How To Maintain Doors And Windows

Sticking doors. First of all, simply try tightening the hinges. If the trouble persists, take some carbon paper and use it to find exactly where the door is sticking. Place the carbon paper between the door and its frame, with its carbon side against the door. Open and close the door, each time moving the paper until you have worked all round the door, so that smudges from the carbon will show where the sticking occurs. Rubbing these spots with candle grease may prove effective, or you can try rubbing the door edge with a coarse sandpaper. If the door is sticking badly you may have to plane the edge slightly, but first wedge it steady with a card or a thin sliver of wood.

Rattling doors can sometimes simply be cured with self-adhesive draught-proofing tape, from any good D.I.Y. or hardware store. Or you can try filling the gap between the door and its stop: I.e. the wooden frame against which the door closes. Make a little pencil mark on the door frame to show its normal closed position. Now, from the outside of the room press the door hard against its lock or catch and mark then measure carefully the distance between this and its normal position. Now fix with panel pins and hammer a thin wooden strip around the face of the stop, to fill the gap.

Broken window panes

You can often make a short-term repair over a crack with a clear adhesive tape from a builders’ merchant. Or, if the glass is shattered, you can nail polythene sheet across the frame after removing any fragments of glass. Strengthen the polythene with wooden strips nailed around the edge to the window frame.

Be very careful when you take out the remains of the old glass. Wear heavy gloves and use a hammer to tap out the pieces from the frame, starting at the top. You may have to cut away the putty to release all the pieces. As you go, wrap all the fragments in several layers of newspaper and put them in a box; warn the dustmen.

You can try fitting a small pane of new glass yourself; but if the window is large, call in a glazier. Most glass merchants also offer a glazing service.

Before you go to buy new glass, measure up using a steel tape and taking the dimensions on the outside from rebate to rebate. Then take away about 3 to 4 mm from these measurements to ensure a good fit. Take a small piece of the old glass with you so that you can ask the glazing shop to supply the same weight and thickness.

Before you fit the new glass, clean away all the old putty from around the frame sprig edges; use an old chisel or screwdriver. Also remove any small nails. Metal windows have small retaining s-shaped clips. These should be carefully taken out, marking their position on the frame as you go, and saving the clips for re-use.

The next step is to prime the rebates with wood or metal primer, as appropriate. Now spread a thin roll of putty around the rebate, using your fingers, and dipping them in water if the putty seems to stick. Use linseed oil putty for wooden windows, and metal casement putty for metal ones. Gently press the glass into place against the putty, pressing only at the edges and corners, never in the middle. Tap in glazing sprigs at 15 cm intervals around a wooden frame to hold the glass in place: slide your hammer gently over the glass to avoid breaking it.

In metal windows, simply replace the clips. Roll another strip of putty and press this around the edges of the glass, then trim offto a neat 450 angle , using an angled putty knife. Trim off any excess putty from inside the window. Leave putty seven to 14 days to harden, then paint to match frame, taking the paint about 3 mm on to the glass to give a waterproof seal.

Glass is held in timber frames by sprigs; in metal frames by glazing clips Top: gently press the new pane of glass into place in a thin roll of putty spread around the rebate. Press only at the edges and corners, never in the middle Centre: put in sprigs or clips, as appropriate then roll another strip of putty and press this around the edges of the glass. Trim putty to a neat 45° angle.

How To Maintain Doors And Windows

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