To enjoy your conservatory, it is important that simple maintenance is carried out. This guidance is very general – it cannot cover all possibilities.
Condensation occurs when water vapour meets a cold surface such as glass, and the vapour turns to water droplets. Condensation can only ever be minimised and never completely eradicated. A newly constructed conservatory needs an initial ‘drying out’ period. Many hundreds of litres of water are used during its construction, i.e. dwarf walls, concrete bases and plasterwork. In Winter they will take longer to dry out.
Provide natural ventilation to help minimise condensation and maintain a comfortable interior in your conservatory by:
• Opening windows/doors
• Ensure trickle vents in the ridge are open at all times – slide the control to open setting
• Ensure trickle vents at the eaves (where fitted) are open at all times
• Open the roof vent (if fitted)
Be sure to consider security when leaving open an easily accessible window or roof vent in your conservatory.
Heating can assist with controlling condensation and should be marginally increased in areas where condensation is a problem. Maintain some heat in the conservatory during cold weather and if possible, place heating appliances under windows to maintain the temperature of the inside pane of the double-glazing. If your conservatory is fitted with a fan unit which fails, consult a qualified electrician or installation company.
Locks and Handles (Maintenance)
Lubrication of Hinges
For lubrication of handles, locks and hinges, use light machine oil lubricant for moving parts (e.g. “3 in 1” or “WD40”) and petroleum jelly if indicated on the windows/doors.
This is the material used to seal any small gaps around the edge of doors/windows. Please note that some discolouration of the mastic seal is a natural occurrence and cannot be avoided.
When installed, brass work is fully protected with lacquer. In time and through normal wear and tear, this lacquer may peel or become tarnished. Tips to refurbish your brass work:
- Protect the surrounding uPVC surfaces by masking off an area around each piece of brass work
- Remove old lacquer with nail polish remover or paint stripper
- Clean and polish with a suitable proprietary brass polish
- Carefully relacquer with a good quality product
Anodised gold finish (not brass)
Never use abrasive cleaning agents when cleaning your conservatory. Warm soapy water and a soft cloth are sufficient.
Blinds can be a useful addition to your new conservatory if it is south facing or overlooked, to provide shade and privacy. Before installing blinds, please consider the following points:
- Never cover the inside of the glazing bars with blinds
- The installer of the blinds will attach/penetrate the internal PVC claddings with fixings.
- Your installation company will not accept any responsibility or claims for:
- Water ingress through fixings/screw attachments
- Deflection of materials
- Distortion of materials
- The blinds must be designed to allow hot air to disperse from between the glazing material
- Whenever blinds are installed, it is recommended that an automatic roof vent is
- We do not recommend the use of internal blinds on our PVC product, Ultralite 500.
The tips below apply to the glass in both the side frames and conservatory roof.
1. Standard ‘clear’ units
The glass used in most double-glazed units can be easily scratched, and so we recommend you remove hand jewellery before cleaning. Heavy external grime should be removed with a simple soap/water solution followed by the use of any proprietary household glass cleaner with a soft cloth. Laminated glass or glass containing Georgian bars between the sealed units is cleaned in the same manner.
2. Ultraframe Conservaglass and other ‘true’ self-cleaning glass
Conservaglass is self-cleaning and has been designed to remain cleaner for longer than conventional glass. A transparent coating on the external surface of the glass harnesses ultra-violet rays and rain (or water) to break down dirt and grime wash it clean away. The coating is integrated into the surface of the glass and is highly durable. A certain level of care must be exercised when handling and maintaining it.
If any labels are still attached to the glass, carefully peel them off. Care must be exercised when removing the label from the glass to ensure that the special coating is not damaged. Do not use a razor, scraper or wire wool to detach the label.
Activation of the self-cleaning function:
- During the week after initial installation, the self-cleaning property will be progressively activated, triggered by exposure to UV light.
- The length of time required to activate the coating by UV rays can vary depending on the season and the orientation of the glass but is normally within a week.
- When the glass is wet, a small border of water droplets may appear around the perimeter surface of the glass. This occurrence is perfectly normal.
Cleaning for the first time:
- Wait at least a week before cleaning the product for the first time to ensure all sealants used in its installation are fully set.
- Start with a rinse or hose-down with clean water and continue, when necessary, with the normal maintenance routines (see below).
