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Look Out for Window Problems
September 22, 2010 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Today's tip is about understanding how to care for windows and address problems that could turn into huge headaches if left unchecked.
Clearly, the easiest way to avoid letting hidden problems fester and get the longest life possible out of windows is to do regular inspections and complete routine preventive maintenance. Of course, in large facilities, the sheer number of windows makes regular inspections difficult, so experts suggest inspecting several samples on each façade of the building. If you recognize a pattern of problems, it's a safe assumption that most or all of the windows have the same problem.
To complete a meaningful inspection, look at the frames and make sure there is no gap between frame and wall that may have resulted from temperature swings that cause regular expansion and contraction. On the exterior, examine the caulking between the window and exterior wall to make sure it's not cracked and that the seal is still true.
If windows are operable, open and close them several times and listen for groans or other odd noises, which are indications that the windows are out of form. Make sure the operator mechanisms themselves aren't warped or rusty.
Finally, take a good look at the cosmetic condition of the interior and exterior window frames - if the paint is peeling or the wood warping, it's a good sign that moisture is present, where there's moisture, there's probably air leakage too.