We have already talked many times about windows, so to speak, of a “new type”: plastic, wood-aluminum frames and about double-glazed windows of different firms and companies. But many questions still remain. For example, how to avoid problems that arise during the installation process? It turns out that not everything is as good as the companies that sell plastic frames with double-glazed windows tell us, that is, the very “euro windows”. Just recently we were told one very instructive case..
Muscovite Igor Egorov changed the well-known proverb about a man who knows how to avoid mistakes in his own way: “He who knows how to avoid mistakes is not mistaken.” He is now a dock, at least in one area – installing windows.
New times – new windows
Among all northern countries, Russia firmly holds first place in terms of the area of ”heating” the environment. For 1 m2 of heated premises, we consume 3-4 times more energy resources than in European countries. And not only because the climate in Russia is the harshest. The main reason is heat loss through external enclosing structures: walls, roof, doors and windows.
The undisputed leader in this list is windows. Through them, an average of 41% of heat goes to the street, while through doors – up to 9%, through walls – up to 26%, through the roof – up to 24%. However, in houses of the first mass series, the ratio “in favor” of windows is even more impressive – 50 – 80% of heat loss. If we take into account that up to 30% of all energy resources of the country are spent on heating and hot water supply of housing and social and cultural facilities, it will become clear why we, Russians, a short-sighted people, doom our descendants to energy hunger.
However, let’s be fair: in recent years, there have been significant shifts in the minds of those who are called upon to directly address this acute problem. The requirements of the “higher” authorities for the thermal protection of buildings have become different. Hence, more stringent SNiPs (building codes and regulations), and new constructive solutions for houses. The “new windows” themselves, which appeared in the mid-90s, have also become better..
Studies show that even a simple window replacement without external wall insulation provides significant heat savings. But the effect of “new windows” is not limited to this. They protect the premises from external noise, street dust and drafts. The Russians quickly realized all these advantages and, of course, wanted to have miracle windows in their homes. Since our clumsy industry was not ready for such a window boom, foreign firms filled the vacant niche..
The most nimble were the Italians and the Germans. But nature is more favorable to these countries: there are no fierce winters here, so European technology, which was not designed for a harsh continental climate, failed. Those who installed double-glazed windows (and it cost a lot of money, by the way) froze even more in extreme cold than with old wooden frames.
Recovering themselves and adapting to the harsh Russian conditions, Western manufacturers began to make adjustments. And domestic enterprises have finally responded to numerous consumer requests: they bought imported equipment, mastered Western technology (and even improved something). So plastic (and other) frames with double-glazed windows are now in Russia – like dirt.
Shvets – hryvnia, and cutter – ruble
The slopes remained unpainted and unprotected
Following this particular proverb, the art of the master who measured the figure of the customer and cut the fabric was appreciated at all times. The cutter will make a mistake and the Swiss will not help: the dress or suit will sit on the figure, “like on a drum”, or dangle like on a hanger.
It is the same with windows. If the measurements of the openings are made inaccurately, on the very first frosty day you will curse the installers, although sometimes they may have absolutely nothing to do with it. According to the data of the Moscow Society for the Protection of Consumers, a significant share of complaints about euro windows is related to the fact that the installed blocks do not correspond to the window opening. This means that serious errors were made in the measurement. That is, the measurer is to blame in this case, not the installer..
And now let’s return to our hero – Igor Egorov. Igor wanted to change the window in the living room of his two-room apartment in 1995. The house where he lives is located in the center of Moscow, next to the Garden Ring. The so-called Stalinist house. Naturally, there was a hope that after replacing a window with a balcony door, the apartment would become quieter and warmer. I didn’t choose a firm. I just found a modest ad in the mailbox, went to the indicated address and placed an order.
Looking ahead, let’s say: in vain. It was necessary to inquire in the most attentive way with which profiles the firm works. This is an important fact: the more famous the manufacturer is, the greater the quality assurance. And besides, experience shows that it is better to order windows in those companies that either have their own production, or, at worst, are official dealers of well-known European “window” companies..
The ebb is still not done
So. Igor did not know all this. I was happy with the update for a year and a half. Until I discovered that the plastic triple-glazed balcony door began to sag, as a result of which cracks formed between the door and the opening. I read the documents that I executed at the company. And it turned out that the warranty period had already passed. I tried to get through: it didn’t work, the one-day company has safely disappeared during this time.
There was nothing to do but plug up the cracks with foam rubber for the winter, seal it with tape, and put rags underneath. Now he does this procedure regularly – every year before the onset of cold weather….
How many times have they told the world: “Having burned yourself in milk, blow on the water.” But either the youth of our hero, or the gullibility and frivolity inherent in our person, again played a joke with Igor, even more evil than in 1995. This time he decided to put a PVC window in the bedroom. I bought the newspaper “From Ruk to Ruki” and discovered that literally a stone’s throw from the house was a company with the beautiful name “Ellin Estate”. I called and asked how much the window would cost him. It turned out to be very divine. The choice was made. Moreover, even before the conclusion of the contract, the young owner himself took measurements: he wanted to estimate what the order would cost. And generally decided to play it safe.
Measurement officer Vyacheslav Krutov arrived literally the next day: he measured for a long time, leaned out, scrupulously did the calculations. And when he named the amount due to be paid, Igor was surprised: it turned out to be even less than what he expected. This was followed by such a dialogue.
Igor: “And you were not mistaken with the measurements? It turned out more expensive for me”.
Vyacheslav (offended): “You are dealing with a specialist. Everything will be in openwork.”.
