Trouble Shooting Questions:
Glass Related Questions:
Where can I purchase Pickering Window Replacement products? [top]
You can purchase our products directly from us. Please contact us.
What type of warranty does Pickering Window Replacement offer? [top]
All Pickering Window Replacement products are covered under the "General Products Warranty".
What should I consider before buying a door or a window? [top]
Windows and doors form a considerable investment as part of the overall value of your home. It is worth ensuring that you understand and consider the following important factors before taking your decision:
- Home and Window Styles. Your windows and doors can add appeal by drawing attention to your home. Take a good look at both the inside and outside of your home and see if it matches the style of your home and your expectations?
- Creativity. Review our complete line of products and our suggested combinations. You may want to create unique configurations and add your personal touch by combining transoms and Pickering Window Replacementtive sidelites.
- Quality. Be careful when choosing the material the product is made out of and consider its advantages. Wood has a history of warping, rotting and splitting. Our windows are made from vinyl. Vinyl has been around for almost 35 years and is energy efficient, durable, rot-proof, insect-proof and weather resistant. It is made with chemicals that inhibit UV-degradation. Vinyl is colored throughout and requires no painting, with heat-welded corners that hold up best over time.
- Type. If you are replacing windows or doors in your home, it is not necessary to replace it with the same type. You may want to replace a slider or single hung with a casement window or a patio door with a garden door.
- Application. Take into consideration ventilation needs, sunlight needs, your privacy and that of your neighbours, and the position in your home where the window and door will go.
- Glass Options. Glass adds a touch of elegance to any home. Choose one that reflects your style, whether it's tinted, or a Pickering Window Replacementtive glass with caming.
- Security. You want your front door to look beautiful, unique and at the same time be secure. Increasing the distance from the lockset to the deadbolt spreads the impact load from potential break-ins, thereby increasing security. Check the frame of the door to be sure that it's strong, tight and well-constructed. Check the glass and ensure that it can withstand forced entry. Often windows and doors are the easiest way to break into a house. Ordinary float glass used in the wrong application can also result in personal injury. In such places tempered or laminated glass is often used due to their ability to withstand deliberate attacks.
- Energy Efficiency. Check out weather-stripping, Low-e coatings and argon gas-filling options. All of these combine to make the window more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
- Ease of Operation. Test the windows in the store and compare them to the competition. Double hung windows should be easy to operate and tilt without struggling. Casements should crank fully open, easily and quietly.
- Ease of Maintenance. Test the windows in the store and compare them to the competition. The windows should provide for an easy mechanism to clean from the inside of the house.
- Required Noise Level. A lot of buildings are exposed to a high degree of external noise. Your home may be adjutant to a highway or a busy main road, manufacturing unit, school etc. Any double-glazed window will reduce noise pollution significantly, but this may not always be enough. Therefore it is often necessary to use double-glazed windows with enhanced acoustic insulating properties.
- Performance. Check the Weather-stripping of the windows and doors. A door or window that fits snugly within the frame will allow air and water infiltration. Fibreglass or steel insulated door panels insulate better than hollow panels or wood doors.
- Warranty. Check warranties to be sure that the company will be there for you if you have a problem. Don't be fooled into buying products from a no-name company, you may be left out in the cold. All Pickering Window Replacement products come with an extensive written warranty covering elements such as the glass, workmanship and parts. We warrant that all our products will withstand even the toughest conditions.
- After Sales Service. Buy from a manufacturer that stands behind its products and provides prompt after sales service. We provide "onsite" service to support our products, which allows you complete peace of mind in knowing that there is no risk in purchasing our products.
- Building Code. It is important to ensure that the size and type of window or door you chose is in conformity with your local building codes (egress requirements, fire rating etc.)
How can I increase the life of my windows and doors? [top]
Simple regular maintenance will ensure trouble free operation and ultimately extend the life of your windows and doors. Frequency of cleaning and maintenance required is determined by atmospheric conditions.
How do I clean window frames and doors? [top]
As a general rule, all parts exposed when the window or door is closed, should be washed down with warm soapy water (mild detergent) or a plastic cleaner. Use a soft cloth, sponge or towel to avoid scratching. Rinse well with water. The exterior surface of window frames and doors may collect a layer of dirt over time depending upon the environmental conditions. Usually rainfall should be sufficient to remove accumulated dirt on external surface. However in conditions with smog, excess smoke or dirt the exterior surface should be cleaned more regularly. Soft bristle brush or low-pressure spray cleaner may also be used to clean the exterior surface. Avoid using high powered washers, ammonia, abrasive based cleaning agents, glass gleaners, tile cleaners. Using these products over time will cause cracks. The pigments that are used in paint are almost identical to those used in vinyl, but vinyl's color goes all the way through. A little rubdown with Soft Scrub will bring vinyl back to its original brilliance. You will be surprised with how much brighter aged vinyl becomes by carrying out simple cleaning. Not the original color, to be sure, but the scrubbing will result in a marked improvement.
