- Why are replacement parts for old double glazed windows difficult to obtain?
- Knowing What System is installed.
- So how can you find out what system has been installed?
- What type of window or door components become obsolete and cause the problems?
- My windows are guaranteed for 10 years, why am I being told replacement parts are not available?
- My powder coated aluminium windows are damaged. Can the powder coating be repaired?
- Is it true that through lack of replacement parts I need new windows?
The Aluminium Trade Supply website is often contacted by building contractors, window companies and members of the public seeking help with replacement parts for older aluminium or PVCu double glazed windows. Often these people will have perfectly good double glazing installed that is over 10 years old.
In this article we will give some insight into the issues regarding older aluminium windows and doors and what you can do to replace the parts without having to replace the whole window.
Why are replacement parts for old double glazed windows difficult to obtain?
Knowing What System is installed.
There are several reasons why finding replacement parts for old double glazing can be difficult. By far the biggest reason is not knowing what system or make of window is installed.
Unlike most consumer goods which have very clear branding on them, with double glazing this is virtually impossible. This problem is made worse if you purchased the property with the windows installed and did not purchase them yourself.
A further issue is that windows and doors utilise many industry “stock parts” for example Hoppe Handles on Doors, Winkhaus Handles on Windows, Cotswold Architectural or Securistyle Friction Stays or Titon Trickle Vents. Often these accessories will have some name or brand on them but this applies to the component itself not the whole window.
So how can you find out what system has been installed?
The only way is really by a process of elimination. Either you have to establish the window company that installed the windows and if they are still in business they should be able to tell you the system installed.
Most high street double glazing firms will shy away from such work so unless your local double glazing company is an absolute expert and has been trading for many years, they will be unlikely to help and probably reluctant to take on the repair work.
Another option is to employ the services of a window and door maintenance company to see whether they can help. Window and Door maintenance companies that specialise in window repairs, glass replacement etc will over the years have seen most window systems. Whilst not guaranteed they may be able to identify the system by looking at it. Some window systems such as Monarch Aluminium Windows and Patio Doors are instantly recognisable by their profile design and types of handles fitted.
What type of window or door components become obsolete and cause the problems?
Window and door components can be split into two district categories – profiles and accessories.
With window profiles, if the window system has been superseded the following profiles no longer be available:
- missing window beads (that hold the glass in place)
- damaged window sections such as sashes or outer frames
- damaged cill sections
- missing cill end caps (often plastic but manufactured to suit the window cill)
- Weather bars on aluminium doors
- Plastic clip-in pieces often used on the perimeter of the outer frame or door leaf.
- Flipper or bubble gaskets that seal windows and doors or woolpile.
For window accessories, the following are typical of being hard to replace and hard to source:
- Window handle keys
- Window handles
- Broken Trickle Vents
- Door handles and handle backplates
- Failure or window or door multi point locking systems
- Damaged door gasket particularly on older patio doors that are made around the glass and not beaded
- Snap on screw cover caps for window handles
My windows are guaranteed for 10 years, why am I being told replacement parts are not available?
At the time you purchased your double glazed windows they were the current product and rightly guaranteed for 10 years. What your double glazing company cannot control are changes in legislation and product enhancements carried out by the Systems Company that designed the window.
The Building Regulations applicable to windows and doors are constantly changing. This means that windows need to be more thermally efficient. For many window systems, meeting these regulations can mean a complete redesign of the system that can render your reasonably new windows “old”.
This is not the fault of the window manufacturer or installer but simply adapting the product to meet the changing needs of Building Regulations and other legislation.
Another reason can be a simply product update. As car manufacturers will facelift models from time to time, and as any product is updated as part of the company keeping ahead in the market, so windows and doors are updated and redesigned. Many systems companies will aim to keep some window profiles or hardware consistent to save money however if they don’t, this can be a reason why parts may be hard to find.
My powder coated aluminium windows are damaged. Can the powder coating be repaired?
Yes. There are specialist on site powder coating repair companies such as Eurosite Finishers that specialise in the recoating of powder coated aluminium. If the damage is minor, simple touch up paint available from reputable powder coaters will suffice but the original RAL reference the windows were powder coated in will be require in order for the touch up paint to match.
You must also consider that through lack of routine cleaning and ageing, some powder coated finishes will have discoloured so you may wish to consider having them professionally repaired on site.
Is it true that through lack of replacement parts I need new windows?
This will depend on the nature of the problem and who you seek to assist you with it. It is often the case that for general window repairs people will often call their local double glazing firm first. Many of these companies simply do not want to get involved with products installed by other people. This is understandable if they are dealing with a product they’ve not fitted, have little experience with and will be obliged to guarantee in some way.
Our advice as mentioned is to seek the advice of a company that specialises in double glazing repairs and window or door maintenance. They are much more likely to have access to a wider source of replacement part supply. They will also have seen a wider range of windows and doors making identification easier.
If your windows and doors have been discontinued and replacement profiles are needed, then it is regretfully quite likely that new profiles cannot be sourced and you will have to replace the window.
If your window or door needs new locks, gaskets, handles or other accessory, there are specialist companies such as Duffells that many in the trade use to source replacement parts and such companies should be approached first. They might be able to help you.
We hope this article has given you information and an insight into replacement parts for older double glazed windows and doors. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information.