What’s the best way to clean uPVC?
To ensure that the uPVC frames used in Stormclad windows, doors and conservatories remain in top condition they should be cleaned every four months to stop any unwanted build-up of dirt occurring. Similarly to the glass, uPVC should be cleaned with a warm water and soap solution, using a soft cloth.
To restore white uPVC frames that are starting to collect dirt and not look that shiny white that they did when they were first installed then you can use a uPVC cream cleaner, however, this should never be used on foiled or coloured frames as it can cause problems with the colouring. Should you encounter any particularly difficult stains or grime on any of your uPVC products then a specially designed uPVC solvent cleaner can be used, however, this should be used a maximum of once per year, as the strength of the solvent can lead to discolouration of uPVC from prolonged usage.
During the cleaning process, it is recommended that weather seals and gaskets should also be wiped down to ensure that they remain clean and fit for purpose. Although please take care to ensure that they do not become dislodged from the position within the grooves they are designed to fit into. Should this happen, slide them back into position to ensure that they are not damaged when the door/window is operated. Should any damage occur please contact Stormclad as soon as possible to arrange a replacement.
Any furniture on your doors and windows, such as the handles, should also be cleaned with warm water and soap, applied with a soft cloth.
What’s the best way to clean the glass in my windows and doors?
The standard glass used in Stormclad products can be easily scratched if not handled in the correct manner. When cleaning any of your Stormclad products be sure to remove any jewellery which may cause damage, especially so when cleaning any glass units as any scratches will obscure your view out of your new windows. We recommend that you remove any stubborn dirt initially by cleaning the glass with a soap and warm water solution and a soft cloth. If you then follow this by using any household glass cleaner and a soft cloth your glass should soon be sparkling clean once again. Any units containing Georgian bars, laminated or toughened glass are to be cleaned in the same manner.
If you have any leaded units in your home then extra care should be taken when cleaning these. The lead on the exterior face of the glass is fixed on, however, any sustained pressure on the lead diamonds/squares/rectangles can lead to them becoming dislodged. Again, the use of warm soapy water and a soft cloth should be used to clean these units; however glass cleaners may discolour the lead, so are not recommended.
Lead is subject to oxidisation over time, as are most metals when subjected to the elements. This will be more noticeable immediately after the installation is completed, but will soon settle down.
If you do unfortunately manage to put any minor scratches on your glass units then they can sometimes be removed with jewellers rouge. If you want to have a go at this yourself then jewellers rouge can be purchased online or you can arrange for a Stormclad engineer to come and try this for you for an agreed fee.
Self-cleaning glass must not be subject to certain substances as this can damage the self-cleaning surface.
How do I maintain my windows and doors?
It is recommended that all moving parts with the window and doors are lubricated annually as shown above. All locks, handles and mechanisms should be lubricated with three in one oil to ensure that they continue to work for years to come. This will mean that they continue to be as easy to operate and also significantly lower the chance of them becoming damaged over time.
How do I clean lacquered brass?
Through everyday wear and tear, the lacquer on brass handles can be expected to tarnish and even begin to peel over time.
It is not a particularly difficult job to re-lacquer the brasswork and can be done by removing the old lacquer with nail polish remover or paint stripper, cleaning and polishing the brass with suitable brass polish and then carefully re-lacquer with a good quality lacquer product.
It is recommended that you protect any uPVC from exposure to any of the chemicals associated with re-lacquered brass work; this can be done by applying masking tape around the area which is being lacquered.
Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable doing this, please contact Stormclad and we can provide a quotation for replacing the brass work.
How do I clean my fascias and soffits (roofline)?
Roofline products should be cleaned in the same way described for cleaning the uPVC used for window and door frames. However, this can be done whenever you see fit, as the fascias and soffits collecting dirt will not have an adverse effect on their performance.
