Going without double glazing can be a trial for contemporary homeowners, but the appeal and individuality of historic windows is a strong selling point for homes. Vintage windows can be beautiful pieces of work, carrying along with them one-of-a-kind details and rich histories. It’s a no-brainer that a homeowner would want to keep them as accurate as possible, but as they age, they could be costing you a fortune in lost heat.
Today, we look at five ways you can keep historic windows, but maintain them to keep up with modern techniques.
In order to keep as much of the window as authentic as possible, try to avoid throwing out the whole thing when it becomes apparent it’s having problems. Maybe it’s only the joinery that’s failed. Maybe it’s fine, but is unable to open, or close. If you’re able to analyse exactly what the problems are you can keep any repairs focused to those specific issues.
Wood is the most likely material to cause problems due to age, but luckily, it can take a surprisingly small amount of effort to maintain. Try testing the wood with an awl, in order to find out if it seems sturdy, or hollow and soft. A few things you can do yourself include filling splits in old wood with putty and repainting, or resealing wood with some caulking. There are plenty of resources out there for learning how to use felt or clay string to eliminate gaps.
Of course, you’ll want to replace cracked, chipped, or otherwise broken windows, but updating unbroken glass on vintage windows is also a great idea. Taking the opportunity while you get other work done to install retrofit double glazing can end up saving you in the long run, as double-glazed windows are much more energy efficient, and insulate your home much more effectively. If the wood is in good condition, but you can still hear the windows whistling in the wind, you may have issues with the glass fitting. Getting them re-fitted will certainly help keep your house warmer, but jumping at the chance to get them double glazed will be an investment into your home that pays off for years to come.
If you can, make all your replacements with parts or glass that resemble the original as close as possible. While you may be tempted to entirely replace the joinery, try to maintain the original character of the window. The best way to approach the situation with the care it needs, is to take measurements and photographs, and then take them to a professional.
With over 40 years of experience, the Atlas Glass team truly is a dedicated group of professional Auckland glaziers. We have the knowledge and ability to take your vintage windows, and make them work for your home, without stripping their historical value. Talk to Atlas Glass today for your free quote!
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