Home health check

Tra­di­tional case­ments have been around for cen­turies, so to pre­serve them and keep them in work­ing or­der, it’s im­por­tant to give them some TLC

Period Living - - Contents - Words Roger Hunt

Prop­erty ex­pert Roger Hunt ad­vises on me­tal win­dows

Me­tal win­dows have been an im­por­tant el­e­ment in build­ings since the 16th cen­tury, when sim­ple wrought-iron frames and case­ments con­tained leaded lights. By the 1920s, steel win­dows were fash­ion­able, with their con­tem­po­rary de­sign a no­table fea­ture of

Art Deco homes. They were some­times de­signed in the form of curved ‘sun­trap’ bays.

Stronger and po­ten­tially more durable than those made of wood, me­tal win­dows of­fer the ad­van­tage of slen­der pro­files that help cre­ate light-filled in­te­ri­ors and are valuable ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures. The dis­ad­van­tage is the high ther­mal con­duc­tiv­ity of tra­di­tional me­tal win­dows, which has of­ten led them to be as­so­ci­ated with cold in­te­ri­ors, con­den­sa­tion and, if not prop­erly main­tained, rust.

Warn­ing signs

Cor­ro­sion of­ten oc­curs in lo­calised ar­eas where mois­ture col­lects, such as at the bot­tom of frames and case­ments. Dis­tor­tion of the me­tal and a build-up of ex­ces­sive paint can re­sult in draughts and the un­wel­come re­sult of wind-driven rain. ➤

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