials are to be procured for renovation or replacement, the recommendations of their manufacturer should always be sought for confirmation of suitability for the specific application.
Surface Finishes - Factory Applied
Crittall steel window frames are supplied with a factory applied polyester powder colour coating. Wash down periodically - at intervals of between three and twelve months, depending on the amount of grime and salt in the atmosphere - using a mild, non-alkaline detergent in warm water, applied with a soft cloth or sponge. Give a final rinse with clear water. The finish will then last between 10 and 20 years before a decorative re-coat becomes necessary.
If, after many years of exposure, the polyester coated surface needs redecoration, a standard undercoat/top coat alkyd system can be used, after the surface has been cleaned and slightly roughened to provide a key.
Small areas of finish that become chipped or scratched can be made good by the application of a touch-in paint available from your local Crittall agent, contact details for whom are listed on our website. This will be air drying and cannot be expected to weather in the same way as the original "oven-baked" coating, so it's use should be limited. Large areas of damage are best repaired by specialist contractors, using two-pack resin and hardener spray applied systems.
Surface Finishes - Site Applied
A bare hot-dip galvanized finish requires a zinc phosphate-rich primer before further brush-paint coats are applied. Oil based glazing putties and mastic sealants likewise need priming and sealing. Take great care to keep flexible weatherseals and moving parts of fittings free of paint. Steel windows supplied galvanized only, without a factory applied polyester powder coating, have clearances set up between meeting surfaces sufficient for two or three coats of paint. When the repainting programme has exceeded this, the paint build up starts to force the meeting surfaces apart and excessive force may be needed to close the window. This, in turn can cause the window to bow or hinges distort.
When renovating an older steel window all traces of old paint should be removed, starting with a wire brush, then using wire wool and finally wet & dry paper. Zinc-rich paint should then be applied to any part of the frame with damage to the galvanised finish, the frame can then be painted with zinc phosphate-rich primer, and undercoat and exterior quality paint of the type developed for metal.