How can one not believe a knowledgeable person? And on October 13, 1998 (don’t believe the omens after that!), The craftsmen came, dismantled the old window and brought a new one. When the window block was erected in the place of the opening, the owner of the apartment was a little short on fire: through the wide gaps between the wall and the block, he saw the Garden Ring, the traffic moving along it, the house opposite. The gaps were from 30 to 90 mm, while according to the permissible rules they should not exceed 20 mm.
This is how Igor closes up the cracks every year.
It became clear to Igor: they had cheated again. He demanded to stop work and invite someone from the company’s management. But this time the installers assured: “You shouldn’t worry. Let’s fill it with foam, everything will be ok”. Igor, however, insisted on his own (and did the right thing!) And called the chief engineer. He offered a compromise option: “We will make the slopes at our expense.” And he also assured: “There will be no problems”.
Indeed, after a while a certain young plasterer came. And for several days he diligently plastered the slopes. When I finished, everything seemed to be fine. It only remained to clean and paint…
But Igor has never seen anyone else from this company. To this day, snow-white window blocks with a PVC profile are edged with a “funeral frame” of unfinished slopes. In addition, during this time, the window frame caved in, the ebb, stipulated by the contract, was not installed, the handles of the constipation were turned with such difficulty that only an athlete could do it (well, Igor is a sports person, a bodybuilding coach). And most importantly, the foam, which is used to seal the huge gaps between the window and the wall, does not protect the room from the cold. On the very first frosty day, December 1, 1998, at a temperature outside the window of -20 ° in the room, it dropped to + 13 °.
Since the company did not even think to compensate for the damage, the owner of the “would-be windows” wrote to the Moscow State Trade Inspection. The new chief engineer of the company, seeing what the craftsmen had “done”, promised to return the money. But later he refused his word.
Then the client appealed to the People’s Court, and at the same time to the Moscow Society for the Protection of Consumers. We will turn there too.
While the court is yes
Firstly, it turned out that last year alone, there were more than 30 complaints about plastic windows, of which 70% were about incorrect installation or inaccurate measurements. Here is what Sergei Vladimirovich Bogoyavlensky told us, by education, by the way, a civil engineer. During ten years of cooperation with the Company, he conducted dozens of examinations, won about 30 lawsuits. He now knows everything about windows. I think his advice will be interesting and useful to those who have not yet acquired “new windows”, but are going to install them.
Here’s what he thinks:
The first. In a typical block-panel housing, the openings of windows and balcony doors are standard. There, mistakes are rare. Most often, problems arise precisely in brick (Stalinist) houses. And that’s why. Inexperienced craftsmen take measurements by the internal dimensions of the windows, and not by the external ones, as it should be. This happens especially often in winter. As a result, the window is much smaller than the opening – the gap is sometimes up to 100 – 150 mm. The resulting cracks have to be sealed with polyurethane foam, but this does not provide the necessary thermal protection. Moreover, according to the rules, the gap should not be higher than the permissible norm (20 mm). In addition, foaming should take place in several stages. And only after that you can plaster.
Second. I affirm that not all installers (let alone clients) know that windows with profiles “Rehau”, “KBE”, “Veka” are intended for installation in low-rise buildings (no higher than the fourth floor). The fact is that the higher the floor, the stricter the requirements for air permeability: after all, the wind “walks” more strongly upstairs, and therefore the windows are more blown out. True, now German manufacturers, trying to solve this problem and adapting to Russian conditions, put three gasket circuits on the windows.
And now I want to give readers some advice. So, to those who do not want to be deceived, dedicated…
Forget about double-glazed windows. They are only good for residents of southern latitudes..
Be aware that the higher the glazing ratio (i.e. the ratio of the glazed area to the total area of the window), the colder it will be in the apartment. This means that the “wider the profile”, the better from the point of view of thermal protection.
When the measurer comes, watch how he will measure the windows. Keep in mind that the windows must be open, and they should be measured along the outer part of the opening. If a specialist of the company does otherwise, require him to comply with this rule.
For “advanced” clients familiar with the laws of physics. Make sure that the given resistance to heat transfer is not lower than the standard level. It is impossible to explain what it is without special formulas. But when you come to the company, be sure to ask for a certificate. If you want your apartment to be warm and comfortable, the normal resistance should be at least 0.55 with a glazing coefficient of 0.6.
Make sure to apply pre-compressed self-expanding sealing tape (PSUL) from the street side. It is breathable, but protects well from rain. If you seal the seam from the street side with cement-sand mortar, construction mastic or silicone, in principle, you can also protect yourself from the elements. But at the same time, there is no guarantee that water will not penetrate into the gap..
On the side of the room, a vapor barrier should be installed in the form of a continuous loop. To do this, use special self-adhesive tapes: butyl rubber or aluminum.
If the last two recommendations are not taken into account, the foam insulation under the influence of rain will simply crumble after a while, and the wind will actively blow through the loose seam and street noise will penetrate.
Double-glazed windows can be installed if low-emission K-glass is used, which has higher heat-shielding properties, and the inter-glass space is filled with an inert gas – krypton or argon. However, paradoxically, single-chamber double-glazed windows often provide better noise protection than double-chamber.
…After a thorough examination of the window in the apartment of I. Yegorov, the expert Bogoyavlensky concluded: “These windows must be replaced with window blocks that meet the requirements of regulatory documents.”.
Will the court agree with this? Will it rule in favor of the plaintiff? Wait and see.