While contemporary steel windows are precision-made and finished with high performance paint systems over a hot-dip galvanised coating, the early examples which predominate in many of our older industrial, warehouse and commercial buildings were all prone to variations in frame section size, corrosion and consequent cracking of the glazing. Property owners therefore need the skills of a metal window specialist, such as London-based Associated Steel Window Services (ASWS) when it comes to their servicing and repair.
As a long-established family business, ASWS is a contractor trusted by heritage bodies and council conservation officers across the country to carry out detailed repairs and refurbishment on historic buildings. Its range of capabilities can also include routine maintenance to keep original steel windows operating smoothly and looking attractive.
Interventions always begin with a condition survey to enable recommendations and costings to be given, though this can be extended to include the supply of detailed drawings for each window opening, listing specific faults or damage, including broken panes and a schedule of the ironmongery. The survey can, if required by the local authority or a body such as Historic England, be enhanced to a full bound report to form part of a planning application, as well as being included in tender documents.
Advice will always be given on the viability of servicing versus full refurbishment off site, or even replacement; otherwise work will begin with the demounting of all ironmongery for burnishing and lacquering, so that easing and adjustment can be carried out. This may include ‘setting’ or realignment of the frames to help them close properly.
All broken panes will be cut out from the rebates and replaced with suitable matching, or even heritage glass, before redecoration is undertaken. This normally requires light rubbing down before a multi-coat paint system is applied, but all visible paint layers can be removed before redecoration if necessary.
If any of the fittings are found to be too worn for reuse, ASWS has an extensive library of salvaged handles, hinges and other ironmongery which can offer a match; while the company’s capacities also include the removal, cataloguing and storage of windows while other construction works are carried out.