- When hosing, start at the top and zig-zag to the bottom. Spray at the coolest part of the day and not in direct sunlight.
Conservaglass has a special property which means it stays cleaner for longer than normal glass. The more exposure the product has to sun and rain, the longer it will stay clean. However, many factors affect the time it takes for a mark to be naturally removed – for example, ambient pollution, atmospheric conditions, the orientation of the conservatory and sloping or vertical use of Conservaglass. Conservaglass is not a ‘100% maintenance-free’ product.
Should the glass require occasional cleaning, ensure only the following are used:
• A soft, clean lint-free cloth or chamois leather
• Or a clean, soft non-abrasive sponge
• Or a clean, non-metal window squeegee
All equipment must be kept clean. This is to prevent any dirt or abrasive particles transferring from the equipment back onto the glass in your conservatory, which may scratch or damage the coating. After cleaning, re-activation of the coating may take 5-7 days.
Clean water will suffice. Standard supermarket mild glass cleaning products can also be used, such as Mr Muscle or Windowlene Wipes. ‘Soft’ water is best for cleaning glass. In hard-water areas, a small amount of washing-up liquid can be used to soften water.
Do not use:
- glass treatment products containing silicones or abrasive particles;
- commercial cleaning products intended for cleaning elements other than glass;
- chemical products: soda, bleach, washing powder or white spirit, for exampl
- Avoid contact with sharp or abrasive objects, including jewellery, buckles and steel wool
- Never attempt to clean off a mark on the surface of Conservaglass without using water.
Protection During Adjacent Building/Maintenance Work
If any other works are taking place near Conservaglass, protect it with a clean plastic sheet to prevent any splashes or staining from aggressive compounds (paint, varnish, glue, sealant, cement, plaster, mortar, etc.). By doing this, you will also protect the product from abrasive or hot particles (grinding or welding sparks, etc.)
Leaded glass cleaning:
- Extra care must be taken when cleaning leaded windows in your conservatory, so as not to dislodge the lead from the surface of the glass. Warm soapy water applied with a soft cloth is adequate for cleaning leaded glass.
- Scratched Glass (standard clear units)
- Scratches can be removed with jeweller’s rouge or equivalent rubbing compound. (Ask your installer for further advice).
PLEASE NOTE THAT EXTERNAL LEAD WILL OXIDISE. THIS IS A NATURAL PHENOMENA AND CANNOT BE AVOIDED.
During the manufacturing process, all double-glazed units can be susceptible to a degree of surface damage, meaning that certain imperfections cannot be avoided, even in the most carefully controlled production environment. Such blemishes are inherent in all double glazing and acceptable within the highest standards of the industry and are, therefore beyond our control.
We use only the very highest quality glass available, whether laminated, toughened or un-toughened, all of which conforms to the requirements of BS6262. Double glazed units produced to BS5713 and BSEN1279 (mandatory March 07) conform to the highest standards of manufacturing and the most uncompromising quality control and inspection routines.
Minor imperfections may still occur - the information below has been taken directly from a document detailing an accepted industry standard for glass (extracted from the Glass & Glazing Federation Standards (GGF)):
- The transparent glass used in the manufacture of double glazed units is identical to that used in traditional single glazing and will, therefore have a similar level of quality.
- Both panes of the double-glazed units shall be viewed from the room side, standing at a distance of two metres in natural daylight and not in direct sunlight. The area to be viewed is the normal vision area, with the exception of a 50mm wide band around the perimeter of the unit.
Flat transparent glass shall be deemed acceptable if the following phenomena are neither raised or in clusters:
- Enclosed seeds
- Bubbles or blisters
- Hairlines or blobs
- Fine scratches not more than 25mm long
- Minute embedded particles
Obtrusiveness of blemishes shall be judged by looking through the glass and not at it, under normal lighting conditions.
The glass used originates in very large sheets and, due to spacing repetition, centralisation of any design, in a specific window cannot be guaranteed. There is no correct direction for patterned glass – i.e., in general, there is no ‘right way up’.
Contact Your Nearest Ultra Installer
For further information about maintaining your conservatory, or to obtain a quote for one, please contact your nearest Ultra Installer. They will be able to offer advice on our other products too - like lantern roofs, orangeries and house extensions.