However, gutters must be cleaned at least once a year to prevent any blockages occurring and leaks developing. To do this you will need to erect a ladder and check that water can flow freely through the guttering and that all outlet points are free from the build-up of dirt, tennis balls or whatever else may potentially block the outlet. This will need to be carried out on both your conservatory roofline and main house. You should never attempt this work at height alone and should have somebody “foot” the ladder for you to ensure that it is secure. Please also note that in line with industry standards, conservatory guttering is not fitted with fall, but in fact fitted level. Therefore you may occasionally notice standing water in your conservatory gutters, this is nothing out of the ordinary and is fine.
How do I put my windows in ventilation mode?
Stormclad windows have a second “closed” position to allow for your home to remain ventilated without the window being fully open and unsecured. This allows you to lock the window in a partially open position to allow air flow into your home whilst not having to worry about the window being caught in the wind and the hinges being damaged. If you open the window around 20mm and turn the handle to engage the locks, as if you were closing the window, the handle window will be locked in this slightly open position. Although the handle is locked this does not mean that the window is secured to the extent of when it is fully closed, however allows you a degree of security, more so than completely unsecured.
How do I operate my windows and doors?
It is strongly recommended that you do not slam your doors shut as this merely increases the strain on the parts involved, they are designed to take a lot of usage over time, however, like any mechanical part, they are susceptible to damage from any excess force.
In order to prevent any unwanted water entering your home during periods of rainfall, always lift the handle on your doors to ensure the locks are engaged and the door is closed properly. This compresses the gasket and creates the weather-seal to prevent draughts and water ingress.
After rainfall you may find water has collected in the threshold, however, this is to be expected and will drain out through the drainage holes drilled into the appropriate areas.
What causes condensation?
Condensation on windows, and the damage it does to paintwork, curtains, wall coverings and window fittings, are problems frequently encountered in all types of building. The increase incidence of condensation in today’s buildings is the direct result of changes in modern living conditions, which have led to warmer and more comfortable rooms.
What is micro-climate and what causes external dew on exterior panes?
Under particular weather conditions dew (or frost) forms on any unheated surface (the ground, roofs, walls, cars, etc.) exposed to a clear night sky. In the past, this effect has not happened on the glass in heated buildings, since the heat that escapes through the glass warms the glass up slightly as it passes through. Even conventional double glazing allows sufficient heat to escape to prevent dew forming on the external face of the glass.
What about wear, tear and breakages?
Your Stormclad guarantee covers you against a whole host of damages and defects that your products could potentially fall foul of, however, it does not cover you from general wear and tear and damages brought about by every-day usage. Just as a car dealership would not cover damage to handles brought about by wedding rings, snagging to door gaskets, scuffs and bumps we will not either. This is because none of these problems need to happen, and it is from lack of care and maintenance that they will unfortunately come about. By abiding by the help and tips to maintain your products, you can easily prevent these instances occurring. We will try to help as much as possible with replacement/repair in these circumstances but there will unfortunately be a charge for an engineer’s time to visit your property and also any parts which may be needed.
How long does a conservatory take to fully dry out?
The process of building a conservatory includes using a lot of water, which inevitably needs time to evaporate before your conservatory can be classed as dried out. Once the frame structure is built and glass added it does usually take between ten and twelve weeks for a new build conservatory to fully dry out. Any aluminium box gutter used in the construction of your conservatory will generally condensate heavily during this period, due to the fact that it is the ‘cold bridge’ to the outside temperature, as it is far more conductive than any other material which is on show and used in the frame construction. We can only ask that you be patient and wait for your conservatory to fully dry out during this period, which will happen over the given time period. Heat and ventilation are required during this period and can speed up the whole process due to the increased evaporation they will encourage, if you are conscious to speed up the drying out period then you may look into the possibility of hiring a dehumidifier to rid your new room of excess water.
How much do your Home Improvements cost?
Everyone’s home is different with the size and shape of windows, doors, conservatories, rooflines and canopies varying greatly, as can personal taste. This is why we like to visit your home to show you samples of our products and to truly understand your specific requirements.
Your Designer will then give you a quote, with no hidden costs, that you can then consider for up to six months before you have to make a decision. We pride ourselves on the quality of our products and service and strive to make your Home Improvements journey as enjoyable as possible for you.