How do I clean glass? [top]
Glass is a durable material when exposed to normal atmospheric conditions, but it does suffer some surface deterioration. One of the most aggressive elements in the atmosphere is water. An adsorbed layer of water attacks the surface of glass, dissolving or releasing certain elements that cause the water to become alkaline. Other than hydrofluoric acid, alkaline solutions are the most aggressive in their attack on glass. With repeated wetting and drying without washing, the dissolved products will appear as a whitish scum. This reduces the brilliance of the surface and in severe conditions can obscure visibility. This latter condition is common where condensation is permitted to occur regularly. Consequently frequent cleaning is important. Glass can be cleaned with warm soapy water, vinegar-based cleaners or any cleaning product specifically designed and formulated for the cleaning of glass. Avoid using ammonia or alcohol-based cleaners, which can cause streaking. Care should be taken not to damage glazing, frame finish, or insulating unit seals by overgenerous application of cleaners. Wipe the cleaning solutions on the glass in a circular motion, applying light to moderate pressure. If streaks appear, rinse the surface with clean water. Using a clean, lint-free cloth, wipe dry the interior glazing surfaces, including any interior frame or hardware components to prevent spotting or water damage. To clean grease, oil, tape adhesive, crayons or paint, apply a small amount of mild abrasive or acetone (mineral spirits) to a cloth or towel and rub only the affected area. Repeat the cleaning steps listed above once complete. Glass should be cleaned by starting at the top of the building and systematically working down to the glass installed on lower levels. This technique reduces the possibility of residue and cleaning solution rundown on glass previously cleaned. Caution: Do not clean glass or frames while they are exposed to direct sunlight. Detergents and soap based cleaners may dry prematurely and leave a hard to remove residue on the frame or glass surface.
How do I clean sash tracks? [top]
Parts exposed when the window or door is open should be simply wiped clean, removing grime from old lubricant, airborne debris and remains of insect life etc. Special attention should be paid to keep the drainage channels free and clear of blockages. Sash tracks should be kept free of dirt and be removed by a small brush and blowing the dust out of the tracks and corners. Keep moving the sashes so that different areas can be cleaned. Use mild soap or detergent to clean all tracks and sash cavities. Cleaning tracks allow the sash to operate smoothly and prevent excessive wear on hinges, locks, rollers and weather stripping components.
How do I clean and lubricate hardware? [top]
Remove all dust, grit, before lubricating pivot points and all other moving metal parts with light machine oil which should been done annually. A very light application of petroleum jelly or equivalent will keep the locking mechanisms and door hinges in good working condition, while a suitable acid and resin free grease or lubricant should be used on sliding bars, gears and face plates. Please note lubrication is required more often than annually if situated near coastal areas or near other water based environments. In the case of casement windows the friction can be increased or decreased by turning the friction screw. Turn the friction screw clockwise to increase friction and counterclockwise to decrease friction, taking care not to over tighten it. In the case of sliders or single hung windows if the sashes do not slide as well as they should, silicone spray (candle wax / furniture polish,) can be used to help lubricate them to slide better. In the case of double hung windows a few drops of light machine oil or spray such as WD-40 applied via the top end of the balance tube will always improve the operation action of the balance.
How do I clean screens? [top]
Follow exterior surface cleaning instructions for all exterior screens. Interior mounted screens can be vacuumed with a soft brush attachment or wiped with a soap water solution. An easy way to clean screens is to remove them and lay them on a flat surface. Apply cleaning solution to the screens and let them soak for a minute. Then rinse the screens using a low-pressure spray. Alternatively vacuum with soft brush. We would like to stress that at all times care should be taken not to overreach or risk falling.
Why do my windows leak? Is this normal? [top]
Any operating window, either horizontal slider or single hung (vertical sliding), will leak air and water. This leaking process is called air and water infiltration. Water infiltration is more visible. Windows are constructed with weep holes allowing any internal water to weep to the exterior of the home. Depending on weather conditions it is normal to see water in the sill section of windows.
