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Top Double Glazing Problems & How We Avoid Them

Published: Thursday 18th February, 2020

It’s no secret, the reputation of the double glazing industry gets fogged when people discuss trustworthiness, which, having only worked with satisfied customers we always thought this was an unfair stigma.

But in recent news it's been revealed that one in ten people who have had double glazing installed in the last 10 years have problems with their installation, in a survey by Which. In that same survey it was also reported that 18% had issues occur in the years following the installation.

So here’s our breakdown of the top double glazing issues from the survey, and how we promise to provide a trustworthy, professional service that you’ll be happy to recommend.

• Problems after their double glazing was installed
• Problems with installation of double glazing
• Problems with delivery of double glazing
• Problems with purchase of double glazing

Problems after double glazing was installed

So it's revealed that 18% (the majority of unhappy customers) had issues with the double glazing after it was installed, and they fall into the following 6 areas:

Windows/doors becoming difficult to open/close (30%)

This is usual for a fresh installation and should ease up with time, however if they are really just too stiff, or if they become stiff that you’re worried about the wear and tear of your handle, then there are a few things you can do to make life easier. Firstly, try and use lubrication to ease the tension on the hinges such as oil or WD40 - failing that you may want to adjust some screws but this is best done with guidance so be sure to contact the supplier for advice and ensure you don’t do anything that could affect your guarantee.

Windows/doors dropping over time so that they don’t fit as well (20%)

This is likely to be down to a lack of detail provided by the installer, or the quality of the materials used by the manufacturer. You’ll be glad to know that we ensure a premium quality finish in terms of both the manufacturer's product including screws, hinges and seal etc, along with the professional standard of installation we offer. Go browse our checkatrade profile to find our 450+ outstanding reviews!

Locks not working (15%)

Often if the locks on your double glazing window aren’t working, the chances are that they never did! Locks are usually overlooked as a minor detail, as long as the hinge is smooth and handles function well, people forget to give their window lock a quick check - so remember to do this while you installer is there so you don’t have to rebook for lock repair. Or alternatively, choose a glazing installer like Window SOS, who double checks every part of the installation prior to signing it off!

Glass steaming up/ problems with condensation (14%)

This is a very common issue that people get with double glazing and is mostly preventable, however it is also mostly down to installer error or a lack of maintenance. Discover some of the best ways to maintain your windows and prevent condensation in our winter blog post!

Fact: Over 90% of windows that become misted are south-east to south-west facing, this is due to the fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, providing the greatest change in daily temperature, and expanding the seal/panes more dramatically than other windows in the house.

Seals around the door/ window failing (12%)

This can occur even without causing condensation to build up inside until later down the line, but even if that time never comes you can be sure that energy bills are being increased slowly with the reduced efficiency of your airtight seal. This can happen if you’ve allowed moisture to build up and set into the seal causing it to rot, and eventually breaking, so be sure to clean with soapy water and dry if this happens regularly, or get some ventilation installed. The other common cause would be a fault in the seal provided, for example, if it has received a puncture in transit - however in our case, you can guarantee that this would be assessed by our team before installing.

Double glazing cracking or shattering (4%)

This is most common with the taller, long shaped windows, and is down to the pressure of the inert gas within the panes, along with the climate on both sides of the window. So let's say you’re living in a cold region with tall windows that face the sunrise/sunset, your windows may be at risk of a spontaneous stress crack due to the building pressure within. There’s not much that could be done in this case other than ensuring you have used a professional installer like ourselves who pay extra attention to detail, as well as taking extra precautions such as ventilation and keeping the seal free from dampness.

Had problems with double glazing installation

It was reported that 10% of customers had a problem with the actual installation process, which falls into the following areas:

Windows didn’t fit as well as they should (27%)

As mentioned before, fixing stiff window hinges is best done with guidance rather than just attacking it yourself, however always be sure to test your windows before the installer leaves, and get them to rectify the installation before they sign the job off. However choosing us to install your double glazing, is choosing a transparent service, whereby we’re not happy unless you’re happy with our installation, so there’s little chance you’ll have this problem with our professional installers.

Installation took longer than planned (25%)

Timekeeping is important when it comes to working on your home, we understand that life doesn’t just stop for the installer, and if there’s one thing you can’t do when installing new windows is to rush - which is why punctuality is a priority to us. If ever there's a time where we have gone over schedule, we can assure it’s down to either the extra attention to detail required, or the time we spend making the place spotless for when we leave.

Panes or parts were in the wrong position (20%)

Things like this come down to whether you chose Graham the local glazer, or went with a reputable company like Window SOS, and annoyingly, unless you know what you’re looking for, you might not even realise things have been installed incorrectly until much later down the line. Don’t be one of these people, ensure you contact a company that has a good amount of years under their belt, as well as a large amount of positive reviews, a product guarantee, and the necessary certification like FENSA certificates.

18% – Work started later than planned
Sometimes things just don’t go to plan on the day, and things can take a little longer to ensure we take the sufficient level of detail when installing windows. Arriving on time is the first step to completing the job on time, so you’ll be glad to know punctuality is highly valued by our team!

15% – Installers left a mess in home
By making timekeeping a priority from the get-go, we find there’s always enough time for our team to leave the place exactly how they left it - with the exception of a sparkly new window! Every member of our team ensures a clean and safe space during and after the job is carried out, we wish we could say the same about the inside of their work vans, but we’re not so sure!

Other Reported Problems To Be Aware Of

4% - Had problems with delivery

While it's quite uncommon to have delivery problems, they do occur sometimes in the world of glass and glazing! More specifically missing pieces, wrong sized panes and late delivery are among the top faults reported in the survey. Always know your rights and understand the firm's responsibility for when things don’t go to plan - or you’ll be sifting through your contract in order to find the solution! More often than not, your delivery problem is our delivery problem.

2% - Had problems with purchase

Unfortunately this can happen if you’ve gone with a local handyman, and would be very likely to see this coming if you check for online reviews! Ensure you receive a written quote, a contract for the work to be carried out and relevant product specs, and finally, be aware of people trying to offer a discount in order to apply pressure and make a quick sale! You can rest assured, we’ve never had any issues with making sales, or fulfilling the expectation of the customer - that goes for our high quality products and our strong level of workmanship.

How to avoid the top double glazing problems?

Avoiding issues with double glazing and their installers is simple, just do your research and don’t settle for someone you can’t totally trust. Ensure you check for online reviews (checkatrade, google, yell, social media), look for the relevant certifications, and make sure you receive all the required documents with your purchase - or just choose a company like Window SOS who will ensure all the boxes are ticked for you!

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We specialise in all types of window repairs, from double glazed units with condensation or misted on the inside, to faulty locks handles or hinges. We pride ourselves on our excellent service and customer feedback score.

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