How to Care for Period Windows
Windows play an essential role in defining the personality of any period property. A property's windows tend to be inextricably linked to its architectural style and examining them can give you a very good idea how old a building is and how well it has been looked after. Furthermore, making inappropriate or unnecessary changes to period windows can seriously detract from the overall charm of any property, not to mention bringing down its value.
What to do when your period windows are damaged...
The question of whether to repair or replace damaged or worn-out windows can be tricky. Replacing is often not an option, as the traditional methods and techniques used to create them are either impossible — thanks to modern regulations or the paucity of materials — or at least prohibitively expensive to replicate. Then there's the decline in aesthetic appeal and value if you do manage to replace them.
Most restoration experts agree that if at least half of the original timber remains, you should probably err on the side of repairing rather than replacing. Smaller repairs are fairly simple to achieve, with damaged or decayed wood easily cut out and replaced before being sanded, filled and painted so that hopefully no sign of the repair remains.
Something else to consider, for a large variety of reasons, is the fitting of secondary glazing, which refers to the creation of an internal window that fits inside the original and is invisible from the outside.
What are the benefits of secondary glazing?
Aside from being very tasteful and discreet, secondary glazing comes with the following considerable benefits...
No matter what the source, noise can be a huge problem and period buildings come with their own problems regarding what you can do to combat it. Double glazing the original windows is often neither possible nor permitted, but when it is, it can cost a fortune. Adding an extra layer of secondary glazing, on the other hand, does wonders for noise reduction at a fraction of the price.
Secondary glazing is one of the single most effective methods for conserving heat and reducing utility costs in period buildings, often reducing heat loss by as much as 50%.
Especially common within period homes, condensation can be effectively combated with secondary glazing, which helps prevent the moisture in the air from reaching the cold glass of the original window. However due to the complexity of the causes of condensation we are unable to guarantee that this will be totally eradicate as moisture may still be able to enter the cavity from the outside.
Some primary glazing requires ventilation for controlling condensation or to promote regular airflow, and secondary glazing can be integral to this, offering as it does easy access to the primary glazing. This is especially useful in condensation-heavy rooms where regular airflow is crucial.
Some secondary glazing units — such as those offered by Storm — use a magnetic system that enables easy removal, and access to the primary window whenever the need arises. Advantages of a magnetic system include restricting moisture access, draught-proofing and the provision of a thermal-break that keeps the heat inside your property, preventing the transfer of cold from the primary window to the secondary glazing.