What is condensation? [top]
Excess humidity manifesting itself in the form of a thin film of water on a cold surface is called condensation. This is illustrated on a humid, hot summer day when condensation appears on a cold glass. If the temperature changes but no water vapor is added or taken away, then the relative humidity will also change and will increase as the temperature falls. The relative humidity will continue to rise with falling temperature until the dew-point is reached - that is, the temperature at which the relative humidity becomes 100 percent. Any further decrease in temperature will force some of the vapour to condense as water (when the temperature is above freezing) or as frost (when the temperature is below freezing). Condensation is the No. 1 reason for window-related callbacks.
What is "Window Sweating"? [top]
Condensation usually occurs first on windows because they have the lowest temperature of any of the interior surfaces in the house, this is commonly referred to as "window sweating". It seldom appears on walls because they are normally warmer, although occasionally condensation may occur on cold spots such as nail heads and in the corners of outside walls and closets where the insulation value is reduced and circulation of warm room air is restricted. In extreme cases this has led to mildew and the growth of mould. Condensation may occur on either the inside surface of the inner window or the inner surface of the outer window. The first case indicates that there is too much water vapour in the air for the weather conditions prevailing at the time. The second case indicates air leakage outward around the inner window, and will occur even when the amount of water vapour in the air is quite low.
Do windows cause condensation? [top]
No, condensation on windows is not the fault of the window, however, by replacing old drafty windows or installing a new roof, you are reducing air-flow in your home and making it more air tight. Tighter homes actually retain more humidity.
Is condensation bad? [top]
The occupants of a house rightly feel that condensation on the inside surfaces of windows is not good. It not only creates a nuisance by limiting visibility and by wetting adjacent walls and floor surfaces, but in more severe cases it can cause the rotting of wood and the deterioration of paint and plaster. To the builder the problem takes on a special significance because the homeowner frequently assumes that window condensation is faulty. He does not readily appreciate that his own living habits are of prime importance, nor that a well built house is often more vulnerable to excess moisture problems than one that is loosely constructed.
Where on a window does condensation normally form? Why? [top]
Condensation often forms at the meeting rail and at the bottom of the lower sash on the interior of the glass. This is because when warm air cools, it falls down across the interior surface of the window at the same time that the air's temperature is falling. The air contacts the horizontal surface of the meeting rail, which acts like a dam, slowing the air's rate of fall and creating the perfect opportunity for the trapped water vapor to escape and form on the meeting rail's surface. The air then rolls over the edge of the meeting rail and again gains speed until it encounters the lower handle of the sash. At this point, the water vapour again makes its exit and lies at the bottom of the sash.
Can I reduce the condensation on my windows? [top]
Yes. In order to reduce condensation, humidity must be controlled and air movement must be generated. As the exterior temperature drops, the humidity level needs to be decreased. Fortunately the occupant can control window condensation, once they understand the causes.
What causes condensation on windows? [top]
There are several factors that put moisture into the air and cause condensation on windows. Normal breathing and perspiration adds 3 pints of water to the air every day for each person in your home. In fact, every activity that uses water adds more moisture to the air including cooking, taking showers, dish washing, and doing laundry. Some things are pretty basic. If you have too much moisture in your home, then look for some of these occurrences:
- Constantly dripping faucets.
- Any containers in the home that have water standing often or all the time such as sinks and pet bowls and open fish tanks.
- Indoor drying of clothing and leaking indoor clothes dryers.
- Gas cooking. Moisture is a by-product of gas combustion.
- Keeping lids open on commodes thus allowing more evaporation.
- Not running the exhaust fan during baths and showers to remove the moisture.
- Excessive use of things like steamers, plant misters or tea pots.
- Some building slabs may not have a vapour barrier. You may see sweating on the slab where visible.
- Overuse of humidifiers.
- Faulty plumbing such as leaks in walls or under cabinets, etc.
- Leaking hot water heaters or water piping.
- Excessive plant containers indoors that require watering.
- Saunas and hot tubs.
- Outdoor drainage that holds water against slab or bricks. You may need to inspect your sprinkler system, too.
- Faulty shower piping or faucets and seals leaking into walls, etc.
- Faulty refrigerators or ice machines that leak or drain excess water or moisture.
- Poor ventilation in bathrooms.
- Air conditioning.
- Making sure the doors are not so tight as to not allow circulation of air from the room.
- Extensive soaking of clothing, etc. in open water containers. You may wish to move these to the garage or utility areas.
- Wet clothing, wash rags or towels repeatedly left laying out.
- Leaving floors very wet after mopping.
- Rainwater leaking into the attic and/or walls.
- Use of open space gas heaters especially at high room temperatures. Common in bathrooms too.
- Poor refrigeration or faulty conditions of the cooling system that doesn't remove enough moisture from the air. Have it checked by a technician.