We understand that budget is one of the most important factors and our promise to you is to be completely transparent in any quote that we give you. That quote will be entirely dependent upon what you choose to have done to your home.
How long will the design appointment with the Designer take?
We work on a one-hour design appointment basis. This is however flexible based on your individual requirements and what products you wish to talk through.
What will happen during the visit from the Designer?
Our Designer will talk with you in order to understand exactly what improvements you want to make to your home. They will show you our high-quality products and explain our design and manufacture processes. They will then take some careful measurements and provide you with a free no obligation quote – designed to meet your specific requirements.
We provide information on the various products to allow customers to make an informed decision for themselves.
What happens after we have accepted the quote for our home improvements?
When you’re satisfied with the quote given to you by the Designer, one of Stormclad’s professional Surveyors will call and arrange a time that is suitable for you to undertake a comprehensive survey. We’ll take accurate measurements, photographs, carry out a risk assessment and clarify what access equipment will be needed for your installation.
Will I be pressured during my appointment?
Stormclad’s quotes are free of obligation so there is no pressure to buy.
Will I have to decide there and then?
No, you won’t. Stormclad’s quotes are valid for up to 6 months so decisions can be made in the time span that you’re comfortable with.
What happens when the Designer leaves? What do I need to do?
If you would like to take up your quote please contact your local Sales Manager to arrange for your Designer to visit you and finalise your paperwork.
Conservatories and Orangeries FAQs
Can I use my new conservatory straight away?
Yes of course. As part of the great Stormclad service, we can offer you a complete package that includes decoration and a selection of flooring including laminate, ceramic tiles and carpeting. We can also supply heaters, underfloor heating and air conditioning.
Your Designer will be able to go advise you on the host of options that will enable you to start enjoying your new conservatory straight away.
Can I use my conservatory all year round whatever the weather?
Stormclad conservatories can be used all year round because they have insulated bases and cavity walls, and feature thermally efficient double-glazed units and roof glass. Like your home, on the coldest of days, the sensible use of heating will also help. The technology built into our glass helps to reflect the sun’s heat in the summer too, keeping your conservatory comfortable all year round.
Do we need Planning Permission or Building Regulation Approvals?
At Stormclad, our full design and technical survey procedures mean that the whole build process is managed for you, including Planning Permissions and Building Regulations, so you needn’t worry about this.
However, under regulations that came into effect from 1 October 2008 adding a conservatory to your home is considered to be permitted development, deemed as exempt from planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:
- No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
- No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
- No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
- Maximum projection of a single-storey rear extension of 3 metres for an attached house and 4 metres for a detached house.
- Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of 4 metres.
- Maximum depth of a rear extension of more than one storey of 3 metres including ground floor.
- Maximum eaves height of an extension within 2 metres of the boundary of three metres.
- Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.
- Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of 4 metres and width no more than half that of the original house.
- Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.
- No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
- On designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey; no cladding of the exterior; no side extensions.
- Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required.
* The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.
*Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.
Building regulations will generally apply if you want to build an extension to your home. However, conservatories are normally exempt when they meet a number of conditions:
- They are built at ground level and are less than 30 square metres in floor area.
- At least half of the new wall and three-quarters of the roof is either glazed or translucent material.
- The conservatory is separated from the house by the external quality door(s).
- Glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable building regulations requirements.
- You are advised not to construct conservatories where they will restrict ladder access to windows serving rooms in roof or loft conversions, particularly if any of the windows are intended to help escape or rescue if there is a fire.
Any new structural opening between the conservatory and the existing house will require building regulations approval, even if the conservatory itself is an exempt structure.
Please note that requirements in Scotland, and to a lesser extent, Northern Ireland are different to those in England and Wales.
On 1st April 2002, the Government introduced Part L, amending the Building Regulations for the first time, to require replacement windows and doors to meet tough new thermal performance standards. The new standard applies when new doors replace an existing window or you change the doors between the house and the conservatory, but not when you keep the existing lockable French doors or patio doors between house and conservatory.
