The main benefit of plastic windows is excellent sound and heat insulation. However, over time, these qualities can greatly deteriorate, still nothing is eternal. Today we’ll talk about adjusting and maintaining plastic windows with our own hands to maintain excellent condition from year to year.
Winter and summer modes of use
The frames of plastic windows are made of polyvinyl chloride, which has a sufficiently high coefficient of thermal expansion. For this reason, at different times of the year, the window must be operated in special modes that allow for various additives and clearances. Otherwise, there is a great risk that the deformation of frame profiles and some parts of the fittings will be irreversible..
The adjustment is, for the most part, changing the contact pressure. In summer, the tight tightness of windows is not as important as in winter; it would be more correct to provide the frame with more free space in case of strong heating and thereby extend the life of the seal. The adjustment is quite simple – by turning the eccentric pin of the locking mechanism.
The eccentrics are located at the ends of the opening sash. There are two types of trunnions – oval and round kegs. With oval ones, everything is simple – the clamping of the sash is the stronger, the closer the pivot to the horizontal position. Round kegs have edging of variable thickness, there is a small notch in the thickest part. When the barrel is turned with its thick part towards the striker – the clamp has the maximum force for the winter mode.
Turning the eccentric notch up or in the opposite direction is used for summer use of windows. It is necessary to regulate the rebate along the entire perimeter of the sash at each shut-off switch. Additionally, you can tighten the scissors hold-down: the adjusting screw is located in their lower part, to access the sash you have to simultaneously open and fold.
The tightness of the pressure is checked simply: a bill is put under the seal, the window closes, the handle is lowered all the way. If, even in winter mode, the bill can be freely pulled out, it means that the clamping mechanism is triggered, in which case the ability to adjust the strike plates will help. They are located on the inner end of the frame just opposite the eccentrics. Adjusting them is also simple: we release the fixing screw, turn the clamping screw, achieving a slight offset towards the street, and again tighten the main retainer. If the design of the slats does not provide for the possibility of adjustment, the fittings will have to be changed to restore the tightness of the windows..
Rapid wear and tear of window fittings occurs mainly due to the presence of dirt and dust in the parts of the mechanism. Therefore, once, and preferably twice a year, windows must be thoroughly cleaned. This will also help keep the plastic whiteness and prevent dust from digging deep into it..
However, when cleaning windows, you need to be careful, first of all, it concerns the choice of detergents. It is strictly not allowed to use concentrated acidic or alkaline compounds, petroleum and ether solvents or products containing abrasive particles. Regular liquid soap will suffice to remove basic stains; if stains are heavily stubborn, use chlorine-free bleach. Stubborn stains can be removed with an ammonia solution or rubbing alcohol..
So, first of all, the end parts of the sashes and openings are cleaned. Dust is thoroughly washed off from them, it is better to pre-vacuum horizontal surfaces in order to select dust and sand from small grooves. There is no need for dazzling whiteness, so a rag soaked in soapy water is enough. Also remove dust from the front of the profile and remove any existing dirt, and then wipe the frame with a special cleaner (PVC Cleaner) to preserve the whiteness of the plastic. When the frames are clean, proceed to washing and polishing the glass.
At least once a year, plastic window fittings should be checked for scoring and increased friction. It is much easier to fix irregularities in the operation of the mechanism at an early stage, otherwise in 2-3 years the need for major repairs will arise. A sign of a clear need for maintenance is the loss of smoothness of the handle and locking mechanism, the appearance of extraneous noise.
For the revision of the fittings at the ends of the opening sash, there are overhead strips fixed with several screws. Those parts on which the pins of the locking mechanism are located do not need to be untwisted, it is enough to remove the lining between them.
You won’t see anything special under the removed slats, there is a linkage system that transfers the force from the handle to the locking elements around the perimeter. Turning the handle several times, you need to evaluate how freely the parts move in each part, whether a particular mechanism does not jam. If the problem is not solved by lubricating the high friction assembly, prepare to replace it..
During an annual inspection, it is imperative to check the integrity of the sealing strips around the flaps. Bending them back with your finger, evaluate the elasticity and check for cracks. To extend the service life, the seals must be wiped with either a special silicone grease from the PVC window care kit, or pharmacy glycerin..
At the same time, the quality of the tightening of the self-tapping screws that fix the fittings, hinges and scissors of the opening sash to the plastic profile is checked. Be sure to periodically tighten the two screws securing the handle. To do this, you need to pry off the decorative plate and turn it 90?. Any play in the hinges, handle and fastening of the ribbon fittings leads to even more loosening, in the end, the sash can simply lose its awnings, and it will not be so easy to fix it.
The most common defect that occurs from time to time during the operation of PVC windows is the appearance of friction between the sash and the frame profile. This is quite a common phenomenon: the building sags, and along with the geometry of the window opening, the plastic frame itself is warped..
The essence of the adjustment is to position the sash proportionally inside the window opening. For this, it is possible to smoothly change the position and inclination of the sash by adjusting the upper and lower hinges. The main tool in this case is a 4 mm hex key. Somewhat less often, a 3 mm hexagon or a TORX key is used.
Before adjusting, determine exactly where the sash will rub against the frame, usually the bottom end or where the upper profile of the sash touches and the scissors of the upper hinge. If you do not have enough experience in adjusting, turn the screws 1/4 turn and close the window, checking if the friction has disappeared or if it has appeared elsewhere..
There are two screws for adjusting the bottom hinge: vertical and horizontal. You will get access to the vertical screw by opening the window for ventilation and removing the protective strip (you need to pry it over and pull it up). Turning the screw clockwise, you raise the entire frame, in the opposite direction, the frame is lowered.
A lower horizontal adjustment screw is provided to change the tilt of the frame. If you scroll it clockwise, then the bottom corner of the frame will move towards the hinge and vice versa. It is not necessary to remove the plug to access the lower screw, but if a close-located slope interferes with inserting the key, open the sash and rotate on the back of the hinge.
By analogy, the upper corner of the sash can be shifted by adjusting the upper hinge. See how simple the principle of adjustment is: the vertical screw of the lower hinge allows you to move the sash up and down, and the joint adjustment of the upper and lower hinges – left or right. The adjusting bolt will be available when opening the sash at a right angle, it is located at the base of the scissors. By twisting it, you pull the sash to the frame (the upper corner moves to the left) and vice versa. However, make sure that there is a gap of at least 1–2 mm between the scissors and the profile, otherwise when the sash is folded back it will rub the frame against the metal bracket of the upper hinge.
Do not use organic lubricants to lubricate the moving parts of the opening mechanism. The simplest of the acceptable options is I-40 machine oil for sewing machines. Its use has only one drawback – dust adheres strongly to such a lubricant and therefore the fittings require periodic removal and washing..
A more suitable option would be silicone grease or petroleum jelly. You can even use the composition that is used to wipe the seals, but this is too expensive. You need to add lubricant in small portions of 2-3 drops to each of the segments of the locking mechanism through the available slots. It is also recommended to keep the belts lubricated and heavy..
It is imperative to completely dismantle the handle and add a few drops of grease to the central locking unit. Also, it will not be superfluous to lubricate the hinges, scissor joint and eccentric collets for a softer entry into the strike plates.