So how can I reduce condensation? [top]
The obvious answer is to reduce the humidity and decrease the number of cool surfaces in your home. Your first step is to find what the humidity level in your home is. This will need to be monitored regularly as the temperature outside varies. Devices which measure humidity are called hygrometers. They can be purchased at most reliable hardware and home center stores. As a guide the following relationship will help:
|Outside Temperature, F°
|20°F to 40°F
||Not over 40%
|10°F to 20°F
||Not over 35%
|0°F to 10°F
||Not over 30%
|-10°F to 0°F
||Not over 25%
|-20°F to -10°F
||Not over 20%
Will the use of Low-e-argon and warm edge spacers help in reducing condensation? [top]
Yes! Choosing a window with low-e glass, argon gas filling and warm edge spacer bars will help in reducing condensation. However it will not completely eliminate condensation.
What is Low-e Glass? [top]
Low-emittance (Low-E) coatings are microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on glass surface to reduce the U-factor by suppressing the radiant transfer of energy (heat and cold).
Low-E glass for larger openings can reduce energy costs up to 25%.
What is Argon Gas? [top]
An odorless, colorless, tasteless, invisible, non-toxic gas used to replace the air inside the sealed units to reduce thermal transfer. It is six times heavier than air. Since argon gas is denser than air and is not in continuous motion like air, the transference of energy (heat and cold) is greatly reduced. In short argon gas provides extra insulation.
What are Warm Edged Spacer Bars? [top]
Often we see condensation and even frost on windows, typically around the edges of window glass. The edge is where the panes of the sealed units are held apart by highly conductive aluminum spacer bars. Condensation is the No. 1 reason for window-related callbacks. Non-conductive warm edges spacer bars reduce transmission of hear and reduces the chance of condensation forming. The material the spacer is made from affects the rate that heat travels through a window's edge. Warm edge spacers can improve the U-value of a window by 10% and boost the edge temperature by around 5°F, thereby reducing condensation.
Is it worth spending extra money on Low-e Argon Gas and Warm Edge Space Bars? [top]
Low-e glass improves the insulating value of a window roughly as much as adding an additional pane of glass does. Low-e glass combined with argon gas boosts energy efficiency by nearly 100% over clear glass. Like all gases, argon gas will leak from the window over time, however since it is non-toxic it is safe. Studies suggest a 10% loss over the course of 20 years, but that will reduce the U-value of the window by only a few percent. The added cost for low-e glass and argon gas fillings is only about 10% of the window's overall cost. It's a no-brainer.
What are the advantages of Low-e-Argon and Warm Edge Space Bars? [top]
The main advantages are as follows:
- Reduces energy loss (heat and cold)
- Reduces harmful Ultraviolet (UV) rays
- Environmantlly friendly
What is energy loss? How does it occur? What can I do to reduce it? [top]
Windows are thermal holes; an average home loses approximately 30% of its energy (heat or air-conditioning) through them. Energy-efficient windows save money. The additional amount spent for a good energy-efficient window will pay for itself in two to four years time. In new home construction the initial high cost of windows is offset by installing smaller, less expensive heating and cooling system. More-durable windows cost less in the long run, and make you more comfortable the whole while you live with them. The heat loss by windows is expressed with U-values, or U-factors. U-values are the mathematical inverse of R-values. So an R-value of 2 equals a U-value of 1/2, or 0.5. Unlike R-values, lower U-value indicates higher insulating value. Windows lose and gain heat by:
- Conduction. Transmission of energy (heat and cold) through a solid material through direct contact. Lower the conductivity, lower the heat loss and vice versa. Double glazed windows filled with argon gas between panes of glass, warm edge spacer bars greatly contribute towards reducing conduction.
- Convection. In a cold climate, heated indoor air rubs against the interior surface of window glass, which causes air to cool, become dense, and drop downward. As the stream of air drops, warm air rushes in to take its place at the glass surface. This cyclical movement of air forms a convective loop and is self-perpetuating. Double glazed windows filled with argon gas between panes of glass, warm edge spacer bars and window frames reduce, raise inboard glass temperatures there by slowing down the convection cycle and improving comfort.
- Radiant transfer. Movement of heat from a warmer body to a cooler body. Clear glass absorbs heat and reradiates it outdoors. Radiant-heat loss through windows can be greatly reduced by choosing low-e glass that reflect specific wavelengths of energy. In the same way, low-E coatings keep the summer heat out.