Do you make conservatories to order?
At Stormclad all of our conservatories are manufactured to your individual requirements. They can be personalised with a range of design features and we also have a selection of accessories for you to choose from.
We’ve got an odd shaped space – will it still be possible to have a conservatory?
Because of all conservatories are made to your specific requirements, we can design anything that’s physically possible for you.
Can you match my existing style of window?
At Stormclad we offer an extremely wide range of windows to complement your home and suit your specific requirements.
Do you replace glass or do repairs?
We offer you a competitive price to replace your windows as a whole. Often, when parts of a window fail such as glass units and locking mechanisms, it is a reminder that the whole window is due for a change. We therefore choose to offer a replacement service rather than to repair faulty or substandard parts.
What is an A+ Rated window?
Stormclad’s A+ Rated windows have been independently tested using the same European rating system that has been used for items such as fridges and washing machines for many years. An A+ Rated window system will not lose any heat whatsoever from your home. None. Zero. It’s a little more complicated than that, but the principle really is true.
What does Secured by Design mean?
Secured by Design is the official UK Police flagship initiative combining the principles of ‘designing out crime’ with physical security.
Visit Secured by Design
Will I save money on my fuel bills by installing Stormclad Windows?
Our windows are at least twice as effective at retaining heat than standard clear double glazing. This keeps your more comfortable whilst reducing your heating bills and is of course, better for the environment too.
What’s the best type of glass for a double glazed window?
It’s not necessarily the glass itself, it’s more the components of a sealed unit and the window as a whole that creates an efficient product. At Stormclad, we use a combination of energy efficient glass, warm edge spacer bar and argon filled units to achieve fantastic energy savings. Plus our frames come with double gasket seals and are installed professionally to ensure there are no drafts.
What is PVCu?
PVCu stands for ‘un-plasticized polyvinyl chloride’ – it is the ‘official’ name for the more widely used term, uPVC. PVCu and uPVC are exactly the same; the material gives rigid and strong double glazing frames, and is the most cost-efficient choice of double glazing materials.
Stormclad PVCu double glazed windows come in a variety of colours and finishes although white is by far the most popular. PVCu is also both durable and recyclable, requiring very low maintenance.
What is the difference between different frame materials?
uPVC frames are the most popular choice type for double glazing because they last a very long time yet at the end of their life can also be recycled. We also offer you a range of aluminium or wooden frames to suit different property types.
What is between the panes of glass?
We use argon in between our panes of glass. This creates another barrier to heat loss as it is a far greater insulator than the air that we breathe.
Will I need extra ventilation?
At Stormclad, our Designers and Technical Surveyors will ensure that your windows have adequate ventilation to meet your personal usage requirements and building regulations.
Can I have different glass in my door?
Yes, we offer you a great range of glazing options for all doors.
Can you match my existing style and colour of door?
We have one of the widest ranges of doors available, from uPVC doors, composite doors and aluminium doors. From this range, we will endeavour to complement your existing fittings as required.
What types of materials are your doors made from?
We offer composite, aluminium and uPVC doors.
Can your doors be opened inwards and outwards?
All Stormclad doors are made to measure to suit your individual requirements. We ensure that they are manufactured and installed to open the best way for your property and our Designers will discuss this with you. This can be inwards or outwards.
Do you supply bi-fold doors?
Yes, we offer a range of bi-fold doors ranging from 2 to 7 folding door sections.
Can you provide doors suitable for disabled access?
You can specify whether you want a low (wheelchair access), medium or high threshold for your Stormclad door. We can also supply suitable handles and locking mechanisms designed for ease of use.
How secure are your doors?
Each door is fully reinforced and fitted with robust hinges and locking mechanisms. Our excellent multi-point locking system ensures our doors lock firmly into their frame. All of our doors are certified as either PAS 23, PAS 24 or Secured by Design depending on your agreed specification.
How long will a Stormclad fire door last in a fire?
Stormclad fire doors will hold a fire for 30 minutes as standard.