- Air leakage. Air leakage through windows is responsible for much of the heat loss this is commonly referred to as air and water infiltration. Well-designed windows have durable weather stripping and high-quality closing devices that effectively block air and water leakage. Hinged windows such as casements and awnings clamp more tightly against weather stripping than do double-hung windows. But the difference is slight; well-made double hungs are acceptable. How well the individual pieces of the window unit are joined together also affects air leakage. Glass-to-frame, frame-to-frame and sash-to-frame connections must be tight.
What is solar radiation and Ultraviolet (UV) Rays? [top]
Less than half of the sun's energy is visible. Longer wavelengths beyond the red part of the visible spectrum are infrared, which is felt as heat. Shorter wavelengths, beyond purple, are ultraviolet (UV). When the sun's energy strikes a window, visible light, heat and UV rays are reflected, absorbed or transmitted into the house. Low-e glass contains, transparent metallic oxides that reflect up to 90% of the harmful UV rays.
How can I make my home environmentally friendly? [top]
When using less oil and coal, pollution is reduced. Therefore Low-e Argon gas is not only a question of your family's comfort and heating bill, but also a question of improving our common environment in an easy and pleasant way.
How can I make by windows safe? [top]
Often a window is the easiest way to break into a house. This is especially the case when intruders can work undisturbed and the sound of glass smashing does not attract any attention. Ordinary float glass used in the wrong application can also result in personal injury. In such places tempered or laminated glass is often used due to their ability to withstand deliberate attacks.
What is Tempered Glass? [top]
Glass with a surface compression of not less than 10,000 psi or an edge compression of not less than 9,700 psi. Tempered glass is extremely strong and is used to reduce the risk of an accident or break-in. Fully tempered glass supplied, as standard with our Patio doors, Garden and French doors is four to five times stronger than ordinary float glass. Should the glass break, it falls out of the frame and is shattered into small pebble like harmless pieces without sharp edges. This is by design and is excellent proof of a well tempered product, not of a defective product. It is this fail-safe characteristic of tempered glass that makes it an excellent product for safety glazing applications. Tempered glass is standard on all our door products.
What is Laminated Glass? [top]
Laminated glass is a combination of two or more glass sheets with one or more inter-layers of plastic (PVB) or resin. In case of breakage, the interlayer holds the fragments together and continues to provide resistance to the passage of persons or objects. This glass is particularly suitable where it is important to ensure the resistance of the whole sheet after breakage. Laminated glass also highly effective in reduces noise levels and has the ability to block 99% of the sun's harmful UV Rays.
Will using Tempered and/or Laminated Glass make my windows unbreakable? [top]
There are misconceptions that tempered and laminated glass is "unbreakable" or "nearly unbreakable". This is NOT true. Both tempered and laminated glass is definitely breakable and many of the things, that can break ordinary float glass, can also break tempered glass. They are stronger than ordinary glass and do not break as easily. They only offer greater resistance in case of attempted break-in.
What is Acoustic Glass? How can I reduce noise level in my home? [top]
A lot of buildings are exposed to such a high degree of external noise that the environment is unsatisfactory. Your home may be adjutant to a highway or a busy main road, manufacturing unit, school etc. Any double-glazed window will reduce noise pollution significantly, but this may not always be enough. Therefore it is often necessary to use double-glazed windows with enhanced acoustic insulating properties. Alternatively, laminated glass can also be used, which will serve dual purpose of reducing noise pollution and as explained above help in blocking unwanted UV Rays and provide resistance to forced entry.
How do I replace glass on my windows? [top]
Step #1: To remove damaged glass:
- Remove the interior glass stops with a flat head screwdriver.
- Cut silicone spots surrounding the glass from the interior.
- From the outside, cut the glazing between the glass and the vinyl sash. Start at the top and sides.
- Once you get to the bottom, glass will lean into the house.
- Have someone inside the house "catch" the glass.
- Remove the glass and clean / scrub off original glazing tape or silicone.
Step #2: Install new glass:
- Use glazing tape or silicone caulking around the perimeter of the frame opening.
- Put glass setting blocks about 6" from corners on the sill. This separates the glass from the vinyl.
- Install new glass, pressing glass against the exterior vinyl frame.
- Reinstall the glass stops.
- Remove any excess glazing tape or silicone from the exterior of glass.
- Use caution to prevent scratching or breaking the glass.
- We strongly recommend the use of safety glasses and protective gloves.
How can I adjust the rollers on sliding door panels? [top]
Each wheel (two per panel) can be aligned by the occupant by raising or lowering with the easy accessible adjusting screw at each end. Note the sliding panel must be level (parallel with the lock jamb), and high enough so that it does not drag at the bottom.